General Question

talljasperman's avatar

In World War two, what did the people at the time call it?

Asked by talljasperman (21734points) March 3rd, 2014

I’m assuming that the title WW2 came years later.

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13 Answers

Brian1946's avatar

My guess is that after the US entered it became known as WW2, because they already knew about WW1.

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gailcalled's avatar

It wasn’t in the common parlance. While it was going on, people were specific about who was doing what and where, if the censors allowed it. The newsreels, newspapers and radio broadcasts refered to specific battles and events. My three uncles sent mail (heavily censored) from mysterious places in Great Britain.

The general references were about “the war.” as in, “The war in the Pacific may continue for several more years.”

filmfann's avatar

@Brian1946 Before WWII, World War 1 was referred to as the “Great War” and “the war to end all wars”.

jaytkay's avatar

Think about it – if you said, “the war” in 1944, nobody was going to ask, “which war are you speaking of?”

Just like if last week someone asked “did you see the Olympics?” everyone would know the topic was Sochi.

Out of curiosity, I went to Google books where you can read old issues of Life magazine. I picked a 1944 issue knowing the war would be the main topic.

There are 20 mentions of “the war” and one of “World War II” (page 11).

Life – Mar 27, 1944

gailcalled's avatar

^^ In that issue of LIfe there is an ad for Palmolive brushless shaving cream.

Here is my nice Jewish mother, aged 19, posing as an Italian beauty adversising Palmolive soap.

ucme's avatar

Germany Fails The Sequel.

JLeslie's avatar

@gailcalled She is beautiful.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@gailcalled Yes, very beautiful, I love her face and makeup!

gailcalled's avatar

She was given some Max Factor theatrical make-up that year and the next during her movie contract. She had bits of the black mascara in a box with the little brush still left when she died in 2011.

When my sister and I were growing up, we used to used some of the make-up; greasy purple eye shadow, the mascara (you wet the brush first) and some chalky rouge.

JLeslie's avatar

@gailcalled I use cake eyeliner. It’s not easy to find!

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie I do, too, the lines are much nicer.

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