Words mean things

I suppose that the word “clip” being used to refer to a magazine must have started in earnest during the period in which the M1 Garand rifle was common issue. “Toss me another clee-up, Cletus” would have been used to apply to either a 1911 magazine or a Garand clip (or Tommy gun, M3, et al, magazine) among comrades, maybe. I still talk with the occasional W.W. II or Korean War vet who says “clip” all the time (and if they’re from Alabama it is “clee-up”, with the extra syllable, as in “She-it” or the number Foe-er”)

And so we’ve been harping on it for a while now. Some media types are starting get a whiff of a clue, but just to be safe, they’re using both terms, talking about “magazine clips” which, technically, would be devices that hold two or more magazines together. I’ve seen those for sale. Not that your average media pundit would ever understand.

Anyway; just off the top of my head, I don’t recall ever seeing an ammunition clip than hold more than ten rounds (unless you count a belt). You?

I suppose some of this misuse is intentional, just to irritate people. When you read the actuall laws, they tend to use the term magazine when they mean magazine.


6 thoughts on “Words mean things

  1. What about Hotchkis style feedstrips, can they be considered a clip. As a an aside I will note that WWII era field manuals generally used the terms clip and magazine interchangeably versus the much more narrowly defined uses of today.

  2. They can go ahead and ban the high capacity clips, as long as they leave my magazines alone!

  3. Just FYI, in proper radio procedure, “fo-wer” does have two syllables. Used to for AT&T operators, too. “Ze-ro, Wun, Too, Tree, Fo-wer, Fife, Six, Sev-un, Ait, Nine-er.” (ITU is even stranger, “UnaOne, BissoTwo, TerraTree,” etc., in an effort to make ’em as panlingual as possible.)

    For words often used, the one-syllable version tends to win out; why say “magazine” when you’re already calling the thing you load your rifle with a “clip?” In more recent times, “magazines” become “mags.” Now hand me that clip — for my SKS.

  4. Maybe a bit more common than the SMG charger would be AK-74 clips. They hold, as I recall, 15 rounds of 5.45mm

Comments are closed.