The Spartans were well-known for their frugality, living simply with a minimum of comforts, and ‘spartan’ acquired the sense of extreme simplicity in lifestyle.
War of Words
‘Zeppelin’ appeared in English that same year in Whitaker’s Almanack: ‘The Zeppelin Air-ship… is a cylindrical frame of aluminium in partitions, each holding a gas-bag.’
Ordinarily, a gunboat was a lesser craft, mounting just a few guns. They were particularly useful in shallow waters that larger warships could not navigate.
‘Hun’ became an unflattering synonym for Germans during World War I, used by Britons to emphasise their enemy’s brutality.
‘Waterloo’ – and especially variations of the phrase ‘to meet one’s Waterloo’ – have come to signify a firm, conclusive end to a person or a thing.
The Roman legions needed support. By the 1st century AD, the citizen legionaries of Rome, drawn primarily from Italy, were supplemented by many thousands of auxiliary ‘helper’ soldiers recruited from non-citizen peoples who possessed military skills the Romans lacked.