from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • abbreviation galvanized iron
  • abbreviation gastrointestinal
  • abbreviation general issue
  • abbreviation Government Issue
  • noun An enlisted person in or a veteran of any of the US armed forces, especially a person enlisted in the army.
  • adjective Relating to or characteristic of an enlisted person.
  • adjective Conforming to or in accordance with US military regulations or procedures.
  • adjective Issued by an official US military supply department.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The ISO 3166-1 two-letter (alpha-2) code for Gibraltar.
  • adjective military Given to a soldier by the army (as an item), rather than brought from home; or used by the army (as a procedure), and different from its civilian counterpart.
  • noun A member of the U.S. military.
  • noun One who is demanding and strict, in the manner of a stereotypical member of the military.
  • verb military To clean aggressively.
  • initialism Gastrointestinal.
  • initialism Galvanized iron.
  • initialism US Government issue or General Infantry.
  • abbreviation astronomy Common misspelling of Gl., the prefix for Gliese catalog of nearby stars


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From abbreviation of galvanized iron (applied to trash cans, etc.), later reinterpreted as government issue.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

GI was originally an initialism for Galvanized Iron; during the 1930s the usage expanded to stand for Government Issue; by World War II it had become a nickname for the military personnel themselves.



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