catch a packet


catch a packet
   1. to be killed or severely wounded
   Usually after being struck by something solid, like shrapnel. The common use from the First World War changed to mean getting into trouble until the Second World War, when the phrase reverted to its former meaning, and also came to embrace the ordeal of a town which was severely bombed or of a unit which was subjected to a heavy attack:
    The same thing's happening to the 2nd Northants, they've caught a packet too. (Price, 1978, of a badly mauled regiment)
   2. to contract venereal disease
   A common use among servicemen in the Second World War.

How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • packet —    1. a serious wound or death    Literally, a small pack, hence an article sent by post, as in the packet boat which carried the mail.    See also catch a packet1.    2. a venereal disease    Another unwelcome small pack for soldiers in the… …   How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms

  • catch — I UK [kætʃ] / US verb Word forms catch : present tense I/you/we/they catch he/she/it catches present participle catching past tense caught UK [kɔːt] / US [kɔt] past participle caught *** 1) [intransitive/transitive] to stop and hold something… …   English dictionary

  • packet — noun (C) 1 BrE a small container, usually made of paper, with several things of the same kind in it; pack AmE (+ of): a packet of envelopes | a packet of cigarettes 2 a very small packet like an envelope: a packet of seeds 3 cost a packet BrE… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • packet, stop (get, cop, catch) a —  Run into serious trouble. Be severely reprimanded …   A concise dictionary of English slang

  • cop a packet —    to be killed or severely wounded    A variant of catch a packet in all its meanings, including contracting a venereal disease. Sometimes also as cop it:     I was really lucky. A lot of my mates copped it. (Manning, 1977)    Cop out, in this… …   How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms

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