One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1rare British. Designating a society (the "Army and Navy Co-operative Society") and any of the stores operated by it, established for the purpose of providing a wide range of household goods at the lowest possible rates. Now rare.
2US US. Designating a store which specializes in surplus military equipment, or the goods sold there; = "Army-Navy".
British. A branch of the Army and Navy stores, especially the principal one in Victoria, London.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in The Times. From army + and + navy.
Army and Navy/ˌɑːmi (ə)n(d) ˈneɪvi/
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