One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A white substance used for whitening belts and other items of military equipment.
- ‘Neither pipeclay nor blanco reacted well to rain, and many men who fought at Waterloo, where it rained heavily the night before the battle, had uniforms streaked with pipeclay.’
Whiten (equipment) with blanco.‘white blancoed webbing’
become white, make white, become pale, make pale, bleach, blanch, lighten, fade, wash out, be washed out, etiolateView synonyms
- ‘The leader, clad in a light grey suit, wearing white silk socks and blancoed shoes, mopped his head with a handkerchief.’
- ‘We had caps that had to be blancoed, I remember that clearly because when it rained on parade it caused problems.’
- ‘In peace time it was plaited and blancoed white to make it look smarter and to match the white waist belts worn in those times.’
- ‘We didn't wear our marching order nicely blancoed in those days.’
- ‘Once you're turned out properly, with your webbing blancoed, your boots dubbined and your brass buckles gleaming, the natives will look at you quite differently.’
- ‘Each set is in very slightly used excellent condition, and some of the pieces are lightly blancoed.’
- ‘The training consisted of marching, shining boots, more marching, polishing brass buckles, buttons and badges, more shining boots, blancoing webbing and more marching.’
- ‘The newly blancoed surface was easily scuffed or marked, necessitating a repetition of the entire laborious procedure.’
- ‘His brown cordovan shoes and blancoed white hat cover and belt were immaculate as befitted a Marine staff noncommissioned officer.’
- ‘These punishments were usually for trivial offences such as dirty boots, brasses, or badly blancoed kit.’
- ‘Their boots, ever so slightly worn and scuffed, but well kept, were highly blancoed and ready for play.’
- ‘We could plainly see all the knife-edge creases in his trousers and the gleaming white blancoed webbing belt around his middle.’
- ‘All that was missing were legionnaires in blue tunics and white kepis, with blancoed webbing straps attaching grey army blankets to their backs as they drilled under the Saharan sun.’
- ‘The classic buff and blancoed rifle sling was used with several rifles by the British army.’
- ‘Resplendent in a new battledress with yellow blancoed belt and gaiters I was escorted up to the General.’
- ‘We spent the time blancoing webbing, polishing brasses, removing the chrome finish from our boots and shrinking enormous berets.’
- ‘I've just been busy cleaning the mud off my equipment and clothes and blancoing webbing.’
- ‘I could think of thousands of things better than polishing brass buckles and blancoing belts and gators.’
- ‘Whole Sunday evenings could thus be spent in ironing, boot-polishing, brasses-polishing and blancoing.’
- ‘None of it has been blancoed, none of it is ripped or torn.’
Late 19th century: from French blanc ‘white’, ultimately of Germanic origin.
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