snipers

Snipers during the First World War. The current term derives precisely from the Great War and from the Emperor Franz Joseph of Habsburg “snipers”

Do you know why i snipers, ie sharpshooters, They are called just like that?

There are terms we commonly use, without noticing, almost always ignoring their origin, which sometimes leaves us surprised.

Personally I only found out today, doing a search, the origin, quite recent, of this word.

It dates back to WWI and refers to Franz Joseph of Habsburg, husband of the beloved Sissi.

The Austro-Hungarian emperor, as known, he was nicknamed “Cecco Beppe” and the word derives from this affectionate and popular nickname “snipers”, that we all know and use.

With this name in fact, at the time the Austrian soldiers with the best aim in shooting were indicated (see also: https://www.pilloledistoria.it/9970/libri/leggere-regalare-regalarsi-natale-la-tregua-natale-ypres).

Apparently appropriate choice given that even now we use exactly the same term and with the same meaning (photo: laliberta.info).