Do they REALLY say...

Do Vietnam veterans really refer to it as “'Nam”, or is that just a Hollywood thing?

And do some people from the Southern United States really call the Civil War the War of Northern Aggression?

They do indeed, at least on occasion, especially if they are actors who are playing a role in a movie (an absolutely ludicrous, preposterous, bad beyond belief, “can-it-REALLY-be-this-mollyfocking-stupid?” movie) based on a John Grisham novel, which is set at a swank, sophisticated outdoor cocktail party in New Orleans.

Other than that, not so much…

I am a Yankee and lived in Georgia for a couple of years (around 1995). I heard the ‘War of Northern Aggression’ Twice. Once in a college graduation speech and once during a newscast.

I can attest to the fact, that online at least. Pro-confedarate Southern posters on the History Channel forums (which long ago devolved into a shitstorm of online craziness and extremism, and in-fact appear to have been shutdown completely), would pointedly refer to it as “the war for southern independence”.

In a sense that’s more accurate than “Civil War,” and certainly less stupid-sounding than “War of Northern Aggression,” but it rather suggests that the independence was won.

More euphonious to me, if arguably not perfectly accurate, is “War Between the States.” I hear that much more than “Northern Aggression.” Round here, it’s sometimes just “the War”–the cultural memory of a devastating losing conflict on one’s own soil is pretty long.

There are other candidate terms. This thread I think mentions them all and more or less lays out the arguments.

A co-worker was in the army, stationed in Vietnam, and he does refer to it as 'Nam, pronounced Nom.

Members of my S.C. family did, and some (mostly older, but some of the younger ones) still do. I come from a family whose money comes from slave labor.

Q: What do Vietnam Vets call Vietnam?
A: You’ll never know! Cuz, like, you WEREN’T THERE, MAN!

I hear plenty of “The War” or “The War Between the States” but never, except as a joke, “The War of Northern Aggression”. I have, however, once or twice heard that term used to refer to Reconstruction.

Kinda true. The rule of thumb is that the more a veteran talks about Vietnam with a non-veteran, the less he did there. If he says was a “sniper,” then the entire story is bullshit, and he may not have been in the military at all.

“'Nam” was a common enough term during the era. Among the active military, vets, and young men concerned with not becoming them.

When I was growing up in the old Confederacy, “The War Between the States” was actually the common term. I never heard “War of Northern Aggression” although I actually heard “the Rebellion” a few times.

“Nam” was a common enough slang term, although the one honest-to-goodness decorated Vietnam Vet I knew only refered to his time “in country” – as opposed to the desk jockeys back in Saigon.

I was there in 1969-70 and have always called in Vietnam.

Listening to those who went, I have heard “Not Cambodia”. Or, “when I wasn’t in Cambodia . . .” Even "That time we absolutely did NOT go to Cambodia. . .

I’ve also heard “Vietnam” (to rhyme with “spam”) but I’ve never heard “Nom.”

The most common reference though is a more specific place name, sometimes near [City] but usually a specific hill or tunnel or intersection. Occaisionally also a map coordinate.

My sixth grade teacher did (this would have been 1984 or so). No idea how involved in things he was, but it wasn’t like he talked about it every day.

Concur. And my hometown was one that Sherman, having completed his March to the Sea, went 150 miles out of his way to level.