Literally "edge". Finnish Military Jargon for

  • something that was done exactly by the book, or
  • someone who always does everything by the book.

Ruotuväki newspaper 17/2001 (2001-09-19) says this, but I to be honest, have my doubts on this etymology =) The article was about "Särmä" insignia: A shield-shaped green, silver-edged badge with blue/rose diagonal rectangle (that looks like bed cover folded to neat rectangular pile - so called "pinkka").

The "Särmä" badge has long traditions, all the way to World War I France. The "black sheep" of Knuutti family, sir Sampsa "Särmä" Knuutinpoika, decided to arrange the bodies to neat north-south rows on the bloody battle field of Verdun.

The sewing instructions for the badge are also rather edgy: The blue color of the pinkka is rosé-shaded ultramarine and the thread is Prussian wool thread, diameter 0.32 mm. The size of the badge is approximately 48.77 mm x 55.42 mm and it's attached to the sleeve at 217.2 mm from the left elbow up towards the head.

I have no idea where the term actually comes; other than the fact that in the army everything that's done "by the book" has certain amount of "straight edges".

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.