a name given to the privates of the British army. It is said to have originated in the custom of making out blanks for military accounts with the name. "I, Tommy Atkins," etc. Kipling has immortalized it in verse.
Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.
Tom"my At"kins (?).
Any white regular soldier of the British army; also, such soldiers collectively; -- said to be fictitious name inserted in the models given to soldiers to guide them in filling out account blanks, etc.
© Webster 1913
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