Page 558. " old Bloody Chiclitz "

Chiclets advertisement, 1905
Public DomainChiclets advertisement, 1905 - Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Chiclitz's name derives from Chiclets brand chewing gum. These white candy tablets resembled teeth, so 'bloody chiclets' became a slang term for broken teeth.

Page 571. " the German Wobbly traditions "
IWW strike
Public DomainIWW strike - Credit: Wikimedia Commons

'Wobblies' is a slang term for members of the international labour union, the Industrial Workers of the World.

Founded in 1905, the IWW had a membership of around 100,000 at its peak in 1923, and had the power to rally support from 300,000 workers. They believe in the abolition of the wage system and in workplace democracy, with self-management and recallable delegates.

Internal conflict soon split the organisation, but it still exists today, with a membership of some 2,000. Its offices are in Chicago.

Page 573. " You're a May bug "

This is an allusion to a German children's song about the cockchafer beetle:


Maikäfer flieg...

Dein Vater ist im Krieg

Deine Mutter ist in Pommerland

Pommerland ist abgebrannt

Maikäfer flieg!


Cockchafer fly...

Your father is at war

Your mother is in Pomerania

Pomerania is burned to the ground

Cockchafer fly!


This song dates back to the early-17th century, when the region of Pomerania was pillaged in the Thirty Years' War. It was commonly sung by children in Germany during the Second World War as the Russian army invaded Germany.