Calling all wordsmiths

Not open for further replies.


Dec 29, 2002
I am calling for a replacement of the decidely corny phrase "warrior spirit." I am as sick of this phrase as I am of the old HS/LD chestnut. Not only is "warrior spirit" quite goofy in a faux shamanistic/ Joseph Campbell sort of way, it frankly sounds like ripped off Klingon dialogue from an obscure Star Trek moment.

Any candidates to vie for the replacement of "warrior spirit" are most welcome in this thread.
I think a little context is needed. There are lots of high speed phrases out there, but I'm not sure how you want them used.
Surly Curmudgeon Spirit?

"Political tags - such as royalist, communist, Democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth - are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surely curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort."

-Robert Anson Heinlein

Now there's a "warrior Spirit" redefined, IMHO!

May I always be known as the Surly Curmudgeon: Heavily armed and minding my own business.
That whole "warrior spirit" thing is getting tired. And it is too (and I'm not trying to be PC here) confrontational. If I interpret what you're asking for correctly, Boats, I think that the Finns have a good name for the concept. It's called "SISU," pronounced see-soo. It's actually a word that has not literal translation into English, but basically, it boils down to having inner strength and courage, or, as my Finnish grandpa used to say, guts to do anything. Most Finns I grew up with would define Sisu (a unique Finnish concept) as: a philosophy that what must be done will be done, regardless of what it takes, a special strength and persistent determination and resolve to continue and overcome in the moment of adversity …an almost magical quality, a combination of stamina, perserverance, courage, and determination held in reserve for hard times.

I've always treasured my Finnish heritage (mom's homeland) and I think the concept of sisu speaks to everything in life.
Man used to be the term. A man was capable of many things, combat, comforting a lost child, fixing a car, building a home, solving problems. Today, with our perpetual slouch towards entropy man means only an adult with a penis.

My suggestion: AAAM Alert, able, armed man.

I know I am going to get crap for being a sexist pig. I am one. I feel that it is the duty of the man to protect the women and children. I acknowledge that there are alert, able, and armed ladies; they are a joy to know and I'd take many of them over the "men" I know.
How about "willingness to defend." Can apply to an individual or to a nation and does not imply an aggressive mentality. It does not, however, imply the vigilance or alertness that might be implied in "warrior spirit."
The problem with "warrior spirit" is that it has no definite meaning anyway. What does it mean? Dancing around the campfire wearing animal skins and making ooga-booga noises? That funny feeling you get if you are forced to watch too many episodes of bad Japanese action cartoons?

In the context of self-defense, most people use phrases like this to communicate a particlar mindset, one consistent with the use of deadly force in self-defense. This is an issue, becuase in order to defend oneself against a life-threatening attack, one must overcome certain self-inposed inhibitions on the use of force.

Perhaps defender's mindset would do. Saying "defensive mindset" implies passivity, whereas were are talking about the exact opposite, a resolution to use force when you or someone you are responsible for are threatened with violence. On the other hand, we aren't talking about being aggressive for its own sake, which "warrior" would seem to suggest.

Taking terms from foreign languages would just look trendy, and nobody would understand them anyway.
"I think that the Finns have a good name for the concept. It's called "SISU," pronounced see-soo. It's actually a word that has not literal translation into English, but basically, it boils down to having inner strength and courage, or, as my Finnish grandpa used to say, guts to do anything."

No translation into English? What about- grit?
Well, let's look at the derivation of the terms. From the Compact Oxford English Dictionary, the definitions are as follows:


• noun (especially in former times) a brave or experienced soldier or fighter.

— ORIGIN Old French werreior, guerreior, from guerre ‘war’.

• noun 1 a person’s non-physical being, composed of their character and emotions. 2 this regarded as surviving after the death of the body, often manifested as a ghost. 3 a supernatural being. 4 the prevailing or typical character, quality, or mood: the nation’s egalitarian spirit. 5 (spirits) a person’s mood. 6 courage, energy, and determination. 7 the real meaning or intention of something as opposed to its strict verbal interpretation. 8 chiefly Brit. strong distilled liquor such as rum. 9 a volatile liquid, especially a fuel, prepared by distillation.

• verb (spirited, spiriting) (spirit away) convey rapidly and secretly.

— PHRASES in spirit in thought or intention though not physically. when the spirit moves someone when someone feels inclined to do something.

— ORIGIN Latin spiritus ‘breath, spirit’, from spirare ‘breathe’.

So, if we take the definitions of "spirit" numbered 4 through 6 above, this conveys a specific aspect of the term "warrior spirit": it's "prevailing or typical", a "mood", and signifies "courage, energy and determination". However, a "warrior" is not, I submit, dependent upon mood: to be a "warrior" is a way of life, gained through experience in combat, and signifies a certain readiness for action. I don't believe it's possible for anyone to be designated a "warrior" without significant combat experience. In the absence of such experience, he/she is just another boot, unblooded and unaware of the realities of combat. (All combat veterans reading this will know exactly what I mean!)

So, I suggest that if someone has the "warrior spirit", he/she has "been there, done that and got the T-shirt to prove it". He/she is an experienced fighter, a survivor, and one who is willing to be as aggressive and offensive as necessary in order to prevail in a combat situation.

Given this, is there any other possible term to replace "warrior spirit"? I can't think of one... Of course, if we could stop Rambo-ish idiots from mis-using the term, we wouldn't need a replacement, would we?

2 entries found for resolute.
To select an entry, click on it.

Main Entry: 1res·o·lute
Pronunciation: 're-z&-"lüt, -l&t
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin resolutus, past participle of resolvere
1 : marked by firm determination : RESOLVED
synonym see FAITHFUL
- res·o·lute·ly /-"lüt-lE, -l&t-; "re-z&-'lüt-/ adverb
- res·o·lute·ness /-"lüt-n&s, -l&t-, -'lüt-/ noun

Not open for further replies.