U.S. Marine Corps Dictionary

Cumshaw

A present or gratuity, often a piece of equipment that appears when needed (while at the same time a similar item disappears from another unit). A cumshaw artist is generally prized within a unit for his or her ability to provide – and few questions are asked. (origin) From the old Chinese term “kam sia” meaning grateful thanks. The term was used at the start of World War II to describe payoffs by Honolulu’s Hotel Street prostitutes to local police officials.


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DevilDogCorps.com is an unofficial online dictionary of terms and acronyms commonly used within the United States Marine Corps.