Submitted by D. A. Wood on July 8, 2012

Molotov Cocktails

The blame here is on an American TV network that presented an interview with a British Fire Chief saying something about an outbreak of criminals with “petrol bombs” -- and then with no explantation whatever. In America, we do not have “petrol” and nobody knows what a “petrol bomb” is.

Then after several minutes of thought, it dawned on me that the Fire Chief meant Molotov Cocktails. Yes, the crooks were committing arson with Molotov Cocktails. Those are bottles of gasoline with wicks attached to the tops, and then set on fire. Molotov Cocktails are well-known here from their history as weapons of the Soviet Army in fighting against Nazi German tanks.

Vyacheslav Molotov was the Soviet Foregn Minister from 1939 through 1949, and he was well-known to Americans especially since he visited the United States in 1942 (to see President Roosevelt and to ask for wartime aid) and in 1945 (to sign the Treaty of San Francisco that established the United Nations). Molotov also held other high posts in the Soviet heirarchy. Hence, the name “Molotov Cocktail” came from all of this.

People who appear on American TV need to use the American names for things, or at least the TV networks should explain what foreign phrases mean.

We understand what a TOKAMAC is because it has been explained to us as a Russian acronym. We can look up the details in if we want to. Slang phrases like “petrol bomb” at not there.


Sort by

The difference between English in the USA and English in the UK is very interesting. Words in common usage may be completely unknown elsewhere. I would agree that terms need may need to be explained but that would definitely be the job of the networks rather than asking someone to change their way of speaking. I don't think you could call 'Petrol bomb' a slang term as it is a standard usage in the UK.

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

Hello, I thought that I was being clear when I stated "American TV network" -- and then with no explantation whatever. The responsibility was clearly on the TV network because otherwise I wouldn't have even mentioned "American TV network".

1. The TV network should have taken a moment to mention that a "petrol bomb" is a really Molotov Cocktail. However, their reporters were simply too dog lazy to do so.
Something that you need to watch out for is that most American TV and news reporters nowadays (except in the big, big cities) are very lazy and not very well educated, either.

Years ago, we used to have people in those positions who were the cream of the crop: Murragh, Brinkley, Huntley, Crockite, Barbara Walters, Garrick Utley, Tomn Brokaw, or else they emulated the creap of the crop (for the smaller cities). Now most of them don't care.
Perhaps they care about their looks, but that is about it.

2. The reporter for the network should have asked the British man what he was going to say, and they could have told him, "Oh, no, nobody in our audience knows what a 'petrol bomb' is. Call it a MOLOTOV COCKTAIL, and then everyone in the American and Canadian audience will understand what you mean."

"You can call it whever you want to for the British and French audiences."

What is it called in French? Maybe a "De Gaulle Cocktaik" ? LOL.


0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

Nobody in America knows what a petrol bomb is?
That is really sad.
I am sure if you mentioned a gasoline bomb in the UK, South Africa, Australia, or New Zealand, that everyone would know exactly what you meant.
Are Americans really so insular that nobody knows that petrol is another name for gasoline?

6 votes Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

Nobody here pays any attention to "petrol" unless they served in the U.S. Air Force in England or in neighboring countries, or MAYBE in Germany.

Petrol might as well be something to gargle your throat with!

However, in Germany the verb for adding gasoline or petrol to your car is "tanken" -- which comes from the American phrase "to tank up".

We also do not mess around with "gasoline bomb". That sound weid.
We say "Molotov cocktail", or for the larger ones dropped by warplane: "napalm bomb".
This is despite the fact that those have not contained napalm since about 1948.
"Napalm" is an extract from coconut palms, but synthetic plastics and rubbers were found to be much better even back in 1948 or so.
Therefore, our napalm comes from a chemical factory, and then it is mixed with gasoline or kerosene.
Also, it is likely that our Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps does not use "napalm bombs" anymore. Those are considered to be brutal, nasty, and even uncivilized now.

I know that we used it during WW II, the Korean War, and the War in Vietnam, but it seems to have disappeared from places like Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya.

During WW II against the Japanese, they were asking for it because generally they would never surrender no matter how much they got shelled, bombed, and starved. Hence, our Marines and soldiers, and the Aussies, turned to flamethrowers, napalm, and demolition charges.
The War in the Pacific should have ended in mid-1944 if only the Japanese military had "seen the light". They really had lost by then.
The amazing thing is that the Americans and the Japanese have been the firmest of friends for decades now, and our navies and air forces work together all the time.
Japanese aircrews go to places like Nevada, Hawaii, California, and Alaska for advanced training.

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

Don't be silly. Of course all Americans know what petrol is, unless they've been hiding under a rock, never watched TV, been to the movies, or read a newspaper. We likely wouldn't have been exposed to "petrol bomb", but I'm quite sure the average American could figure it out in short order. Honestly, it wouldn't surprise me if many people, American or not, don't know exactly what a Molotov cocktail is, especially those under thirty.

4 votes Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

It is really amazing that D.A.W. manages to use so many words.
Is DAW perhaps an acronym for Definitely All Waffle?

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

Porsche, what makes you such an expert on the United States??
Where have you ever lived in this country?
In my case, I was born in Tennessee, and I have also resided in Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Arizona, and California -- not in this order. A high percentage of Americans do not know anything about anything in the STATES other than their own. Among the most populous states, this fact is most salient in California, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

Then when it comes to the smaller states "not knowing anything" is even more pervasive, and all I should do now is to give you some examples: Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisina, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia.

In the states that I have mentioned above, people who have never read a newspaper, or a serious magazine, or a book are very common. Then when it comes to going to movies, their fare is along the line of "Dumb and Dumber", "Bevis & Butthead", and movies in which people throw Molotov Cocktails at houses, churches, businesses, etc.
Oh, yes, to those millions and millions of folks, Molotov Cocktails are HOT STUFF !

They also enjoy Western movies that are set in 1910 instead of 1875 because in 1910, the characters could have machine guns instead of just pistols and rifles!

People in the United States who go to the theaters to watch the likes of SCHINDLER'S LIST, OUT OF AFRICA, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, and THE IRON LADY are definitely in the minority.

So, when I say that people do not know what petrol is, I really mean it, and likewise for those who don't know that cars have bonnets.


0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

Hairy Scott, just because your vocabulary is not so large, and you don't want to learn any new words and phrases, e.g. "napalm", "kamikaze", "field-effect transistor", and "hydrodynamics" is no reason for you to try to insult people who know these things already.
Some of us have the philosophy of "Reach for the stars. You might not get there, but you will go a long way." Maybe you should become the first Scott to ride on an Ariane.


0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

Not sure where you get the idea that my vocabulary is not so large.
I am sure that my vocabulary far exceeds yours, as does my IQ, general knowledge, knowledge of English and its grammar, and my ability to deliver an argument, or express my point of view, succinctly and lucidly without being unduly verbose.

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse


Have you ever ventured outside of America?

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

Petrol has the meaning of oil products (petroleum jelly [a lubricant]) in the US ... not gasoline. Unless a person knows that the Brits note petrol insted of gas(oline), the a petro-bomb wouldn't make much sense.

A fire bomb would be understood. It is also a verb. One wontedly firebombs a house with a molotov cocktail!

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

Hairy Scot,

When you gripe about someone's use of a large number of words,
that is directly indicative of a lack of vocabulary of your own.
Why isn't this obvious to you?

When you gripe about the fine clothes that other people wear,
this implies that you don't have fine clothing of your own..

When you gripe about the fine autos that other people drive,
this implies that you don't have one of your own..

When you gripe about all of the people who have "X",
this implies that you don't have "X" of your own.
It is all quite logical.

The way to stay away from this kind of implications from reflecting on yourself is to remain silent on the subjects.

Then when you gripe that all you have is haggis to eat, then that implies....


0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

Scots who don't want to learn anything about, "If A, then B," about engineering, incl. chemical engineering and electronics, and about the history of Russians fighting the Nazis by using Molotov cocktails, and improving their vocabularies, have a clear destiny in life:

Becoming the first Scots to take a flight on an Ariane.
By the way, the Ariane doesn't have anywhere to sit on the inside, so you will have to cling onto the outside.
That could be a fine place from which to fling some Molotov cocktails, however!

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

Dear DAW,
In my 60+ years on this planet I have learned quite a bit about a wide range of subjects.
I will not bore you with a complete list, but history is on that list, especially the history around both WW1 and WW2.
In Scotland we toss cabers not Molotov Cocktails.
To spare the other users of this forum any more of your puerile rantings I will now declare this discussion closed and will ignore any further infantile calumnies.

Yours sincerely
A superior being.


0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

Hi, AnWulf, I whole-heartedly agree with you:

"Unless a person knows that the Brits note 'petrol' insted of gas(oline), the term 'petrol-bomb' wouldn't make much sense." This is also true. "A 'fire bomb' would be understood." (anywhere in the English-speaking world).

The situation regarding such flammable substances is actually more complicated. I will make a small table with the equivalents going left-right:
British American & Canadian
petrol gasoline (good for making Molotov cocktails!)
paraffin kerosine or jet fuel (!) a.k.a. JP-4 or JP-5 this substance flows well, and it
burns well in jet engines and in liquid-fueled rockets..
paraffin - a thick, gooey petroleum that is used to help preserve food in jars.
this can be burned - with a lot of trouble - but it is not nearlly as
flammable as gasoline and kerosine are.

petroleum jelly - similar to paraffin, but oilier and not so thick, used as a base
for ointments, as a lubricant, as a rust-inhibitor (when used to coat metals),
et cetera. This substance can also be applied directly to the skin or the lips as
a moisturizer.

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

The darned thing refused to do my table as I commanded it to. Walk the plank!

The situation regarding such flammable substances is actually more complicated. I will make a small table with the equivalents going left-right:

British ------------ American & Canadian

petrol ------------- gasoline (good for making Molotov cocktails!)
paraffin ------------kerosine** or jet fuel (!) a.k.a. JP-4 or JP-5 this substance flows well,
-----------------------and it burns well in jet engines and in liquid-fueled rockets, especially with
-----------------------liquid oxygen. Kerosine could be used to make Molotov cocktails, too.

-----------------------paraffin - a thick, gooey petroleum that is used to help preserve food in jars. This can be burned - with a lot of trouble - but it is not nearlly as flammable as gasoline and kerosine are. It is impossible to conceive of this paraffin as a jet fuel or a rocket fuel.

------------------------petroleum jelly - similar to paraffin, but oilier and not so thick, used as a
------------------------base for ointments, as a lubricant, as a rust-inhibitor (when used to coat ---------------------------metals), et cetera. This substance can also be applied directly to the skin
------------------------or the lips as a moisturizer.

**Due to a misprint, an online dictionary says to spell it "kerosine" OR "kerosine".
Oh, well, you can spell my name "Dale", or you can spell it "Dale". It makes no difference to me!

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

Definition: Scotland: a remote and isolated place in the North Atlantic that has much in common with West Virginia, Kentucky, Arkansas, southern Missouri, the Yukon Territory, Labrador, and the South Island of New Zealand.

The South Island of New Zealand: a place having much in common with Scotland, including cities and towns named "Dunedin" and millions and millions of sheep, ponies, and relics of the Ice Ages. including people.
D.A.W. .

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

I would like to express my regrets and offer my apologies to the other contributors on this thread for the rather over the top comments in some of my posts.
I'm afraid I let D.A.Wood get under my skin and lost my customary decorum.
Hopefully we can get back to reasoned debate.

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

Hairy Scot, I think you've been successfully trolled. (Not necessarily by an American.)

1 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

You could well be correct.

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

Perfect Pedant

Unaware of the world outside of the U.S.A. ?

Despite the fact that I specifically mentioned New Zealand, Labrador, and the Yukon Territory?

Let me list some other good places for Scots to go reside:
The Northwest Territory, Saskatchewan, Greenland, northern Norway, Siberia, and Tasmania.
Take a good supply of Molotov cocktails with you and use them to help keep yourself warm in the wintertime.

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

@D. A. Wood
"Despite the fact that I specifically mentioned New Zealand, Labrador, and the Yukon Territory? "

Probably read from the back of a cereal box.

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

Perfect Pedant

"Probably read from the back of a cereal box."

PROVE IT, and where did you get your master's degrees in mathematics and engineering from from? Doubtless you continue to count on your fingers and toes to do arithmentic.

If you do not wish to discuss anything about Molotov cocktails and jet fuel -- and how people should match their speeches to their audiences -- then shut up here and vamoose elsewhere to make rude and unfounded remarks about everything.

I continue to be amazed by people who wish to SHOOT THEIR MOUTHS OFF at people whom they know nothing about, rather than being respectful of people who might be better educated than they are. On the other hand, I have dealt with so many people who have Ph.D.s and/or multiple master's degrees in important fields that I am a lot more cautious about making unfounded statements.

Someone needs to puke on your lap. Be gone with you!

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

By the way, I contributed the whole topic of Molotov cocktails, petrol bombs, and the necessity of fitting the statements that one makes (in the public media) fit the language of one's audience -- or else have the TV networks and the newspapers expending the effort to explain oddball foreign expressions to the audience.

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

I recently complained to the source of an article about the terrible airline crash in the equatorial Atlantic. The journalist mentioned "B.E.A." without any explantation of that at all, and his editor let him get away with it.

In my e-mail to the Associate Press, I explained that for anyone who knows ANYTHING about international airline travel since about 1960, B.E.A. means "British European Airlines" -- unless explained otherwise. It makes no difference if B.E.A. doesn't exist anymore. We know what Pan-Am, TWA, and BOAC mean, too, and none of these is in business anymore.

I was amazed that I actually got an e-mail back from someone at the Associated Press.
He admtted to these facts:
1. In his department, the people really knew that B.E.A. = British European Airlines. (Surprised! was my reaction.)

2. The writers and editors really did have the oblgation to explaing what the new meaning of B.E.A. is, and they had been slackers in leaving it out.

3. His "B.E.A." is actually a French acronym for a 50-letter phrase that is the name of the branch of the French government that investigates aviation accidents
Aha, this made sense in the long run because the flight that crashed belonged to Air France. (The passenger flight was one between Rio de Janerio and Paris.)

In the United States, the name of the organization is much simpler, but in any news article it should be explained on first appearance like this:
NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board). This is very important to keep the reader informed.

In the United States, we have a prominent government acronym with two different meanings:

FHA = "Farmer's Home Adminstration", and it helps people get financing for their houses.
FHA = "Federal Highway Administration", and this obviously has jurisdiction over the Federal highways in the United States.

It is a salient fact that one needs to explain which one you mean!

D.A.W. .

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse


Please take a look at the thread on acronyms.


1 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

I think that I should put this on my list of "Things to Do", but it will have to be at the bottom of the page -- below many more.

The Federal Government of the United States is something like the Center of the Universe for acronyms, and especially if we also include all of the acronyms of the Department of Defense (DOD) (and the four branches of military services), NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Federal Communiction Commission (FCC), and the Department of Energy (DOE) - which is in charge of making, recycling, and destroying nuclear weapons. Just starting on acronyms..
Acronyms, acronyms, acronyms, acronyms, acronyms!.
USA = U.S. Army, USN = U.S. Navy, USAF = US Air Force, USMC = US Marine Corps, USCG = US Coast Guard.
Some wags have suggested that the United States is the only country whose Navy has its own army (the Marine Corps) which has its own air force -- many squadrons of high-performance fighter and attack planes (mostly F/A-18 Hornets, but AV-8B Harriers, too), plus squadrons of cargo planes.
It all does sound rather odd.

We could probably compile a huge book of OBSOLETE Federal acronyms, and I will give you some examples of those: ADC, BIA, BP, CCC, GP, HEW, ICC, JAN, SAC, TAC, USPO, WPA,...
and fictitious ones like the OSI (Office of Scientific Intelligence) of the TV series "The Six Million Dollar Man" and "The Bionic Woman".
By the way, "GP" means "General Purpose", and that might have been the origin of the word "Jeep". There is some dispute over this. .

I do not know if "JAN" still exists because that was one that was older than the Air Force. It was frequently used in electronics, weapons, and other things that both of the services could use because JAN = "Joint Army - Navy". "JAN" was used for a long time after the Air Force was created (we used it during the 1980s), but has it vanished from use now?


0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

To return this to topic, the term "Molotov cocktail" comes from the Russo-Finnish War, not WWII. The poorly equipped Finns invented them and used them, quite successfully, as anti-tank weapons. They gave them the name sarcastically.

3 votes Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

This about the origin of the name "Molotov Cocktail" is not even something worth arguing about or discussing. There was a HUGE amount of blood spilled all the way from Finland on the north to Romania and Bulgaria on the south, and also in the Far East between the Japanese and the Chinese during 1937 - 45. Just put some things into perspective. Things are much different in 2012 when British hoodlums were playing with bottles of petrol and commiting crimes of arson with their Molotov Cocktails.

1. There was more than one Russo-Finnish War, but they were very close together.

2. For all practical purposes, the wars between Finland and Russia were part of World War II. Furthermore, Finland was an ally of Nazi Germany beginning in 1941. At the same time that the German Army invaded the Sovier Union, so did the Finnish Army.

3. All of this overlapped with the war between Japan and China that began in 1937. That war is also universally considered to be part of World War II.

4. Some of you Europeans have the odd notion that World War II began when Nazi Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939. Well, it had already begun with the invasion of China by Japan and with the invasion of Finland by the USSR.

Japan had already taken over Manchuria from China, and it had installed a puppet kingdom in Manchuria, supposedly ruled by the last emperor of Japan, but he and his underlings really did whatever the Japanese commanded them to do. Then in 1937, the Japanese Army used Manchuria as its base in the Asian mainland to invade and overrun the northeastern quadrant of the Republic of China. The Japanese Army overran Peking, too. World War means world war. It would be an exercise in hair-splitting to say that the Japanese invasion was part of it, but the Russian invasion of Finland was not. The fact that Nazi Germany overran Czechoslovakia in 1938-39 was part of the Big War, too, and Germany's taking over of Austria in 1938 was a factor.

It it published, but not so widely known, that in 1941, Sweden cooperated with Nazi German (an admitted mistake by the Swedish overnment) by allowing a large number of German troops to cross northern Sweden from occupied Norway to Finland, an ally of Finland. Then the German troops joined the Finnish Army in invading northern Russia at the same time that the Wehrmacht was overunning eastern Poland and then plunging into the Ukraine.

The Wehrmacht had other allies in that invasion, ones from other countries that disliked the Soviet Union and the Russians: the Hungarian Army, the Romanian Army, the Bulgarian Army, and part of the Italian Army. For example, there was hatred between the Hungarians and the Russians that went back hundreds of years, and the ruler of Hungary in 1941 was quite happy to join the Nazis in invading the Ukraine and Russia.

By the way, the prefix "anti" is never hyphenated onto anything, no matter what some Europeans might think. Look at all of these:
antiaircraft, antibacterial, antibiotic, anticancer, anticlerical, anticommunist, antigravity, antimatter, antimissile missile, antiparticle, antipodes, antisubmarine warfare, antiscientific, antitank weapon, antivirus, and antiwar.

Good references point out to us that these could HYPOTHETICALLY be cascaded at will such as in antiantianticommunist.and antiantimissile missile.
Likewise for countercountercountercounterrevolutionary. .
Believe it or not, there is a logic to such things.


0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

I recently heard a news report on a major TV network in the U.S. about a group of hoodlums here who had been committing arson with bottles of gasoline and burning wicks. The reporter called them "MOLOTOV COCKTAILS", loud and clear. The reporter did not use the words "gasoline", "bottle", "incendiary", or even "fire", I hasten to add, lest anyone jump to any false conclusions.

So much for the notion, raised here earlier, that most Americans do not know what a Molotov Cocktail is. It is a common expression and quite widely understood.


0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

25 references to "petrol bomb" in the New York Times, 31 in the Washington Post. Perhaps Americans are better educated than you assume.

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

It has become all too easy for journalists to simply MAKE COPIES of what they get from overseas without paying any attention to what they say or what they mean. It happens all the time now, too, because their editors are either so overworked or overly lazy, so they do not give the journalists any supervision.

For example, a boy in New Zealand fell off the balcony of a 10 story apartment building, and then he landed in a "car park" -- but the concept of a "car park" is completely unknown in North America. Furthermore, there was no one word in the article that told us what a "car park" is.
Could that be a place for buying and selling cars?


0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

Doh.... there you go again, making wild assertions: "the concept of a "car park" is completely unknown in North America."

Along with confusing "US" and "America", and now "North America", you seem fond of the idea that certain words are unknown in the US. Might I refer you to this website: ?

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

To: Jeremy Wheeler
Once again, you go flying off on tangents. Where is the logic in that?
What is the point of it?

Now, I have to tell you what the New Zealanders were really writing about.
It took a good deal of effort to find out, but that boy landed in a PARKING LOT.
The correct term in North America, yes, because PARKING LOT is the name for the darned thing in the United States, and in Canada, and in the part of Mexico where lots of people speak English as their second language.

That PARKING LOT in New Zealand had a canvas covering suspended over part of it, and fortunately the boy crashed into (and through) that canvas, which saved his life. All of this happened near Wellington, but still the boy was hurt badly enough that he had to be put into a helicopter and flown to the large hospital in Auckland that is quipped to care for victims with serious injuries.

PARKING LOT, PARKING LOT, PARKING LOT. The editor in the United States could have clarified things for everyone here on this continent by simply putting this term into the article.

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

Tangents? Not at all. I merely quoted your assertion and disproved it with a website link. I notice that you have ignored it.

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

This is the first time I've responded to a posting on 'Pain in the English' (see above, 9th July). I'm surprised at the various directions the conversation has taken.

Whilst agreeing with the original idea (that a broadcaster should take account of what their audience may or may not know) I was mostly interested in the reference to 'petrol bomb' as being 'slang'. I don't think that this would be the correct term for something that is standard English in various parts of the world.

I would accept 'petrol bomb' as being 'a term that might be unfamiliar to US audiences', but not slang.

I suppose we might need to discuss what is meant by 'slang' ...

1 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

"Jeremy Wheeler: Tangents? Not at all. I merely quoted your assertion and disproved it with a website link. I notice that you have ignored it."

Wheeler, you do not know what a tangent is, a proof is, a disproof is, or much else.

Your tangent was that the kind of a "car park" that you mentioned is TOTALLY different from the kind of a "car park" that they have in New Zealand, Australia, etc.
There is no befit or logic in doing that. It is just as if someone said something about the Maria of the Moon, and you interjected, "Oh, I known lots of women named Maria." Those are different things.
At one time, it was thought that there were seas on the Moon, and the Latin word for "sea" is "mare". Then, its plural is "maria".
That's the tangent: going off onto a different subject. .

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

"Petrol bomb" is slang in that it is not a bomb at all. These do not explode, and they have been used by criminals to set dangerous fires..

On the other hand, it is possible for criminals and terroists to make real bombs out of substances like ammonium nitrate (especially when combined with fuel oil), nitroglycerine, and black powder. Ammonium nitrate was used as in explosive BOMB by a criminal in Oklahoma City to level a large building and kill scores of people.

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

North America = a familiar term for a continent that includes two major countries, the United States of America and Canada, plus several of their neighbors such as Mexico, the Bahamas, Cuba, and Hispaniola.

See also the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD), which includes just Canada and the United States as its members, but which benefits most of the rest, too. For example, if the Bahamas or Greenland came under air attack, the United States and Canada would surely come to their defense.

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

Bomb: a hollow projectile containing explosive, incendiary, or other destructive substance.

I'm guessing that as you don't seem to agree with this definition that you think that a smoke bomb is slang, too.

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

I hope that NORAD would check with the Bahamas' head of state (Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II) before doing any bombing...

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

Jeremy Wheeler is such a moron:
"I hope that NORAD would check with the Bahamas' head of state (Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II) before doing any bombing..."

NORAD really is an Air Defense Command. Its sole mission is to investigate aerial intruders and to shoot them down, if necessary.
NORAD doesn't have any bombers, and it never has had any. What fantasy told you that it might? Too much ale and rum?

NORAD has frequently investigated Soviet and Russian warplanes coming close to the air space of Canada and Alaska, and off the east and west coasts of Canada and the United States, but NORAD has never had to shoot at any of them -- they have always responded to warnings to fly away.
Soviet and Russian "BEAR" bombers have made lots of nonstop flights from northern Russia and Cuba, and then several days later reversed their flight path back to Russia. Just as long as the Russians/Soviets stayed well offshore in international airspace, the Amercan and Canadian aircrewmen took to waving at them and showing them interesting posters. The Russians/Soviets replied in kind.
What the Soviets were actually doing was snooping on the American and Canadian radar coverage off the East Coast. American planes do the same in the Far East while flying back and forth between Alaska, Japan, and South Korea.

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

If the Soviets/Russians ever launched a bombing attack that threatened the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Greenland, etc., you can be sure that the Americans and the Canadians would jump to their defense in fighter planes.
When it comes to Greenland and Iceland, those are NATO allies (since Greenland belongs to Denmark), hence the NATO mutual-defense pact would come into effect. The U.S. Air Force used to keep a squadron, or two, of fighter planes based on Iceland, and if they were ever needed, they could be sent back in a matter of days. Also, Greenland is within flying range of the fighters of the Canadian Forces, so help would be immediate. The U.S. also has an Air Base at Thule, Greenland, but no planes based there now. The main mission of the Thule base is radar coverage extending over the Arctic Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean.

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

As always you miss (deliberately?) my point. NORAD is concerned with threats to the US and Canada, primarily, and my point was about its role in dealing with an attack on a sovereign state whose head of state is Queen Elizabeth.

I also note that you ignored my question about smoke bombs.

Lastly, you have a tendency to proffer personal abuse when you respond and whilst I can't force you to stop it you might want to consider how it affects your credibility.

2 votes Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

i know petrol is a liquid; not a gas...but i call petrol "gas" anyway. the phrase "petrol bomb" is dull and witless. the phrase "molotov cocktail" is gritty. wkipedia says finns coined the phrase "molotov cocktail" and used them against the russians.

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

what really burns me up is that molotov cocktails are both flammable and inflammable.

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

Your Comment