For those who are romantically inclined to celebrate Valentine’s Day this weekend, skip the tired “Be Mine” cards and really woo your significant other with some historic, bawdy acronyms.
Drawing on inspiration from World War II letters, let your partner know how you really feel with acronyms such as MALAYA: My Ardent Lips Await Your Arrival or, if you’re feeling bold, BURMA: Be Undressed/Upstairs Ready My Angel.
During the war, “So many letters were being written, they were taking up space in much needed wartime transport,” Judy Barrett Litoff, a history professor at Bryant University, told HISTORY. “In order to address this problem, what the government did was encourage Americans to write V-mails.” Written on one side of an 8-by-11½-inch card, soldiers and their loved ones got around the new size restrictions by using inventive acronyms to get their ardor across.
While wartime restrictions no longer apply, if putting pen to paper to express your feelings is difficult for you, these handy acronyms are sure to do the trick.
If you are feeling poetic, however, and you want to eschew pithy messages, you can take a page out of soldier Chris Barker’s book and skip the acronyms altogether and go straight for the direct approach. Sailing to Athens on October 27, 1944, Barker told his partner, Bessie, in no uncertain terms exactly what he wished to do to her in this NSFW letter. (Page 320. You’re welcome.)
If your gal or guy is anything like Bessie — who wrote back “Darling, I have no complaints about your letters, I am too happy that it is my body that you want, that occupies your thoughts”— then your heartfelt letter will be well received. Who knows, they might even be CHINA: Come Home I’m N*ked Already.
And for those who would rather be gagged with a spoon than celebrate cupid’s day, perhaps a “Dear John” letter will soothe your cold, black heart.
If you’re looking for further inspiration, here’s a helpful cheat sheet:
FRANCE: Friendship Remains And Never Can End
ITALY: I Trust And Love You
HOLLAND: Hope Our Love Lasts And Never Dies
SWALK: Sealed With A Loving Kiss
MALAYA: My Ardent Lips Await Your Arrival
BURMA: Be Undressed/Upstairs Ready My Angel
NORWICH: (k)Nickers Off Ready When I Come Home
VENICE: Very Excited Now I Caress Everywhere
CHINA: Come Home I’m N*ked Already