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the walking wounded
1. Casualties, especially soldiers, whose injuries are not life-threatening and do not impair their ability to walk. The transporter was filled with the dead and dying, so the walking wounded had to travel beside it on foot. Help all the walking wounded to get as far from the scene of the accident as possible while we attend to those with more severe injuries.
2. People suffering from physical or psychological injuries or ailments who nevertheless carry out their daily lives as normal. Our country is filled with the walking wounded who survived that horrible war. Our organization's goal is to provide assistance and compassion to the walking wounded who have been dealing with severe psychological trauma in total secrecy.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. n. soldiers who are injured but still able to walk. (Standard English.) Many of the walking wounded helped with the more seriously injured cases.
2. n. a person who is injured—mentally or physically—and still able to go about daily life. The outpatient clinic was filled with the walking wounded.
3. n. stupid people in general. Most of network programming seems to be aimed at the walking wounded of our society.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Injured individuals who are of relatively low priority for care, that is, do not need a stretcher or immediate treatment. The term originated in the mid-1900s and alluded to victims of war, earthquake, or some other disaster. In time, it was being used figuratively. For example, Reuters correspondent Nick Zieminski wrote, “Many workers around the world have given up hopes of advancing in their jobs. . . . Such ‘walking wounded’ workers are increasingly exchanging ambition for job stability. . . .” (March 16, 2010). An even looser usage is that of James Lee Burke in The Glass Rainbow (2010), “His face looked poached and twenty years older than his age. ‘Stop staring at me like that,’ he said. . . . ‘You stop acting like I’m the walking wounded.’”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer