Today it seems common to refer to both World Wars with the terms "World War 1" and "World War 2" pretty much everywhere. (in the respective translation of course)

But I recently realized that this kind of notation only makes sense when there is more than one WW to refer to. Surely WW1 was not used before WW2, as nobody was hoping for another event like this.

What was the common name for WW1 during the war and in the period before WW2? If there were different names used by the different parties, what were they?

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    I realize there are the network sites linguistics.SE and english.SE, but I am a little more interested in the historical context so I am giving it a try here. – magnattic Jul 22 '14 at 14:25
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    pretty well known fact: The Great War, but to add an interesting fun fact, it was finally ended in 1958, since they forgot to invite Andorra for the peace conference. – CsBalazsHungary Jul 22 '14 at 14:30
  • Well, I guess I had a serious knowledge gap there, never heard that name. Thanks! – magnattic Jul 22 '14 at 14:43
  • It was spectacular running into "The First World War" in a piece written in 1935. – Joshua Nov 21 '18 at 20:52

In France they called it "The Great War" (La Grande Guerre), pacifist veterans called it "La der' des der'" (The Last of the Last (Wars)).

In England it was called the World War, or the Great War.

I think the German diplomats were the first to call it a World War (Weltkrieg), before it even began. I don't know of any other names for it in German.

i know that "satellite" wars have their own names in some countries, like in the Baltic states (where the fighting lasted until 1920) and maybe in Turkey and in Greece.

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