Origin of leatherneck

First recorded in 1910–15; from the leather-lined collar which was formerly part of the uniform
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for leatherneck

Historical Examples of leatherneck

  • The leatherneck ran up to them, blurted out his story, gazed at them imploringly and thrust the puppies into their hands.

    The Silent Readers

    William D. Lewis

  • It showed the utter unselfishness of the American doughboy, gob, and leatherneck.

British Dictionary definitions for leatherneck


  1. slang a member of the US Marine Corps

Word Origin for leatherneck

from the custom of facing the neckband of their uniform with leather
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for leatherneck

"U.S. Marine," 1914, Navy slang, from leather + neck (n.). So called for the leather collars of their early uniforms; earlier in British use (1890) as a sailor's term for a soldier.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper