Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 121

Thread: The exact difference between a soldier and a warrior

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    2,223

    The exact difference between a soldier and a warrior

    I'm a random dictionary browser, and one thing I notice about certain historical figures is the description of "soldier". It often means military leaders of various types.
    Of course the term "warrior" clicks in, too. What's the exact difference between the two? Many medieval kings were soldiers, but were they necessarily warriors?
    Of course, modern soldiers usually don't fight in person; even certain ancient soldiers aren't known as great warriors.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Northwest Washington State
    Posts
    2,573
    My opinon - a warrior fights on his own, and engages the enemy. A soldier works as a member of an organization, and may never encounter the enemy. I'm sure there is more detail to follow from the more erudite among us.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    The Great NorthWet
    Posts
    7,845
    I was a soldier for a couple of years, and there was even a war on. But since my primary "weapon" was a typewriter, I certainly wasn't a warrior.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    18,449
    It's possible to be a soldier without having fighting as primary task.
    It's possible to be a warrior without rules and leaders.
    __________________________________________________
    Reductionist and proud of it.

    Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. Benjamin Franklin
    Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. Clarence Darrow
    A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. Mark Twain

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    9,212
    Inclusa:

    The best answer I've ever heard was...

    One on one warriors almost always to kill soldiers.

    In groups, soldiers almost always kill warriors.

    I believe this was established by Julius Ceasar during the Gaul Campaigns.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    The Great NorthWet
    Posts
    7,845
    What Don said. Custer was a soldier. Crazy Horse was a warrior. Custer lost the battle, but the Indians lost the war.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Olympia, WA
    Posts
    27,722
    I think the difference between the two is as much one of feeling as one of dictionary definitions. "Warrior" feels like a more primitive word.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    The beautiful north coast (Ohio)
    Posts
    40,052
    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I think the difference between the two is as much one of feeling as one of dictionary definitions. "Warrior" feels like a more primitive word.
    I would agree. I also note, at least in the US, that in recent years the term "warrior" has taken on some connotations of honor or nobility. So, a soldier that did something particularly brave or noble might be referred to as "a warrior", particularly in writing (like if there was a news story about him or her). But I can't see chatting with someone and asking them if they were "a warrior" in Iraq.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Olympia, WA
    Posts
    27,722
    Oh, I'm imagining the look on Graham's face if you asked him that, and it's hilarious.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    14,121
    The difference between a soldier and a warrior is Blackadder.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    The beautiful north coast (Ohio)
    Posts
    40,052
    It is a little off topic, but on another forum, someone posted this story.
    Kennie Namba, who was widely admired for his service in World War II and his noteworthy postwar life, died Monday of complications of Lewy body dementia and Parkinson's disease. He was 86.

    He was an American citizen who was interned with his family during World War II when the government rounded up West Coast residents of Japanese heritage. From an internment camp, he joined the U.S. Army and was wounded in battle. When he came home, he waged a legal battle that resulted in the Oregon Supreme Court striking down the law that permitted the state to seize his family's property. And he lived a long and public life as a speaker and a volunteer.
    Kennie Namba was a warrior.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    2,223
    Kennie Namba was a warrior because of which criteria?
    Of course many generals were referred as "great soldiers"; a private is often called a "common soldier".
    OK, kings and emperors who were great warriors or military leaders were often called "warrior king" or "warrior emperor".

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    4,863
    tell a Marine that he's a soldier and he will probably get pretty annoyed..

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    11,057
    Based on a reading of Herodotus, I was under the impression that the difference between Soldier and Warrior is a bit like the difference between Job and Career. (Like all analogies, this one should not be taken too far.)

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    4,411
    From an etymological standpoint, a soldier gets paid for what they do ("sold" - in German still the term for a soldier's wages. Urban legend says it comes from salt, which was part of a Roman soldier's pay, but I am not 100% sure on that). A warrior does not.


  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    New Haven, Connecticut
    Posts
    7,129
    Quote Originally Posted by jokergirl View Post
    From an etymological standpoint, a soldier gets paid for what they do ("sold" - in German still the term for a soldier's wages. Urban legend says it comes from salt, which was part of a Roman soldier's pay, but I am not 100% sure on that). A warrior does not.

    Until recently -- like the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- I had only heard the term "warrior" applied to historical figures and to an age cohort in certain tribes, such as the Masai. As for the exact difference? "Soldiers" are always members of a hierarchical, organized group with a formal disciplinary code and regular (at least on paper) pay.
    Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Northwest Washington State
    Posts
    2,573
    Again, my take - warriors engage the enemy (see Marines, above). Soldiers may not, while still supporting the warriors (who may also be soldiers). In an army, many soldiers, fewer warriors.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    496
    Quote Originally Posted by Inclusa View Post
    I'm a random dictionary browser, and one thing I notice about certain historical figures is the description of "soldier". It often means military leaders of various types.
    Of course the term "warrior" clicks in, too. What's the exact difference between the two? Many medieval kings were soldiers, but were they necessarily warriors?
    Of course, modern soldiers usually don't fight in person; even certain ancient soldiers aren't known as great warriors.
    I see their role as overlapping, but not synonymous.

    Quote Originally Posted by LookingSkyward View Post
    My opinon - a warrior fights on his own, and engages the enemy. A soldier works as a member of an organization, and may never encounter the enemy. I'm sure there is more detail to follow from the more erudite among us.
    Here's my take:

    Soldier - fights as part of an organization. May or may not be a warrior. May or may not have great followership skills. May or may not have great leadership skills.

    Warrior - great fighter. Usually has experience as a soldier. May or may not have great followership skills. May or may not have great leadership skills.

    Military Leader - fights as part of an organization. Has good followership skills. Has great leadership skills. Usually a good, if not great warrior.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    496
    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    "Warrior" feels like a more primitive word.
    Yet the greatest warriors prior to the modern era were among the most civilized human beings. Indeed, the art of war has always been a costly affair, and only the elite could afford to hone their warrior skills, along with their skills in leadership, diplomacy, politics, and commerce.

    Our modern view has largely, and falsely cast a diminutive view on the term "warrior," usually forgetting the significant social, economic, and military resources behind what some consider to be the most noble of professions, not for what they'll do as a last resort, but for the great lengths they'll go to avoid such last resorts.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    The beautiful north coast (Ohio)
    Posts
    40,052
    Quote Originally Posted by Inclusa View Post
    Kennie Namba was a warrior because of which criteria?
    In the current usage that I described in post 8. Because his nobility of spirt that he showed, by serving for a country he loved, even after that country had done he and his family a wrong, and for the rich life he lived after.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    location
    Posts
    11,557
    There are many ways to sort them out, some of which are mutually exclusive, but maybe this one works:

    Soldiers are technicians. Warriors are Celebrities (or are trying to be).
    Soldiers tend to fight for tangibles, Warriers tend to fight for intangibles (champion).

    When both soldiers and warriers both existed at the same time as different classes, the difference was clear:
    Soldiers carried Warriors to their fights.

    It should also be noted that a new word is being used nowadays: Fighter. What does that mean in relation to the other two? Perhaps it's any one, trained or not, who is an irregular combatant, or perhaps even regulars too.
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    13,886
    The appellation 'warrior' adds a certain class to the more mundane business of killing those who don't agree with you.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    14,614
    Warriors fight. Soldiers war.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    The best answer I've ever heard was...

    One on one warriors almost always to kill soldiers.

    In groups, soldiers almost always kill warriors.

    I believe this was established by Julius Ceasar during the Gaul Campaigns.
    Yup, good answer.
    "Words that make questions may not be questions at all."
    - Neil deGrasse Tyson, answering loaded question in ten words or less
    at a 2010 talk MCed by Stephen Colbert.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    2,223
    A "warrior king" is like a military leader and a warrior combined? Such as Richard I, Edward I, Edward III of England, Charles XII of Sweden, etc?

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Denmark
    Posts
    18,449
    Quote Originally Posted by Inclusa View Post
    A "warrior king" is like a military leader and a warrior combined? Such as Richard I, Edward I, Edward III of England, Charles XII of Sweden, etc?
    The guys that led from the front, yes.
    __________________________________________________
    Reductionist and proud of it.

    Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. Benjamin Franklin
    Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. Clarence Darrow
    A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. Mark Twain

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    3,222
    Quote Originally Posted by DoggerDan View Post
    Yet the greatest warriors prior to the modern era were among the most civilized human beings.
    Having lots of money, power, and wearing fancy clothes does not make one civilized.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    New Haven, Connecticut
    Posts
    7,129
    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    Having lots of money, power, and wearing fancy clothes does not make one civilized.
    It does if you define "civilized" to mean "has lots of money and power and wears fancy clothes." Most warrior castes were incredibly brutal to people they did not consider their equals. Look at the way the Spartan citizens treated the helots or how English & Welsh archers were treated by the French knights . The latter did not mutilate the English knights.
    Last edited by swampyankee; 2012-Mar-14 at 09:34 PM. Reason: clarification
    Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    9,313
    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    The best answer I've ever heard was...
    One on one warriors almost always to kill soldiers.
    In groups, soldiers almost always kill warriors.
    I believe this was established by Julius Ceasar during the Gaul Campaigns.
    What makes this a bit difficult is that the chance Julius said this in English is fairly remote, so I'm not sure how the distinction in Latin two millennia ago would relate to the definition in modern day English. And I don't know Latin well enough to be able to judge!
    As above, so below

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    9,313
    Quote Originally Posted by jokergirl View Post
    From an etymological standpoint, a soldier gets paid for what they do ("sold" - in German still the term for a soldier's wages. Urban legend says it comes from salt, which was part of a Roman soldier's pay, but I am not 100% sure on that). A warrior does not.
    I think you're confusing two things. Soldier comes from a Roman coin (solidus), which comes from the word "solid." You are probably thinking of the word "salary," which (not urban legend) does indeed derive from "salt," like other words such as "salad" and "sauce."
    As above, so below

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    9,313
    What thing that comes to mind is that warrior is a cooler sounding word. I could easily imagine a sports team called the Wisconsin Warriors, but somehow the Seattle Soldiers falls flat to me. It sounds like a team that trudges forward, with the players never complaining about the coach's decisions.
    As above, so below

Similar Threads

  1. The Princess and The Warrior question
    By Musashi in forum Off-Topic Babbling
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 2005-Aug-17, 06:16 AM
  2. The galactic soldier and the lowest bidder.
    By X-COM in forum Small Media at Large
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 2005-Apr-19, 09:26 PM
  3. MySoldier: Be a Pen-Pal to a US Soldier!
    By Vega115 in forum Off-Topic Babbling
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 2004-Dec-08, 01:51 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
here
The forum is sponsored in-part by: