Big Bertha


Definition of Big Bertha

1 : a German gun of large bore or of long range used in World War I
2a : something large or cumbersome of its kind used especially of machines or tools
b : something effective at long range used especially of cameras and photographic lenses

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History and Etymology for Big Bertha

approximate translation of German dicke Bertha, literally, fat Bertha, after Frau Bertha Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach †1957 proprietress of the Krupp Works, Essen, Germany, where during the First World War a particularly celebrated and effective 42-centimeter mortar was made

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Cite this Entry

“Big Bertha.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2020.

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