Also spelled "Archy".
In the early part of the First World War, RFC pilots nicknamed the German AAA "Archie", after a pilot or observer (whose name is unknown). To show his contempt for the AAA
, he would lean back, put his feet up on the edge of the cockpit, and sing "Archibald, Certainly Not!", a popular music hall song in which a woman staves off an overzealous sailor who wishes to consort with her.
(The example is kind of long, sorry)
"I had hardly got control of myself when I was horribly startled by an explosion which seemed only a few feet in my rear. I didn't even have time to look around, for at the same instant the concussion caught my plane and I began to roll and toss much worse than I had ever realized was possible. The very terror of my situation drove away all thoughts of sickness. In the midst of it several more shocks tipped my machine and repeated sounds of nearby explosions smote my ears. No matter what happened, I must look around to see what awful fate was overtaking me.
"All that I could see were four or five black puffs of smoke some distance behind and below my tail.
"I knew what they were right enough. They were " Archie "! They were eighteen- pound shells of shrapnel which were being fired at me by the Germans. And the battery which was firing them was only too well known to me. We had all been told about the most accurate battery that allied aviators had met in this sector...And probably they had quite a few more of those shells on hand which they were contemplating popping up at me...
"...Little by little my alarm passed away. I began to watch the course of the black puffs behind me. I grew accustomed to the momentary disturbance of the se: after each explosion and almost mechanically I met the lift of the machine with the gentle pressure of my joystick, which righted my Nieuport and smoothed it; course. And a rush of happiness came over me with the assurance that I was neither going to be sick nor was I any longer in any terror of the bursting shells. By Jove, I had passed through the ordeal! A feeling of elation possessed me as I realized that my long dreamed and long dreaded noviciate was over.. "
-'Fighting the Flying Circus', by Eddie Rickenbacker, 1919.