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GM, 694 posts
Welcome to Adventure!
Sun 1 Mar 2009
The Internet Guide to Jazz Age Slang
Slang of the 1920's
Ab-so-lute-ly - affirmative
All Wet - describes an erroneous idea or individual, as in, "he's all wet."
And How - I strongly agree!
Applesauce- an expletive same as horsefeathers, As in "Ah applesauce!"
Attaboy - well done!; also Attagirl!
Baby - sweetheart. Also denotes something of high value or respect.
Balled Up - confused, messed up
Baloney - nonsense!
Bank's Closed - no kissing or making out - i.e. - "Sorry, Mac, the bank's closed."
Bearcat - a hot-blooded or fiery girl
Beat it - scam or get lost
Beat one's gums - idle chatter
Bee's Knees - An extraordinary person, thing, idea; the ultimate
Beef - a complaint or to complain
Beeswax - business, i.e. None of your beeswax."
Bell bottom - a sailor
Berries - That which is attractive or pleasing; similar to bee's knees, As in "It's the berries."
Bible Belt - Area in the South and Midwest where Fundamentalism flourishes
Big Cheese - The most important or influential person; boss. Same as big shot
Big six - a strong man; from auto advertising, for the new and powerful; six cylinder engines
Bimbo - a tough guy
Bird - general term for a man or woman, sometimes meaning "odd," i.e. "What a funny old bird."
Bitched it -- Made a mistake
Blind Date - going out with someone you do not know
Bluenose - An excessively puritanical person, a prude, Creator of "the Blue Nozzle Curse."
Bootleg - illegal liquor
Breezer - an convertible car
Bronx Cheer - A loud spluttering noise, used to indicate disapproval. Same as raspberry
Bull - (1) a policeman or law-enforcement officer including FBI (2) nonsense (3) to chat idly, to exaggerate
Bull Session - Male talkfest, gossip, stories of sexual exploits
Bum's rush - ejection by force from an establishment
Bump Off - To murder, To kill
Butt me - I'll take a cigarette
Caper - a criminal act or robbery
Carry a Torch - To have a crush on someone
Cash - a kiss
Cash or check? - Do you kiss now or later?
Cat's Meow - Something splendid or stylish; similar to bee's knees; The best or greatest, wonderful.
Cat's Pajamas - Same as cat's meow
Chassis - the female body
Cheese 'n Rice! -- Jesus Christ for those that are afraid to go to hell for using his name in vain.
Cheaters - Eyeglasses
Check - kiss me later
Ciggy - cigarette
Clam - a dollar
Copacetic - Wonderful, fine, all right
Crush - An infatuation
Daddy - a young woman's boyfriend or lover, especially if he's rich
Dame - a female
Dapper - a Flapper's dad
Darb - An excellent person or thing (as in "the Darb" - a person with money who can be relied on to pay the check)
Dead soldier - an empty bear bottle
Deb - an debutant
Dick - a private investigator
Dogs - feet
Doll - an attractive woman
Dolled up - dressed up
Don't know from nothing - don't have any information
Don't take any wooden nickels - Don't do anything stupid
Double-cross - to cheat, stab in the back
Dough - money
Drugstore Cowboy - a guy that hangs around on a street corner trying to pick up girls
Dry up - shut up, get lost
Ducky - very good
Dumb Dora - a stupid female
Earful - enough
Edge - intoxication, a buzz. i.e. "I've got an edge."
Egg - a person who lives the big life
Fall Guy - Victim of a frame
Fire extinguisher - a chaperone
Fish -(1) a college freshman
(2) a first timer in prison
Flat Tire - A dull witted, insipid, disappointing date. Same as pill, pickle, drag, rag, oilcan
Flivver - a Model T; after 1928, could mean any old broken down car
Flapper - A stylish, brash, hedonistic young woman with short skirts & shorter hair
Fly boy - a glamorous term for an aviator
Frame - To give false evidence , to set up someone
Gams - A woman's legs
Get a wiggle on - get a move on, get going
Giggle Water - An intoxicating beverage; alcohol
Gin Mill - An establishment where hard liquor is sold; bar
Glad rags - "going out on the town" clothes
Gold Digger - A woman who associates with or marries a man for his wealth
Goofy - in love
Hair of the Dog - a shot of alcohol
Handcuff - an engagement ring
Hard Boiled - a tough, strong guy
Hayburner - (1) a gas guzzling car (2) a horse one loses money on
Heebie-Jeebies - The jitters
High-Hat - To snub
Hit on all sixes - to perform 100 per cent; as "hitting on all six cyclinders"
Hooch - Bootleg liquor
Hood - hoodlum
Hoofer - Dancer
Horsefeathers - an expletive ; same usage as applesauce
Hotsy - Totsy - Pleasing
It - Sex appeal
Iron - a motorcycle
Jack - money
Jake - OK, as in , "Everything is Jake."
Jalopy - Old car
Jane - any female
Java - coffee
Jitney - a car employed as a private bus. Fare was usually five cents; also called a "nickel"
Joe - coffee
John - a toilet
Joint - an establishment
Juice Joint - a speakeasy
Joint - A club, usually selling alcohol
Keen - Attractive or appealing
Kisser - Mouth
Left holding the bag - (1) to be cheated out of one's fair share (2) to be blamed for something
Level with me - be honest
Line - Insincere flattery
Live wire - a lively person
Middle Aisle - To marry
Mrs. Grundy - A priggish or extremely tight-laced person
Moll - A gangster's girl
Neck - Kissing with passion
Nifty - great, excellent
"Now you're on the trolley!" - Now you've got it, now you're right!
Nobody Home - Describes some one who is dumb
Nuts! -- Damn (or shit)
On the lam - fleeing from police
On the level - legitimate, honest
On the up and up - on the level
Orchid - an expensive item
Ossified - a drunk person
Owl - a person who's out late
Palooka (1) a below-average or average boxer (2) a social outsider, from the comic strip character Joe Palooka
Pet - Same as neck, but more so
Piker - (1) a cheapskate (2) a coward
Pill - (1) a teacher (2) an unlikable person
Pinch - To arrest
Pipe down - stop talking
Pushover - A person easily convinced or seduced
Putting on the Ritz - after the Ritz hotel in Paris; doing something in high style [up]
Rag-a-muffin - a dirty or disheveled individual
Razz- to make fun of
Real McCoy - The genuine article
Ritzy - Elegant (from the hotel)
Rubes - money or dollars
Sap - a fool
Says you - a reaction of disbelief
Scram - Ask someone to leave immediately
Sheba - A woman with sex appeal (from the move Queen of Sheba) or (e.g. Clara Bow)
Sheik - A man with sex appeal (from the Valentino movies)
Shiv - a knife
Sinker - a doughnut
Speakeasy - An illicit bar selling bootleg liquor
Spifflicated - Drunk. The same as canned, corked, tanked, primed, scrooched, jazzed, zozzled, plastered, owled, embalmed, lit, potted, ossified or fried to the hat
Spiffy - An elegant appearance
Spoon - to neck, or at least talk of love
Struggle Buggy - the backseat of a car. A parent's worst nightmare
Stuck On - Having a crush on
Swanky - Ritzy
Swell - Wonderful. Also: a rich man
Take for a Ride - To drive off with someone in order to bump them off
Tin Pan Alley - the music industry in New York, located between 48th and 52nd street
Tomato - a female
Torpedo - A hired gun
Upchuck - To vomit when one has drunk too much
Wet Blanket - a solemn person, a killjoy
What's eating you? - What's wrong
Whoopee - To have a good time
You slay me - that's funny
This message was last edited by the GM at 01:54, Fri 23 Jan 2015.
GM, 695 posts
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