“-“2/29/2008 . Edited 3/1/2008 #1
-ski, -avous: these are two suffixes (derived from Russian and French, respectively) used in flapper parlance to “dress up” normal words. The suffix could be added to any word. There was only one hard and fast rule: if you responded to a question containing a suffix, you had to use the same part of speech somehow. Example: “Would you like a drink-avous?” “No thanks, I’m on the wagon-avous.” “The sun-ski is so bright!” “Put on a hat-ski.”
all wet: incorrect
And how!: I strongly agree!
ankle: to walk, i.e.. "Let's ankle!"
apple sauce: flattery, nonsense, i.e.. "Aw, applesauce!"
Attaboy!: well done!; also, Attagirl!
baby: sweetheart. Also denotes something of high value or respect.
baby grand: heavily built man
baby vamp: an attractive or popular female, student.
balled up: confused, messed up.
Bank's closed.: no kissing or making out ie. "Sorry, mac, bank's closed."
bearcat: a hot-blooded or fiery girl
beat it: scram, get lost.
beat one's gums: idle chatter
bee's knee's: terrific; a fad expression. Dozens of "animal anatomy" variations existed: elephant's eyebrows, gnat's whistle, eel's hips, etc.
beef: a complaint or to complain.
beeswax: business, i.e. "None of your beeswax." Student.
bell bottom: a sailor
berries: (1) perfect (2) money
big cheese: important person
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."
blotto (1930 at the latest): drunk, especially to an extreme
blow: (1) a crazy party (2) to leave
bohunk: a derogatory name for an Eastern European immigrant. Out of use by 1930, except in certain anti-immigrant circles, like the KKK.
bootleg: illeagal liquor
breezer (1925): a convertable car
bug-eyed Betty (1927): an unattractive girl, student.
bull: (1) a policeman or law-enforcement official, including FBI. (2) nonesense, bullshit (3) to chat idly, to exaggerate
bump off: to kill
bum's rush, the: ejection by force from an establishment
bunny (1925): a term of endearment applied to the lost, confused, etc. Often coupled with "poor little."
bus: any old or worn out car.
bushwa: a euphemism for "bullshit"
Butt me.: I'll take a cigarette.
cake-eater: a lady's man
caper: a criminal act or robbery.
cat's meow: great, also "cat's pajamas" and "cat's whiskers"
cash: a kiss
Cash or check?: Do we kiss now or later?
cast a kitten: to have a fit. Used in both humorous and serious situations. i.e. "Stop tickling me or I'll cast a kitten!" Also, "have kittens."
chassis (1930): the female body
cheaters: eye glasses
check: Kiss me later.
chewing gum: double-speak, or ambiguous talk.
choice bit of calico: attractive female, student.
chopper: a Thompson Sub-Machine Gun, due to the damage its heavy .45 caliber rounds did to the human body.
chunk of lead: an unnattractive female, student.
clam: a dollar
coffin varnish: bootleg liquor, often poisonous.
crasher: a person who attends a party uninvited
cuddler: one who likes to make out
daddy: a young woman's boyfriend or lover, especially if he's rich.
daddy-o: a term of address; strictly an African-American term.
dame: a female. Did not gain widespread use until the 1930's.
dapper: a Flapper's dad
darb: a great person or thing. "That movie was darb."
dead soldier: an empty beer bottle.
deb: a debutant.
dewdropper: a young man who sleeps all day and doesn't have a job
dick: a private investigator. Coined around 1900, the term finds major recognition in the 20's.
dinge: a derogatory term for an African-American. Out of use by 1930.
doll: an attractive woman.
dolled up: dressed up
don't know from nothing: doesn't have any information
don't take any wooden nickels: don't do anything stupid.
dope: drugs, esp. cocaine or opium.
doublecross: to cheat, stab in the back.
drugstore cowboy: A well-dressed man who loiters in public areas trying to pick up women.
dry up: shut up, get lost
ducky: very good
dumb Dora: an absolute idiot, a dumbbell, especially a woman; flapper.
edge: intoxication, a buzz. i.e. "I've got an edge."
egg: a person who lives the big life
Ethel: an effeminate male.
face stretcher: an old woman trying to look young
f a g: a cigarette. Also, starting around 1920, a homosexual.
fella: fellow. As common in its day as "man," "dude," or "guy" is today. "That John sure is a swell fella."
fire extinguisher: a chaperone
fish: (1) a college freshman (2) a first timer in prison
flat tire: a bore
flivver: a Model T; after 1928, also could mean any broken down car.
floorflusher: an insatiable dancer
flour lover: a girl with too much face powder
fly boy: a glamorous term for an aviator
For crying out loud!: same usage as today
four-flusher: a person who feigns wealth while mooching off others.
futz: a euphemism for "fuck." i.e. "Don't futz around."
gams (1930): legs
gatecrasher: see "crasher"
gay: happy or lively; no connection to homosexuality. See "fag."
Get Hot! Get Hot!: encouragement for a hot dancer doing her thing
get-up (1930): an outfit.
get a wiggle on: get a move on, get going
get in a lather: get worked up, angry
giggle water: booze
gigolo: dancing partner
gimp: cripple; one who walks with a limp. Gangster Dion O’Bannion was called Gimpy due to his noticeable limp.
gin mill: a seller of hard liquor; a cheap speakeasy
glad rags: "going out on the town" clothes
go chase yourself: get lost, scram.
gold-digger (1925): a woman who pursues men for their money.
goods, the: (1) the right material, or a person who has it (2) the facts, the truth, i.e. "Make sure the cops don't get the goods on you."
goof: (1) a stupid or bumbling person, (2) a boyfriend, flapper.
goofy: in love
hair of the dog (1925): a shot of alcohol.
half seas over: drunk, also "half under."
handcuff: engagement ring
hard-boiled: tough, as in, a tough guy, ie: "he sure is hard-boiled!"
harp: an Irishman
hayburner: (1) a gas guzzling car (2) a horse one loses money on
heavy sugar (1929): a lot of money
heebie-jeebies (1926): "the shakes," named after a hit song.
heeler: a poor dancer
high hat: a snob.
hip to the jive: cool, trendy
hit on all sixes: to perform 100 per cent; as "hitting on all six cylinders"; perhaps a more common variation in these days of four cylinder engines was "hit on all fours". See "big six".
hood (late 20s): hoodlum
hooey: bullshit, nonsense. Very popular from 1925 to 1930, used somewhat thereafter.
hop: (1) opiate or marijuana (2) a teen party or dance
hope chest: pack of cigarettes
hopped up: under the influence of drugs
Hot dawg!: Great!; also: "Hot socks!" Rarely spelled as shown outside of flapper circles until popularized by 1940s comic strips.
hot sketch: a card or cut-up
"I have to go see a man about a dog.": "I've got to leave now," often meaning to go buy whiskey.
icy mitt: rejection
iron (1925): a motorcycle, among motorcycle enthusiasts
iron one’s shoelaces: to go to the restroom
ish kabibble (1925): a retort meaning "I should care." Was the name of a musician in the Kay Kayser Orchestra of the 1930s.
Jake: great, ie. "Everything's Jake."
Jalopy: a dumpy old car
Jane: any female
jeepers creepers: "Jesus Christ!"
jerk soda: to dispense soda from a tap; thus, "soda jerk"
jigaboo: a derogatory term for an African-American
jitney: a car employed as a private bus. Fare was usually five-cents; also called a "nickel."
Joe Brooks: a perfectly dressed person; student.
john: a toilet
juice joint: a speakeasy
kike: a derogatory term for a Jewish person
killjoy: a solemn person
knock up: to make pregnant
know one's onions: to know one's business or what one is talking about
lay off: cut the crap
left holding the bag: (1) to be cheated out of one's fair share (2) to be blamed for something
let George do it: a work evading phrase
level with me: be honest
limey: a British soldier or citizen, from World War I
line: a false story, as in "to feed one a line."
live wire: a lively person
lollapalooza (1930): a humdinger
lollygagger: (1) a young man who enjoys making out (2) an idle person
manacle: wedding ring
Mick: a derogatory term for Irishmen
milquetoast (1924): a very timid person; from the comic book character Casper Milquetoast, a hen-pecked male.
mind your potatoes: mind your own business.
mooch: to leave
moonshine: homemade whiskey
mop: a handkerchief
munitions: face powder
neck: to kiss passionately
necker: a girl who wraps her arms around her boyfriend's neck.
nifty: great, excellent
noodle juice: tea
Not so good!: I personally disapprove.
"Now you're on the trolley!": Now you've got it, now you're right.
ofay: a commonly used Black expression for Whites
off one's nuts: crazy
Oh yeah!: I doubt it!
old boy: a male term of address, used in conversation with other males. Denoted acceptance in a social environment. Also "old man" "old fruit." "How's everything old boy?"
Oliver Twist: a skilled dancer
on a toot: a drinking binge
on the lam: fleeing from police
on the level: legitimate, honest
on the up and up: on the level
orchid: an expensive item
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, who came from humble ethnic roots
panic: to produce a big reaction from one's audience
panther sweat (1925): whiskey
percolate: (1) to boil over (2) As of 1925, to run smoothly; "perk"
pet: necking, only more; making out
petting pantry: movie theater
petting party: one or more couples making out in a room or auto
piker: (1) a cheapskate (2) a coward
pill: (1) a teacher (2) an unlikable person
pinch: to arrest. Pinched: to be arrested.
pipe down: stop talking
prom-trotter: a student who attends all school social functions
pos-i-lute-ly: affirmative, also "pos-i-tive-ly"
punch the bag: small talk
putting on the ritz: after the Ritz Hotel in Paris (and its namesake Caesar Ritz); doing something in high style. Also "ritzy."
quiff: a slut or cheap prostitute
rag-a-muffin: a dirty or disheveled individual
rain pitchforks: a downpour
razz: to make fun of
Real McCoy: a genuine item
regular: normal, typical, average; "Regular fella."
Reuben: an unsophisticated country bumpkin. Also "rube"
Rhatz!: How disappointing!
rub: a student dance party
rubes: money or dollars
rummy: a drunken bum
sap: a fool, an idiot. Very common term in the 20s.
says you: a reaction of disbelief
screaming meemies: the shakes
screw: get lost, get out, etc. Occasionally, in pre 1930 talkies (such as The Broadway Melody) screw is used to tell a character to leave. One film features the line "Go on, go on -- screw!"
screwy: crazy; "You're screwy!"
sheba: one's girlfriend
sheik: one's boyfriend
shiv: a knife
simolean: a dollar
sinker: a doughnut
sitting pretty: in a prime position
skirt: an attractive female
smarty: a cute flapper
smoke-eater: a smoker
smudger: a close dancer
sockdollager: an action having a great impact
so's your old man: a reply of irritation
spade: yet another derogatory term for an African-American
speakeasy: a bar selling illeagal liquor
spill: to talk
spoon: to neck, or at least talk of love
static: (1) empty talk (2) conflicting opinion
struggle: modern dance
stuck on: in love, student.
sugar daddy: older boyfriend who showers girlfriend with gifts in exchange for sex
swanky: (1) good (2) elegant
swell: (1) good (2) a high class person
take someone for a ride: to take someone to a deserted location and murder them.
teenager: not a common term until 1930; before then, the term was "young adults."
tell it to Sweeney: tell it to someone who'll believe it.
Tin Pan Alley: the music industry in New York, located between 48th and 52nd Streets
tomato: a "ripe" female
torpedo: a hired thug or hitman
upchuck: to vomit
vamp: (1) a seducer of men, an aggressive flirt (2) to seduce
water-proof: a face that doesn't require make-up
wet blanket: see Killjoy
wife: dorm roomate, student.
What's eating you?: What's wrong?
whoopee: wild fun
Woof! Woof!: ridicule
You slay me!: That's funny!
|Lee's ghost re-born
You forgot my fav. word! I still use it today a little cuz its fun to say.3/1/2008 #2
I did not make this list up. I found it on-line.3/1/2008 #3
Should probably add this to the list.
barney-mugging: sex10/29/2010 #4
Jazz - Sex10/29/2010 #5
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