"Twenties Talk" Terminology....
Ab-so-lute-ly = yes, affirmative
All Wet = an erroneous (ie, having error, not being right) idea or person, as in "he's all wet"
And How = I strongly agree!
Applesauce = exclamation/expletive of dismay, like "Ah, Applesauce!" (Much like how we'd say "Oh, darn!")
Attaboy/Attagirl = Well done!
Baby = sweetheart, or something of very high value.
Balled Up = confused, messed up.
Baloney = nonsense!
Bank's closed = no kissing or making out. For example, "Sorry Mac, the bank's closed."
Bearcat = a hot-tempered/fiery girl
Beat it = scram, get lost/get out of here
Beat one's gums/beat your gums = idle talk/chatter
Bee's knees = an extraordinary person, thing or idea
Beef = a complaint or to complain. For example, "I have a Beef with so-and-so."
Beeswax = business. For example, "none of your beeswax!"
Bell bottom = a sailor.
Berries = something attractive or pleasing, similar to Bee's Knees.
Bible Belt = Area in the South/Midwest USA where Christian fundamentalism flourishes.
Big Cheese = the most important person; a boss. Same as "big shot".
Big six = a strong man; from auto advertising, for the new and powerful. For example, "look at him, he's the big six!"
Bimbo = a tough guy.
Bird = a general term for a man or woman, sometimes meaning strange or odd. For example, "what a funny old bird."
Blind Date = going out with someone you don't know.
Bluenose = an excessively puritanical, strict person; someone who's a prude. For example, "Mrs. Smith is such a bluenose."
Bootleg = illegal liquor.
Breezer = a convertable car.
Bronx Cheer = a loud, spluttering noise, used to indicate disapproval.
Bull = 1) a policeman or law enforcement official including the FBI. 2) Nonsense. 3) To chat idly/exaggerate
Bull Session = male talkfest, gossip, stories of sexual exploits (mostly bragging, trying to out-do the others)
Bum's rush = ejection by force from an establishment. For example, "the cop didn't want me in the bar, so I got the bum's rush."
Bump off = to murder or kill.
Bunk = nonsense.
Butt me = I'll take a cigarette/give me a cigarette.
Caper = a criminal act or robbery.
Carry a torch = to really like/have a crush on someone. For example, "Oh, Sally's really carrying a torch for John."
Cash = a kiss.
Cash or check? = do you kiss now, or later?
Cat's Meow = something splendid or wonderful, much like "the bee's knees".
Cat's Pajamas = same as the Cat's Meow.
Chassis = the female body.
Cheaters = eyeglasses.
Check = kiss me later.
Ciggy = cigarette.
Clam = a dollar. As in, "your food costs two clams."
Copacetic = wonderful, fine, alright.
Crush = an infatuation or obsession.
Daddy = a young woman's boyfriend/lover, especially if he is rich.
Dame = a female.
Dapper = a Flapper's father.
Darb = an excellent person or thing. For example, "he's the Darb" - someone who can be relied on.
Dead Soldier = an empty beer bottle.
Deb = a debutant, or someone making their first official appearance in public as a social being.
Dick = a private investigator.
Dogs = human feet.
Doll = an attractive woman, as in "Guys and Dolls".
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, don't let anyone fool you.
Double-cross = to cheat, stab in the back.
Dough = money.
Drugstore Cowboy = a guy who hangs around a street corner trying to pick up girls.
Dry up = shut up, get lost.
Ducky = very good. As in "oh, that's just ducky!"
Dumb Dora = stupid female.
Earful = enough. As in, "he gave me an earful"
Edge = intoxication or buzz. For example, "I was at the bar, and now I've got an edge."
Egg = a person who lives the big life, or who lives grandly.
Fall guy = the victim of a frame. As in, "Roger didn't actually murder Stan, but he was the fall guy."
Fire Extinguisher = a chaperone.
Fish = 1) a college freshman. 2) a first-timer in prison.
Flat Tire = a dull witted, disappointing date or a boring person. Same as "pill" or "drag".
Flivver = a Model T; after 1928, became synonymous with any old broken-down car.
Flapper = a stylish, brash, hedonistic young woman with short skirts, shorter hair, makeup.
Fly Boy = a glamorous term for an aviator.
Frame = to give false evidence, to set up someone.
Gams = a woman's legs.
Gate crasher = an uninvited guest, usually at a party.
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; a bar.
Glad Rags = fancy clothes you'd "go out on the town" in -- ie, what you'd dress up in
Gold Digger = a woman who associates with/marries a man for his money/wealth
Goofy = in love
Hair of the Dog = a shot of alchohol.
Handcuff = an engagement ring.
Hard Boiled = a strong, tough guy/
Hay Burner = 1) a gas-guzzling car. 2) a horse one loses money on.
Heebie-Jeebies = the creeps, the jitters (you're afraid)
High-Hat = to snub or ignore; snobbish.
Hip = up-to-date, "with it".
Hit on all sixes = to perform 100%, as in "Wow, today she's hitting on all six cylinders!"
Hooch = bootlegged liquor.
Hood = a hoodlum, someone up to no good.
Hoofer = dancer.
Hooter = chorus girl.
Horsefeathers = same as "applesauce"; expletive.
Hotsy-Totsy = pleasing, favoured.
It = Sex appeal, as in "she really has it".
Iron = a motorcycle.
Jack = monkey.
Jake = Okay, fine; as in, "everything is Jake!"
Jalopy = old car.
Jane = any female.
"Java" or "Joe" = coffee.
Jitney = a car employed as a private bus. Fare was usually five cents.
John = a toilet.
Joint = an establishment, as in "hey, let's check out that new joint down on Main Street!" (also refers to a club that usually sells alcohol.)
Juice Joint = a speakeasy.
Keen = attractive, appealing.
Kiddo = friendly form of address.
Kisser = mouth.
Left holding the bag = 1) to be cheated out of a fair share. 2) to be blamed for something.
Level with me = be honest with me.
Line = insincere flattery. For example, "oh, don't give me that line!"
Live wire = a lively person.
Middle Aisle = to marry.
Mrs. Grundy = a priggish, uptight, extremely tight-laced person.
Moll = a gangster's girl(friend).
Neck = kissing with passion.
Nifty = neat, great, excellent.
"Now You're On The Trolley!" = now you've got it, now you're right! (Same as saying "on board")
Nobody Home = describes someone who is dumb.
On the lam = fleeing from the police.
On the up and up/On the level = legitimate, honest. As in, "are you on the level with me?"
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 = the same as necking, but moreso.
Piker = a cheapskate or a coward.
Pill = 1) a teacher. 2) (most common use -- ) an unlikable person. (Sometimes the same... for example, an unlikable teacher!)
Pinch = to arrest.
Pipe Down = stop talking.
Pushover = a person easily convinced, seduced.
Putting on the Ritz = doing something in high style [after the Ritz Hotel in Paris.]
Rag-a-muffin = a dirty and/or disheveled individual.
Razz = to make fun of.
Real McCoy = the genuine article, the real thing.
Ritzy or Swanky = elegant.
Rubes = money or specifically, dollars.
Runaround = delaying action or stalling, as in "I'll never get that loan, the bank's really giving me a run around!"
Sap = a fool.
Says you = an expression of belief, as in "no way!"
Scram = telling someone to leave immediately.
Sheba = a woman with sex appeal.
Sheik = a man with sex appeal.
Shiv = a knife.
Sinker = a doughnut.
Speakeasy = an illicit/illegal bar selling bootleg liquor.
Spifflicated = drunk. (Same as tanked, plastered, wasted.)
Spiffy = an elegant appearance, as in "oooh, don't you look spiffy!"
Spoon = to neck, or at least talk of love.
Struggle Buggy = the backseat of a car.... usually, a parent's worst nightmare.
Stuck On = having a crush on.
Swell = wonderful.
Take for a ride = to drive off with someone in order to bump them off. For example, "Harry took Frank for a ride, and Frank hasn't been seen since!"
Tin Pan Alley = the music industry in New York, located between 48th and 52nd Street.
Tomato = a female.
Torpedo = a hired gun/assassin.
Upchuck = to vomit when one has drunk too much.
Wet blanket = a solemn person, a killjoy -- someone who discourages/ruins optimism or fun.
What's Eating You? = What's wrong?
Whoopee = to have a good time or to have a wild time.
You slay me = that's funny.