Top 1920's Slang A to Z


When I wrote Framed at the Fix, our 1920's murder mystery, I poured through pages of slang. The roaring 20's gave us lingo that's the bee's knees. Here are my favorites, with examples.

A. Applesauce!

nonsense!

Oh, applesauce! I dropped my suffragette sash!

B. Bee's knees

fantastic

That bee is the bee's knees!

C. Cash or check?

kiss now or later?

Hey Coco Chanel, cash or check?

D. Dimbox

a taxi

Coco Chanel left without me in a dimbox.

E. Edison

to question

I was afraid my father would Edison me, but then a light bulb went off in my head.

F. Fire extinguisher

chaperone

That fire extinguisher ruined prom.

G. Get a wiggle on!

get a move on!

Old boy, those dames got a wiggle on!

H. Hard-boiled

tough

That hard-boiled detective won't crack under pressure.

I. I have to go see a man about a dog.

I'm about to do something illicit, usually buy whiskey

I have to go see a man about a dog, and then give whiskey to a dog.

J. Juice joint

speakeasy

Frankie's the sweetest juice joint in town!

K. Kale

money

Kale is worth a lot of kale.

L. Let George do it.

skip work

I'm going to let George do it, so I can go with George to Frankie's.

M. Meringue

personality

He has a bad meringue.

N. Nerts!

wow!

Nerts! Charlie Chaplin almost fell off of that building!

O. Ossified

drunk

Old boy, that dame is ossified.

P. Prune pit

old fashioned

My great-grandmother is a prune pit.

Q. Quilt

a warm drink

I spilled my quilt all over my bed.

R. Real McCoy

the real thing

Old boy, that dame is the Real McCoy.

S. Speakeasy

an illegal bar

Frankie's speakeasy sells the best moonshine.

T. Tell it to Sweeney.

tell it to someone who will believe you

The stock market isn't going to crash, you goof. Go tell it to Sweeney.

U. Upchuck

to vomit

Some fellow upchucked in this dimbox.

V. Voot

money

My great-grandma died last week, so I'm about to get a lot of voot.

W. Windsucker

a braggart

That flapper is a windsucker. No way, now how did she kiss Albert Einstein.

X. X-ray

an x-ray

Did you hear about Marie Curie's X-ray machines? She's radioactive now!

Y. You slay me!

that's hilarious!

You voted for Herbert Hoover? You slay me!

Z. Zozzled

drunk

Old boy, that dame is zozzled.

Pick your favorites and try them on your friends and family--or come to our 1920's murder mystery and try them on us!

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