20 1920s Slang Phrases to Tickle Your Funny Bone
You one of them bluenose types? We don’t want you around here then.
“Pardon me… Bluenose?”
Yeah, a bluenose! A prude, a puritan, a wet blanket. Someone who don’t know how to kick back and have some fun!
1920s slang seems like another language nowadays.
Giggle water? Why not just call it booze?
Riding the struggle buggy? No, you’re not a broke college student cramming for a final, you’re in the backseat of a car.
Wearing your glad rags? No, you’re not dressed up in your finest black trash bags. You’re dressed to the nines, looking sharp, dressed to impress!
You get the idea.
Here are a few more crazy sayings from the 1920s to tickle your funny bone.
Just do us a favor and don’t actually use most of them today in real life. Maybe “speakeasy” or “quilt” are okay. Like the ghosts on the 34th floor, some things should stay dead.
1. “Don’t take any wooden nickels.” – Don’t do anything stupid, like say “don’t take any wooden nickels” in 2017.
2. Horsefeathers – An expletive. The longest four-letter word we can think of.
3. Juice Joint – A speakeasy.
4. Speakeasy – A bar selling illegal alcohol (it’s Prohibition time, remember?) that you needed a password to get into which kept the bull out.
5. Bull – Police. Lawmen. Feds.
6. Hayburner – A gas-guzzling car. The horse you lose money on ’cause it’s so hungry all the time.
7. Mrs. Grundy – Kind of like a bluenose. Someone who wouldn’t know a good time if it slapped them in the face.
8. “Go chase yourself!” – Get lost!
9. “I’m gonna go iron my shoelaces.” – “I’m gonna go use the bathroom.”
10. Quilt – Drinking to stay warm. “It’s cold outside! Good thing I got my gin quilt on.”
11. Petting pantry – A movie theater. We don’t even want to know…
12. Foot juice – Cheap wine. “Foot juice in a petting pantry.” Oh god, I think I’m gonna-
13. Upchuck – Puke.
14. Gasper – Cigarette.
15. “Bank’s closed.” – Telling a rather “amorous” couple to go easy on the PDAs, similar to “get a room.” “Hey, you two! Bank’s closed, cut it out already!”
16. Icy mitt – Getting rejected by your crush. “Hey pal, go easy on him, Mary gave him the icy mitt yesterday.”
17. Know your onions – To be in the know. To know what’s going on.
18. Oliver Twist – A good dancer. “Check out Oliver Twist over there!”
19. Half-seas over – Wasted. Smashed. Super drunk.
20. Ossified – Half-seas over.
Think they sounded strange back then? They could probably say the same about our slang today.