1920’s Slang – FYI

Speakeasy Slang

Get yourself acclimated to the slang of the evening by becoming familiar with some of the common phrases of the day.

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, as in “Sorry, Mac, the bank’s closed.”

Beat it – Scram or get lost

Bees Knees – An extraordinary person, thing, idea, the ultimate

Beef –A complaint or to complain

Berries – Attractive or pleasing, as in “It’s the berries!:

Big Cheese – The most important or influential person, boss. Same as big shot.

Bootleg – Illegal liquor

Breezer – A convertible car

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

Cat’s pajamas – Same as “cat’s meow”

Cheaters – Eyeglasses

Check – Kiss me later

Clam – A dollar

Copacetic – Agreeable, wonderful, fine, all-right

Darb – An excellent person or thing that can be relied on

Dick – A private investigator

Dogs – Feet

Dolled up – Dressed up

Don’t know from nothin’ – Don’t have any information

Dough – Money

Ducky – Very good

Earful – Enough

Fall guy – Victim of a crime

Fish – First time in prison, college freshman

Fly boy/girl – Aviator

Frame – Give false evidence, set someone up

Get a wiggle on – Get moving

Giggle water – an intoxicating beverage, alcohol

Glad rags – Going out on the town clothes

Hair of the dog – Shot of alcohol

Hard boiled – Tough, strong guy

Hayburner – a gas guzzling car, horse one loses money on

Heebie-Jeebies – The jitters, nervousness

Hitting on all sixes – To perform at 100%

Hooch – Bootleg liquor

Hood – Hoodlum

Hoofer – Dancer

Horsefeathers – An expletive

Hotsy Totsy – Pleasing

Jack – Money

Jalopy – Old car

Java – Coffee

Joe – Coffee

Joint – An establishment

Juice Joint – A speakeasy

Keen – Attractive r pleasing

Level with me – Be honest

Nifty – Great, excellent

“Now you’re on the trolly!” – Now you’ve got it/ got it right!

On the lam – Fleeing from the police

On the level – Legitimate, honest

On the up and up – On the level

Orchid – Expensive item

Owl – A person who is out late

Pinch – To arrest

Pipe down – Stop talking

Pushover – Someone easily convinced

Putting on the Ritz – Doing something in high style

Real McCoy – the genuine article

Ritzy – Elegant, as in, “Ain’t she ritzy!”

Rubes – Money or dollars

Says you – A reaction of disbelief

Speakeasy – An illicit bar selling bootleg alcohol

Spiffy – Elegant appearance

Swanky – Ritzy

Swell – Wonderful

Wet blanket – A solemn person, a killjoy

Whoopee – to have a good time

You slay me – That’s funny