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Punks and Hippies

Historical Dictionary of American Slang

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149 Results 1930-1930

  • all nerves
    ( np ) Tense, nervous. By the time I got my convertible out of the car wash, I was all nerves.
    1930s
  • all-nighter
    ( n ) A restaurant that stays open all night. It was 3 AM but they found a little all-nighter on the corner where they could get a cup of java.
    1930s
  • bananas
    ( adj ) Crazy, insane. The guy went bananas when I asked him to leave.
    1930s
  • bang
    ( n ) Fun, pleasure. I get a bang out of bungee jumping.
    1930s
  • bash
    ( n ) A try, an attempt. Move back and let me have a bash at it.
    1930s
  • beat all
    ( vp ) Be outrageous. Doesn't that beat all?
    1930s
  • behind the 8 ball
    ( pp ) In trouble; disliked by someone. I forgot Mavis's birthday and now I'm behind the 8 ball.
    1930s
  • bent
    ( adj ) Upset, angry. After being bent for so many years, Barry is now a broken man.
    1930s
  • bill and coo
    ( v ) To hug and kiss. Don't you just love to bill and coo with your girl on the beach?
    1930s
  • blabbermouth
    ( n ) Someone who talks too much. That blabbermouth told my girlfriend that he saw me with another girl.
    1930s
  • blimp
    ( n ) A very fat person. I hate to have a blimp sitting next to me when I fly.
    1930s
  • boff
    ( v ) To hit. He gets into trouble at home when he boffs his brother.
    1930s
  • boogie-woogie
    ( n ) Jazz of the 30s and 40s. Boogie-woogie is really cutting the rug!
    1930s
  • boondoggle
    ( n ) A con game, a deceitful transaction. Government contracts are often thinly veiled boondoggles.
    1930s
  • boondoggle
    ( v ) To swindle or cheat. Heathcliff was boondoggled into selling his car for half of its value.
    1930s
  • broke
    ( adj ) Without money. I'm broke man; don't ask me for money.
    1930s
  • buck
    ( np ) Money. I need to make a quick buck.
    1930s
  • buddy
    ( int ) Form of address for a male in the South. Hey, buddy, can you spare a dime?
    1930s
  • burn up
    ( v ) Make angry, mad. That really burns me up!
    1930s
  • bust out
    ( v ) To escape. His mother and three of her buddies busted out of prison but was caught 3 days later.
    1930s
  • certifiable
    ( adj ) Crazy, insane. Stay away from that woman; she's 100 percent certifiable.
    1930s
  • chintzy
    ( adj ) Cheap. That really was a chintzy present you got him.
    1930s
  • cool
    ( v ) To kill. The mob cooled him a year or so ago.
    1930s
  • cracker
    ( n ) A white person (offensive). That cracker just doesn't get jive.
    1930s
  • cram
    ( v ) To study hard. He didn't study all semester and had to cram before exams.
    1930s
  • cuddle
    ( v ) To hug and kiss. Let's go over to my front porch and cuddle some.
    1930s
  • cut
    ( v ) To dilute. They cut the whiskey with water at that bar.
    1930s
  • dead
    ( adj ) Quiet. This disco is really dead tonight.
    1930s
  • deep pockets
    ( np ) Much money. Her boyfriend has deep pockets.
    1930s
  • dibs
    ( n ) A claim. I have dibs on the shotgun seat.
    1930s
  • dip
    ( n ) A stupid or foolish person. The guy who flunked four out of five classes is really a dip.
    1930s
  • drop
    ( v ) To knock down. Say another word and I'll drop you.
    1930s
  • Drop dead!
    ( int ) Absolutely not! Drop dead! I'll never go out with you.
    1930s
  • duds
    ( n ) Clothes. I see you got some new duds for the dance.
    1930s
  • dust off
    ( v ) To kill. The mob dusted him off when he ratted on them.
    1930s
  • fade
    ( v ) To leave. I have homework to do, man, let's fade.
    1930s
  • flivver
    ( n ) A broken down car. Stewart will never get me into that old flivver his father drives.
    1930s
  • gasser
    ( n ) A great time, something hilarious. The new comedy on TV is a real gasser.
    1930s
  • get first base
    ( vp ) Have initial success trying to seduce someone. He couldn't get to first base with her, let alone score.
    1930s
  • ginchy
    ( adj ) Sexy. She is the ginchiest girl I've ever seen.
    1930s
  • go bananas
    ( vp ) To lose control of yourself, go crazy. I am going to go bananas if I don't have a vacation soon.
    1930s
  • go steady
    ( vp ) To date only one person. They went steady for a year, then broke up.
    1930s
  • goof
    ( v ) Loaf, waste time. They used to goof on their way home from work.
    1930s
  • goon
    ( n ) A stupid thug or bodyguard. The mob boss was accompanied by a couple of his goons.
    1930s
  • guts
    ( n ) Courage. It takes a lot of guts to give the boss your true opinion.
    1930s
  • hep cat
    ( np ) A cool jazz-lover. Nathan is the hep cat who took me to Birdland for the first time.
    1930s
  • on the take
    ( pp ) Taking bribes. You'll have to find a judge on the take to get out of this one.
    1930s
  • history
    ( adj ) Over, done with. I don't have any idea where my old boyfriend is. He's history.
    1930s
  • hot
    ( adj ) Stolen. The police stopped them because they thought the car was hot.
    1930s
  • hot seat
    ( np ) A critical position with great pressure for success. Dwayne is in the hot seat now: if he doesn't make his quota, he is history.
    1930s
  • hotshot
    ( n ) A person who thinks he is very important. Look at Bud with his collar up; he thinks he is such a hotshot.
    1930s
  • jerk
    ( n ) A stupid or foolish person. The jerk left his date at the party.
    1930s
  • keen
    ( adj ) Wanting to, excited about {British}. I'm keen to go to the motion pictures.
    1930s
  • keister
    ( n ) The buttocks. Llewelyn slipped on the wet floor and fell on his keister.
    1930s
  • lick
    ( n ) A short musical improvisation. He isn't that creative a trumpeter; he gets most of his licks from others.
    1930s
  • lightweight
    ( n ) Someone who cannot get things done. You don't want to give a job this important to a lightweight.
    1930s
  • Mack
    ( int ) Form of address for a male. Hey, Mack, where is the nearest truck stop?
    1930s
  • malarkey
    ( n ) Nonsense. He said he aced the chem exam. What malarkey!
    1930s
  • Mickey-Mouse
    ( adj ) Minor, unimportant. Boswell ran some Mickey-Mouse radio station in Florida for a few years.
    1930s
  • minxy
    ( adj ) Alluring, seductive. She is a totally minxy fox.
    1930s
  • Monday morning quarterback
    ( np ) Someone who offers advice when it is too late. Fritz is a Monday morning quarterback who is never there when you need him.
    1930s
  • mule
    ( n ) A carrier of illegal drugs. The cartel uses her as a mule to get their drugs into the country.
    1930s
  • nogoodnik
    ( n ) A bad or worthless person. So then the nogoodnik tramped across my clean kitchen floor in his muddy boots.
    1930s
  • odd ball
    ( np ) An eccentric. Freddie is a sort of odd ball who likes to take walks in the park.
    1930s
  • on edge
    ( pp ) Nervous. All this waiting to hear from the doctor has me on edge.
    1930s
  • P. I.
    ( abb ) A private investigator. Serena hired a P. I. to tail her husband.
    1930s
  • piece of cake
    ( n ) Something easy. Working on a computer for me is a piece of cake.
    1930s
  • pill
    ( n ) Anything difficult. Paying $1200 in taxes is a tough pill to take.
    1930s
  • puke
    ( v, n ) To vomit. I feel like I am going to puke.
    1930s
  • punch-drunk
    ( adj ) Crazy, insane. Don't listen to that punch-drunk bum; he's crazy.
    1930s
  • put a bee in your bonnet
    ( vp ) Tell something interesting. Why are you grinning? You look like somebody's put a bee in your bonnet.
    1930s
  • Put 'em up!
    ( vp ) To raise your hands. Drop that gun and put 'em up!
    1930s
  • put-on
    ( n ) A deception. It was an elaborate put-on which I almost believed.
    1930s
  • queer
    ( adj ) Counterfeit. Watch him; he's known for passing queer money.
    1930s
  • raunchy
    ( adj ) Dirty, grimy. Get out of those raunchy clothes and take bath.
    1930s
  • riot
    ( n ) A great time, something hilarious. The comedy program was a real riot.
    1930s
  • rip-snorter
    ( n ) Something excellent, outstanding. His party last night was a rip-snorter.
    1930s
  • rip-snorting
    ( adj ) Excellent, outstanding. Let me tell you, it was a rip-snorting party.
    1930s
  • scag
    ( n ) An ugly female (offensive). He was seen last night in a sketchy part of town with a scag.
    1930s
  • Shoot!
    ( int ) An interjection of disappointment (euphemism for s - - -). Shoot! I just ripped my pants.
    1930s
  • short
    ( n ) A car. He was trying to sell a hot short to a salesman on a car lot.
    1930s
  • shotgun wedding
    ( np ) A wedding forced by pregnancy. The marriage didn't last because it started out in a shotgun wedding.
    1930s
  • skip
    ( v ) To miss, to not attend. Let's skip chemistry today and go to the library.
    1930s
  • slap-happy
    ( adj ) Crazy, insane. Roland has been slap-happy ever since he left the ring.
    1930s
  • snoot
    ( n ) Nose. She popped him on the snoot.
    1930s
  • So what?
    ( int ) I don't care. So, Nellie got into Smith. So what?.
    1930s
  • solid
    ( adj ) Excellent, outstanding. That bash at her house was solid!
    1930s
  • soup up
    ( v ) Increase the power and speed of a car. Sure, he wins the drag races: his car is souped up.
    1930s
  • soused
    ( adj ) Drunk, intoxicated. He came home soused and his wife locked him out.
    1930s
  • speedo
    ( n ) Speedometer. The speedo was showing 35 mph but we seemed to be going much faster.
    1930s
  • spook
    ( v ) To scare, frighten. A snake spooked the horse and he threw his rider.
    1930s
  • spot
    ( v ) To loan. Could you spot me $10 until payday?
    1930s
  • squad car
    ( np ) Police car. There is no way out; the house is surrounded by squad cars.
    1930s
  • stick
    ( v ) Force someone to do something unpleasant. He left early and stuck me with cleaning up the house.
    1930s
  • tag along
    ( vp ) Come with. Mind if I tag along for the ride?
    1930s
  • take a hike
    ( v ) To leave. I am tired of all your complaining. Take a hike!
    1930s
  • the word
    ( n ) The latest news or gossip. Say, what's the word on Jenny?
    1930s
  • throw a bone
    ( vp ) Help out with something small. Look, if you make a lot of money, throw your old friend a bone.
    1930s
  • tied to an apron string
    ( vp ) Dominated by the wife or a woman. Fred can't go fishing on the weekend; he's tied to his wife's apron string.
    1930s
  • tomato
    ( n ) A female. That Shelly's one red hot tomato.
    1930s
  • torch
    ( n ) An arsonist, someone who starts fires illegally for money. Burnham Goode was a torch for the mob until the police collared him on the job.
    1930s
  • torch
    ( v ) To commit arson, to burn down illegally. I hear Burnham Goode torched his own restaurant for the insurance money.
    1930s
  • twit
    ( n ) Petty, immature brat. The little twit barfed all over her date at the pizza parlor.
    1930s
  • twit
    ( n ) Superficial person. She is such a twit who spends most of her time shopping.
    1930s
  • welch
    ( v ) To fail to meet an obligation. He welched on his promise to help paint my house.
    1930s
  • What's with you?
    ( phr ) What is wrong with you? Hey, what's with you, man. You're really bent.
    1930s
  • whiz
    ( n ) Talented person. He is a whiz at the computer.
    1930s
  • doodly-squat
    ( n ) A small, worthless amount The president doesn't know doodly-squat about running a country.
    1930s
  • lame-brain
    ( n ) A stupid or foolish person. This lame-brain thinks it is the Umpire State Building in New York.
    1930s
  • lame-brained
    ( adj ) Stupid or foolish. I've never heard such a lame-brained idea in my life.
    1930s
  • thingamajig
    ( n ) An object for which a name is unavailable. What was that thingamajig he was holding?
    1930s
  • fly
    ( v ) Be workable Your idea doesn't have legs; it won't fly.
    1930s
  • fly the coop
    ( vp ) To leave, elope, or escape. When he saw you coming up the walk, he flew the coop.
    1930s
  • drip
    ( n ) A weak, indecisive person. That drip doesn't know how to tie his shoes.
    1930s
  • spiv
    ( n ) Slick con man. Some worthless spiv married Myrtle, took her money, and left her.
    1930s
  • dish
    ( n ) Something you like. Playing quoits on a Sunday afternoon is not quite my cup of tea.
    1930s
  • dish (out)
    ( v ) To serve, to do something hard or harsh. Tommy isn't afraid of flamers; he can dish it out with the best of them.
    1930s
  • cup of tea
    ( np ) Something you like. Playing quoits on a Sunday afternoon is not quite my cup of tea.
    1930s
  • jitterbug
    ( n ) A nervous person. Calm down, Donny, don't be such a jitterbug.
    1930s
  • crunch
    ( n ) Climax, critical point. Bertie is someone you can count on in a crunch.
    1930s
  • pooch out
    ( v ) Stick out, protrude. Millie, why is your stomach pooching out like that?
    1930s
  • cheesecake
    ( n ) Photography of well-proportioned women. Betty Grable was a popular piece of cheesecake during World War II.
    1930s
  • gun
    ( v ) To accelerate something suddenly. When Pedro saw Maria down the road, he gunned his old jalopy.
    1930s
  • wrap up
    ( v ) To finalize, bring to an end. Merlyn wrapped up his presentation with a chorus of "Happy Days" played on the piano.
    1930s
  • plugged nickel
    ( np ) Something worthless. That car of his isn't worth a plugged nickel.
    1930s
  • payola
    ( n ) A bribe to promote a song on radio or TV. It is hard to believe that most of the songs we sing are popular only because disc jockeys received payola.
    1930s
  • savvy
    ( n ) Brains, intelligence Ask Jean-Phillippe; he has a lot of savvy when it comes to car engines.
    1930s
  • Yikes!
    ( int ) Interjection of surprise. Yikes! That was a close call!
    1930s
  • shot
    ( adj ) Tired, exhausted; worn out, broken down. I can't go anywhere tonight: me and my car are shot.
    1930s
  • out of this world
    ( pp ) Excellent, outstanding. Maggie's gown for the prom is out of this world.
    1930s
  • nelly
    ( n ) Male homosexual That sweet old nelly wouldn't hurt a fly.
    1930s
  • bats
    ( adj ) Crazy, insane. You're completely bats if you think I'll lend you $5.
    1930s
  • crate
    ( n ) An old car or plane. You can always find some schnook to sell that old crate of yours to.
    1930s
  • lug
    ( n ) A thug; a dumb but nice guy. The big lug never forgets my birthday.
    1930s
  • snazzy
    ( adj ) Smart, stylish, nice looking. Did you see that snazzy new car Sue Barew is driving around in?
    1930s
  • corny
    ( adj ) Simple-minded, trite. I get so tired of Hugh Jeego's corny jokes I don't know what to do.
    1930s
  • boob
    ( n ) A stupid or foolish person That boob O'Reilly picked his nose three times at the dinner table.
    1930s
  • plonk
    ( n ) Cheap wine, wine of poor quality. Mable, we can't serve plonk with these bugers; they deserve better.
    1930s
  • groove
    ( n ) A situation in which you feel comfortable, competent. I just can do this, man; I'm not in my groove.
    1930s
  • hoo-ha
    ( n ) An uproar, commotion. Why all the hoo-ha over calling my secretary "Sweetie-pie"?
    1930s
  • scrag
    ( v ) To kill. Maxi got scragged in a car accident
    1930s
  • belt
    ( n ) A drink of hard liquor. After a day like today, I need a belt before going to bed.
    1930s
  • bop
    ( v ) To hit. Frannie bopped me on the head, mommy!
    1930s
  • wheel-horse
    ( n ) An important, visible, hard-working member of an organization. Correy Publican was a wheel-horse of the GOP before her arrest.
    1930s
  • can
    ( n ) The buttocks. Frieda slipped on a banana peel and fell on her can.
    1930s
  • umph
    ( n ) umph Couldn't you get a little more, I don't know, umph into this ad campaign?
    1930s
  • oomph
    ( ) Spirit, strength, power. You need to sing that song with a little more oomph to get it across.
    1930s
  • crooner
    ( n ) A man who croons. (Bing Crosby was the first crooner.) That raspy-voiced Rusty Horne thinks he's a crooner!
    1930s
  • kiss off
    ( vp ) Leave, dismiss, kill. Why don't you just kiss off if you don't want to work.
    1930s

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