abe’s cabe- $5

absent treatment- dancing wih bashful partner

ace- $1

airedale- homely man

alarm clock- chaperone

alderman- man’s potbelly

all wet- incorrect

amache- telephone

an alibi- box of flowers

anchor- bankroll; box of flowers

“And how”- “I agree”

ankle- to walk; walk

another tray of pork chops- different story

apple knocker- hicks

applesauce-hooey; nonsense

Armstrongs- musical notes in the upper registers

ax- fire


babushka- hankerchief over hair tied under chin

baby- sweetheart

baby grand- heavily built man

baby vamp- pretty girl

balled-up – confused

bangtail- horse

bank’s closed- no kissing or making out

bankroll- money roll

barber- to talk

barlow- young drinker/ smoker who can’t remember the night before

barney mugging- love making

barrelhouse- speakeasy

be on the nut- be broke

beads- pearl necklace

bean picker- one who tries to patch up trouble

bean shooter- gun

bear cat- fiesty, pretty girl

beasel- a girl shyly open to advances

beating it out- rythme

bee’s knees- great; excellent

bee’s wax- business

beef- complain

beer flat- speakeasy

beezer- nose

behind the 8 ball- in a tight spot

bell bottoms- sailor

bell polisher- young man addicted to lingering lobbies at 2 am

bench racing- guys who sit on benches watching cars passing discussing

                      who can beat who in a drag race

bent- drunk

bent car- stolen car

berry- attractive person

berry patch- a guy interested in a particular girl

Bible Belt- southeast

big cheese- boss

big house, the- jail

big one- death

big shot- top person

big six- strong man

big sleep- death

big timer- a charmer, romantic

big touch- robbery with enough money to live the rest of one’s life

billboard- flashy man or woman

bimbo- tough guy

bin- woman

bindle- folded paper with heroine

bindle stiff- iterant misfits

bing- solidary confinement

bird- odd person

bit-prison sentence

blind pig- speakeasy

blocker- southern moonshine

blotto- drunk

blouse out- leave

blow- leave

blow one down- kill someone

blower- telephone

blowing one’s wig- get excited

blue nose- person advocates strict moral code

blushing violet- publisity hound

bobbed- short hair for women


boob- dumb guy

booboisie- knuckle heads

boocoo- much

boocoos- large amount

boozehound- drunk

bozo- stupid person

bracelet- handcuffs

breeze- easy

breezer- convertible car

broad- female

broderick- a thorough beating

bronx cheer- disaproval

broosky- classy dresser

brown plaid- scotch

bruno- tough guy

brush ape- someone from the country

bubs- breasts

bucket- car

bug- burgular alarm

bug-eyed- wide eyed with astonishment

bug-eyed Betty- unattractive female

bulge- advantage

bull- detective; exaggerate

bull session- male talkfest, gossip

bun duster- ladies man

bunny- lost person

bum rush- kick out of a place

bump- kill

bump gums- talking about nothing worth while

buncoing someone- defrauding people

bunk- nonsense; to sleep

burn powder- fire a gun

burning with a blue flame- drunk

bus- worn out car

buscuit- pettable flapper

business- beating

bust- boxer

bust head- alcohol

butt me- give me a cigarette

butter and egg man- man with the bank roll

butterfly boots- awesome

button man- proffesional killer

buttons- police

buzzard- badge


caboose- jail

cake basket- limosine

cake eater- lady’s man

call copper- someone who informs police

can house- brothel

can opener- safe cracker of cheap safes

canary- female vocalist

cancelled stomp- shyness person

canned- drunk

caper- criminal activity

carry a torch- have a crush on

case- check out a place before robbing it

cash or check- do we kiss now or later

cast a kitten- fit

cat’s meow- good time

cat’s pajamas-a good time

cat’s whisker’s- good time

celler smaller- man who turns up where there’s liquor without a cost

century- $100

charleston- 1920’s dance

chase oneself- get lost

chassis- female body

cheaters- glasses; sun glasses

cheese it- hide it

chemise- straight narrow slip-like dress

Chesterfield- woman’s haircut

Chesterfield coat- formal overcoat

chewing one’s gums- double talk

Chicago lightning- gunfire

Chicago overcoat- coffin

Chicago Pineapple- grenade

Chicago typewriter- Thompson sub-machine gun

chilled off- killed

chime- hour

chin- conversation

chin music- punch in the jaw

Chinese angle- strange unusual twist

Chinese squeeze- skimming off the top

chippy- woman of easy virtue

chirp- to sing

chistel- to swindle

choice bit of colico- attractive female

chopper- machine gun

chopper squad- men with machine guns

chow- food

chunk of led- unpopular girl

ciggy- cigarette

cinematic house- movie house

clam- dollar

clammed up- closed mouths

clean sneak-escape with no clues left behind

“Climb it, Tarzan”- to flick people off

clip joint- casino with fixed tables

clipped- shot

cloche- close fitting bell shaped hat

close your head- shut up

clothesline- one who tells neighborhood secrets

clout- shoplifter

club house- police station

cluck- a person who can’t support a habit and mooches off others to

                             support it  

coffee-and-donut – cheap

coffin varnish- alcohol

come on like gang busters- excellent

Coney Island

conk- heads


copacetic- excellent

copped- nabbed by the cops

coppers- police man

corked- drunk

corn- bourbon

corn shredder- man who steps on his partners shoes

cracked up- not what it seems

crackers- crazy

craps- gambling game of dice

crash out- break out jail

creep joint- brothel room with secret compartments to rob patrons of

                       their possessions

croaker- doctor

cut myself a piece of cake- wait patiently

cutterized- coast guard following boats with moonshine

cutting- making counterfiet liquor


dance- to be hanged

dangle- get lost

dapper- flapper’s dad

darb- great thing

dead soldier- empty bottle

deck- pack of cigarettes

derby- man’s hat

derrick- shoplifter

dew dropper- man with no job who sleeps all day

dibs- share

Dillinger- get out of a tough situation

dim box- taxi

dinchers- half smoked cigarette

dingus- thing

dip the bill- drunk

dipe ducat- subway ticket

dish- woman

dive- lowdown cheap place

dizzy with a dame- in love

doble- steam powered car

dog- troubled car

dog kettles- shoes

dogs- feet

doll up- dress up

don’t know for nothing- has no info

don’t take any wooden nickles- be careful of scams

doozy- excellent

double cross- stab in the back

double sawbuck- $20

drats- darn

drill- shoot

drink out of the same bottle- close friend

drop a dime- call on phone

drop the pilot- get a divorce

drugstore cowboy- well dressed man loitering to pick up women

dry gulch- knock out

dry up- shut, get out

duck soup- easy

duck’s quack- best thing ever

ducky- feel good

dumb Dora- dumb female

dumberer- beggar who fakes deafness or blindness to get more charity

dump- broken down place; depressed

dust- nothing

dust out- to go; leave

Dutch- short straight haircut with boyish bangs for women

Dutchboy- thick line of bangs cut bluntly across the forehead

dynamite- heroine


earful- enough

edge- intoxicated

Edisoned- being asked a lot of questions

eel’s hip- good time

egg- person who lives the big life

egg harbour- fall dance

eggs in the coffee- easy

electric cure- electrocution

elephant ears- police

ambaled- drunk

Ethal- an effimanite male

eton crop- severe masculine cut, slicked close to the head

eye opener- marriage


face stretcher- old woman trying to look youg

fade- go away

father time- any man over 30

feathers- light conversation

fedora- hat

fella- a man

fence- sell stolen goods

fin- $5

finder- finger man

finger- blame

fink- blame

fire alarm- divorced

fire extinguisher- chaperone

fish- first timer in prison; college freshman

fix- bribe

flaming youths- male counterpart to a flapper

flapper- young woman showing freedom from conventions

flash dough- money flashed to coerce

flat shoes- fight with a flapper and her date

flat tire- dull witted date

flat wheeler- poorman who takes girls to free affairs

flattie- police

flimflam- swindle

flippers- hands

flivver- broken down car

flogger- coat

floor flusher insantiable dancer

flop- go to bed

flour lover- woman with too much face powder

fly dick- plain clothes cop

flyboy- pilot

four flusher- person who feins wealth by mooching off others

49er- man prospecting for a rich wife

frail- woman

frame- false evidence

frau- woman

fried to the hat- drunk

frog’s eyebrows- excellent

frosh- college freshman


gal- woman

gams- legs

gangster- criminal

gashouse- rough

gasper- cigarette

gate crasher- someone who attends a party uninvited

gay- happy

get a slant- take a look

“Get hot! Get hot”- encouragement to a hot dancer

get up- outfit

giggle water- liquor

gigilo- male dance partner

gimcrack- cheap, shoddy

gimp- walk with a limp

gin mill- speakeasy; a place where they make liquor

gink- a man

git box- guitar

give over the knees- dancing cheek to cheek and toe to toe

give the third- interrogation

glad rags- out on the town clothes

gloam- search through

gnat’s eyebrows- excellent, great

gnat’s whistles- excellent

goat whiskey- liquor from Indiana

gold digger- woman using charm to attract money

goods, the- right stuff

goof- silly person

goofy- in love

goog- black-eye

goon- thugs

gooseberry lay- stealing clothes from clothes line

grab a little air- put your hands up

grangy- jealous

gravy train- source of easy money

green glorious- money

grifter- pickpocket

grill- question

grubber- one who always borrowing cigarettes

grub stake- invitation to dinner

grummy- depressed

gumshoe- detective; walk quietly, stalking

guzzle foam- drinking beer

gyp- a cheat


hack- taxi

hair of the dog- shot of liquor

hairy- clumsy

half- 50 cents

half cut- happily intoxicated

half seas over- drunk

handcuffs- wedding ring

hard boiled- tough guy

harlem sunset- knife wound

has one’s boots on- knowing

hash house- cheap restaurant

hatchman- hired killers

have a smell from the barrel- have a drink

have a snoot full- drunk

have the bee’s- to be rich

have to see a man about a dog- go buy liquor

hay burner- car using lots of gas; racehorse you lose money on

head doctor- psychiatrist

headache band- bandana for the hair

heap- car

heat-police pressure

heavy sugar- lots of money

heebie jeebie- fright

heater- gun

heel- scoundrel

heeler-bad dancer

hegs- engine

heist- armed robbery

hello girl- operator

hen coop- beauty salon

“Hey, it’s snowing down south”- “Hey your slip is showing”

high binder- corrupt politician

high hat- snob

high pillow- person at the top

hikers- knickerbockers

hinky- suspicious

hip- sophisticated; possession of hip flask

hip flask- liquor container that is carried on the hips

hip hound- one who drinks hooch

hip to the jive- enjoy

hit the road

hits on all six- top notch

hitting the pipe- smoke opium

hooch- liquor

hood- hoodlum

hooey- baloney

hoofer- stage dancer

hoof- dance

hoosegow- local jail

hop- drugs

hop joint- crack house

hop shop- pawn shop

hope chest- pack of cigarettes

hopped up- drugged up

hopper- dancer

horn- telephone

horse feathers- nonsense

horse linament- alcohol

horse partner- man who dances on ladies feet

hot- stolen; musically torrid; electrically charged

hot fiend- user of drugs

hot seat-electric chair

hot sketches- cut-ups

hotsy-totsy – pleasing

Houdini- to be on time for a date

house peeper- house or hotel detective

hurdy-gurdy -squeeze box

hush money- allowance from dad

hype- build-up; swindle, overcharge; hypodermic needle


ice- diamonds

ice box- refridgerator

icy mitt- rejection

in a lather- have a fit[frustration]

in stir- in jail

ing bing- have a fit

insured- engaged

iron- motorcycle

iron one’s shoes- go to the bathroom

ish kibbible- I don’t care

it’s the snake toenails- excellent; to have a good time

ivories- piano


jack- small change

jackass brandy- Virginia moonshine

jake- OK; a jamaican gingerthat was a legal medicine comprised of almost    

               pure alcohol from the midwest made one drunk

            or paralysis that last for months sometimes permanent

jalopy- broken down car

jam- improvised music; in trouble

Jane- any female

java- coffee

jaw- talk

jazz- to enhance

jazzed- drunk

jeepers creepers- Jesus Christ!

jingled-brained – addled

jitney- car used as a private bus

jive- unpleasant

joe- coffee

Joe Average- normal college students

Joe Brooks- fashionably dressed man

john- toilet; a sucker

John Barleycaorn- brown whiskey

John D.- oily man

Johnnie Walker- man who refuses to take a cab

joint- place

jotum of skee- shot of liquor

juice joint- speakeasy

juliet- hair style of the 1920’s for women

“Jump in the lake”- “Don’t bother me, you’re crazy”

junk peddlar- drug dealer


kale- money


keister or keyster- head; face; ass; mouth/jaw

kick- pocket

Kicking the gong around- taking opium

kiddo- address to a pal

killjoy- solemn person

kippy- nice

kisser- mouth

kitten’s ankles- top rate, best

klunk- breakdown

knickerbockers- trousers; knickers

knocked off- to kill

knock over- rob

knocked up- pregnate

knows one’s onions- knows what’s ones talking about

kosher- fair


lady legger- female bootlegger

lally gagger- addicted to attempting hallway spooning

lay off- cut it out

lead- bullets

left holding the bag- didn’t get one’s share

lemon squeeze- elevator

lens louis- person given to monopolized conversation

“Let George do it”- avoiding work

lettuce- money

level- honest

lid- hat

Lindenberg jacket- leather jacket

lindy hop- 1920’s dance

line- false story

lip- lawyer

lit up like the common wealth- drunk

lit- drunk

live wire- wild, lively person

loaded to the muzzle- drunk

lollapallooza- great, excellent

lolly gagger- idler

looker- pretty female

lounge lizard- ladies man

low down- latest news, facts

lug- coersion pressure

lubricated- drunk


mad money- flappers ride home money after a fight with her date

made- recognize

mah jongg- Chinese game played with tiles popular in the 1920s

manache- wedding ring

map- face

marbles- pearl necklace

marcel- curly wave perm

mazuma- money

meat wagon- ambulance

meringue- personality

mickey finn- a drink that’s drugged

middle aisle- to marry

mill- typewriter

milque toast- timid person

Mrs. Grundy- tight laced person

moana- short haircut for women

mojo- voodoo magic power

moll- gangster’s girlfriend

monicker- name

monkey rum- molasses liquor

monologist- man who hates to talk about himself

mooch- to leave

moo juice- milk

mop- hankerchief

mouth piece- lawyer

muddy Miss- Mississippi River

mug- guy

mule- alcohol

munitions- face powder

mustard plaster- an unwelcome guy who sticks around


nailed- caught by the cops

nance- effiminate male

necker- petter who put her arms behind her boyfriends neck while necking

necking- love making

needle beer- spinge with alcohol piecing cork on near beer

nerts- insane

Nevada- cyanide

newshawk- reporter

nicked- stole

nifty- cool

nippers- handcuffs

nobody’s home- stupid

noodle- head

noodle juice- tea

nookle- sex, love making

nose candy- heroine

nosebaggery- restaurant

not so good- I personally disagree

“Now you’re on the trolley”- “Now you got it”

nudnik- irritating person

number- person

nut cracker- policeman’s club


off one’s nut- crazy

off the deep end- out of control

oil can- imposter

oil merchant- smooth talking swindler

old boy- man’s address to another

Oliver Twist- skilled dancer

on a toot- drunk

on the lam- fleeing police

on the make- flirting

on the slab- dead

one step- 1920s’s dance

orchid- expensive thing

orphan paper- bad check

ossified- drunk

out on parole- divorsed

out on the roof- to drink a lot

owl- person out late

owled- drunk

Oxford- shoes

Oxford bags- baggy trousers

oyster fruits- pearls


packing heat- armed

pad- apartment

pair of Cs- $200

pal- male adress to another; friend

palace- dancehall

palooka- social outsider

pan- face

panic- have them in the aisle

panther piss- whiskey

panther sweat- alcohol

panther whiskey- liquor from Maryland

paste- punch

patsy- fall guy

paws- hand

peaching- informing

pearl diver- dish washer

peeper- eye

peg- figure [out]

pen, the- penitentry

pensil thin mustache- William Powell mustache

percolates- runs smoothly

petter- loveable person

petting party- more than one couple necking in one room

petty pantry- movie house

phonus bolonus- nonesense

piece- gun

piffle- bad; awful

pigeon- stool pigeon

piker- cheapskate; coward

pill- teacher; unpopular person

pill box- shallow hat with flat crown

pinch- arrest

pinko- liberal

pins- legs

pip- something excellent

pipe- notice; see; throat

pipe down- shut up

pistol pockets- heels

pitching wooing- making love

plant- bury or hiding while on the scene

play- swindle

plug- shoot

plus fours- trousers

police dog- young woman’s fiance

polo coat- coat with camel hair

pooch- dog

pop- soda; to hit

pork pie hat- low-crowned flat top hat

potatoes- business

potted- drunk

potty- silly

primed- drunk

pro skirt- prostitute

prom trotter- student who attends most high school functions

protection money- bootleggers fees to police

puffing- smoking; mugging

pug- boxer

pull a daniel boone- to vomit

pull rank- take advantage of one’s authority to get someone else do certain


pump- heart

pump metal- shoot a gun

punch the bag- small talk

punk out- back out

pushover- easily led person

puss- face

put the screws on- question

putting on the ritz- doing something in high style


queer- counterfiet money

quiff- cheap prostitute


raccoon pelts- coat with raccoon hair

rackateering- extorting money

rag- newspaper

rag-a-muffin -dirty person

rags- clothes

rainpitch fork- downpour

ranke- observe

rap- criminal charge

rat- tell on someone

rats- dice

rattler- train

rause- bumping into someone to pickpocket them

razz- criticize

real mccoy- the high end liquor

red hot- exciting

red light- ejected from a car or a train

reefer- marijuana

ringer- fake

ritzy- elegant

rock of ages- women over 30


rot gut- bootleg alcohol

round heels fighter with glass jaw

rubes- money

rubs- high school dance

rueben- unsophisticated country bumpkin

rug hopper- man who never takes a girl out

rumble- the news

rumble seat- uncovered passenger seat

rummy- drunken bum

run around- delaying

rye sap- alcohol


sack suit- baggy suit with padded shoulders

sad sap- klutz

sap- idiot; hit by club; a club

sap poison- hit on the head with a sap

savvy? – understand?

sawbuck- $10

says you- disbelief

scandler- dance floor full back

scatter- hideout

schlock- loanshark

schnozzle- nose

scram- leave

scratch- money

scratcher- forger

screamie meanies- the shakes

screw- prison guard; leave

scrooched- drunk

seetie- anyone flapprs hate

sent packing- fired

set up- ginger so customers can add their own liquor from their hip flasks

shacked up- sleep with someone

shade- someone used to shade the pickpocket from others

shakedown a joint-extort money

shamuse- cop

sharp shooter- person who spends well and dances well

sheba- boy’s girlfriend

shiek- girl’s boyfriend

shiek and his sheba, a- stylish couple

shimmy- dance of the 1920’s

shingled bob- haircut, occipital bone in back faced below a V at the nape of


shiv- knife

showcase- wealthy man’s wife all ritsy up

shyster- lawyer

silver screen- movie

simoleon- loose change

sing- confess

sinker- donut

sissy rod- silencer on a barrel of a gun

sitting pretty- in prime position

skee- scotch

skins- drums

skirt- woman

skrewy- nuts

skylarker- suspicious person

slay- kill [like] funny thing

slimpy- cheapskate

slip off- to kill

slum- go to the bad side of town

smarties- cute flappers

Smith brothers- guys who never cough up

smoke eaters- smokers

smooth- a guy who don’t keep his word; well dressed

smudge- to dance close

smudger- close dancer

snake charmer- female bootlegger

snake hips- excellent

snaps a cap- yell

sneeze- take

snitch- tell on

snort- drink a shot of liquor

snow bird-

snowed- be on drugs

snuggle pu- sweetheart who likes to cuddle

so over the edge with the rams- drunk

soak- to pawn

sock- punch

sock dollager- having a great impact

sod buster- undertaker

soda pop moon- beet sugar liquor

“So’s you’re old man”-

soup-and-fish -tuxedo

spats- cloth worn over the shoes

spiffy- elegant

spill- to talk

spinach- money

spitting- talking

spooning- to neck; kiss

squeak box- violin

squeeze- girlfriend

square- honest

squirt metal- shoot a gun

squirting of metal- gunfire

stall- pickpocket assistant to distract the victim

stander- victim of female grafter

stanler- car that runs on steam

static- conflicting opinion

sticks of tea- marijuana

stiff- corpse

still- contrivance for distilleries

stilts- female legs

sting- culmination of a con game

stole- fur scarf

straggle- modern dance

strike me dead- alcohol

stringing- feeding someone a story

struggle buggy- back seat

stuck on- in love

stuff- drugs or alcohol

stupe- foolish person

stutter tub- motor boat

sucker- victim easily conned into a swindle

suitor- one who courts a woman

suck the bamboo- smoke opium

sugar daddy- rich man showering young women

sugar moon- rubbing alcohol base liquor with heavy isopropyl

swan- gracefully

swanky- elegant

sweet patootie- cute girl

swell- wonderful rich guy

swift- have plenty

swing- hang


tailed- followed, shadowed

take a powder- leave

take on- eat

take some one for a one way ride- murder at a deserted area

take to the air- leave

taken for a sleigh ride- swindled

tams- female cap

tanked- drunk

tarantula juice- liquor

tell it to Sweeney- tell it to someone who’ll believe

the goods- evidence

thicker than a $5 malt

three holer- outhouse

three spot- 3 year prison sentence

throw a joe- passed out

ticky tacky- shoddy

tiger milk- alcohol

tight- attractive

tightening the screws- put pressure on

tin- badge

tin can- car

tin can tourist- traveler by car

tin lizzie- T. Ford car

tip a few- have a few drinks

tip your mitt- show your hands, reveal

tool- best pickpocket in a gang

tomato- sexually female

tooting the wrong ringer- asking the wrong person

toque- small brimless, close fitting hat

torch song- broken hearted sad song

torpedo- hired guns

trip for biscuits- wild goose chase

turban- close fitting brimless hat

25 skidoo- getting oput while it’s getting good

twerp- imature brat

twin six- Packard

two bits- 25 cents or $25

typewriter- machine gun


umbrella- young man a girl can borrow for the evening

under glass- jail

up and up, the- legitamate

upchuck- vomit

uppers- to be broken

upstage- snob; snobby

urban set- new evening gown


vamp- women who seduces men

victrola-phonograph; record player

voot- money


wang doodle- jazz band music

waterproof- face no need for make-up

weak sister- a pushover

weasel- girl stealer

wearing iron- armed

well heeled- armed

wet- have alcohol available

wet blanket- solemn person

wet tag- squelcher

“What’s eating you?’- “What’s wrong”

wheats- pancakes

wheels- legs

whisper sister- female proprieter of a speakeasy

white lightning- whiskey from Virginia

whoopee- having a good time

wife- dormitory roommate

wiggle on- move on

wire- best pickpocket in the gang

wisecrack- slogan written on college/ high school boy’s cars

wisehead- smart person

wooden kimono- coffin

worker- woman who takes a guy for his money



yack yack bourbon- iodine and burnt sugar flavored moonshine  from


yahoo- clumsy person

yard- $100

yegg- safe cracker


zozzled- drunk