26 August 2009

Selections from "A Flapper's Dictionary" (1922)

Dimbox = A taxicab

Clothesline = One who tells neighborhood stories

Snugglepup = Young man who frequents petting parties

Petting party = Social event devoted to hugging

Finale hopper = Young man who arrives after all bills are paid

Sodbuster = An undertaker

Applesauce = Flattery or bunk

Forty-niner = Man who is prospecting for a rich wife

Tomato = Good looking girl with no brains

Cake-eater = Harmless lounge lizard

Mad money = Carfare home if she has a fight with her escort

Hikers = Knickerbockers

Grubstake = Invitation to dinner

Corn-shredder = Young man who dances on lady's feet

Dogs = Feet

Mouthpiece = Lawyer

Handcuff = Engagement ring

Cat's Pajamas = Anything that's good

Frog's eyebrows = Nice, fine

Plastered = A synonym for pie-eyed; oiled; intoxicated

There are many more at this link. Of the ones listed above, I believe "mad money", "dogs," and "plastered" have endured to the present; a few others (grubstake, cat's pajamas) are familiar to those who watch vintage movies.


  1. all these semantics posts are greatly appreciated...Cab Calloway's Jive Dictionary is worth checking out...thanks

  2. Fun post, this is an interesting one! I'm 23 and from New York, and I've definitely heard things referred to as the 'cat's pajamas'. Also, a number of people I know still call cigarettes 'butts'. "Handcuff" for an engagement ring is a new one, though, and one I might begin to use...


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