Old-Timey Hobo Slang You Should Start Using In Your Everyday Life

By 1.3k votes 231 voters 6.6k views 30 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Vote up the outdated bits of hobo terminology you're most eager to use on a regular basis.

Are you tired of 21st century lingo like woke, fleek, tho, adorbs, or [INSERT HOT NEW SLANG HERE]? Maybe it's time to borrow a corn liquor-soaked page from late 19th- and early 20th-century vagrants and start using some old-timey hobo slang!

Not all hobo terminology or historical hobo words are fit for 21st-century sensibilities, however. Telling your friends you'll meet them in the "lee of a reefer," as cool as that sounds, is meaningless unless you are literally going to join them in a refrigerated boxcar. There are also some things hobos used to say that are unforgivably racist and better left unmentioned. But the list below features some hot hobo slang you can safely integrate into your day-to-day life.

So go twist a dream (if you're so inclined), pour a hot cup of pile driver, and check out some of the best hobo slang to bump gums with your friends about.

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    Bone Orchard A graveyard.

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    Dead Soldier An empty bottle of booze on the side of the road.

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    Cupid's Itch Venereal disease.

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    Ghost Story A lie told to explain your tardiness or absence.

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    Twist A Dream To roll a cigarette.

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    Cabbage Head A hopeless burnout; a drug user incapable of recovery.

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    Coffin Nails Cigarettes, cuz they'll put you in the bone orchard.

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    Knowledge Box A small country schoolhouse.

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    Bump Gums To chat about insignificant things.

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    Nickel Note A five-dollar bill.

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    Balloon Juice Small talk.

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    Adam And Eve On A Raft How you order two fried eggs on toast, of course.

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    Tin Roof A drink that's on the house.

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    Scrape The Mug To shave your face.

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    Mix Me A Hike "Pay me what's due so I can leave."

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    Decorate The Mahogany To buy drinks for the whole crew.

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    Wood Butcher A carpenter.

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    Eat Snowballs To stay in colder climates during the winter.

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    How Strong Are You? "How much cash do you have on you?"

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    Pile Driver Good, strong coffee.

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    Throw Your Guts To snitch.

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    Cheesy To be covered with a rind of dirt and filth.

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    Axle Grease Butter.

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    Grinders Your teeth.

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    Thin Ones Coins worth less than quarters.

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    Bone Polisher Get your mind out of the gutter, ya bum: this one means "vicious dog."

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    Jolt A jail sentence.

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    Bazoo Mouth, derisively: "Put a cork in your bazoo!"

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    Toppings Dessert.

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    Prone The Body To rest, horizontally.

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