Weird History 30+ Weird Slang Terms From The 20s That Prove Young People Have Always Been Dumb  

Noelle Talmon
6.4k votes 551 voters 15.3k views 33 items

List Rules Vote up the Roaring Twenties slang expressions you want to start using in your daily life.

There isn't a whole lot of 1920s slang that's still in circulation in the 21st century. However, there are some pretty cool Roaring Twenties slang words that should be brought back into the vernacular, mostly because it's very entertaining. Some of the old '20s expressions are really good, or as they would say, "Really berries!" If Roaring Twenties slang was still in use after the turn of the 20th cenutry, business magnate Richard Branson would be considered an "egg," or someone who is very wealthy with a lavish lifestyle. Mariah Carey would be a "sheba," or a sexually desirable woman. And instead of eating a doughnut, you'd be eating a "sinker."

You have to admit, old '20s expressions are charming and bring you back to a time when flappers ruled the world and alcohol was prohibited. Check out some weird and offbeat slang from a bygone era below and vote up your favorite slang from the 1920s that people actually used. 

list ordered by

1
302 46
Bee's Knees

The best.

2
242 38
Cat's Meow

A person or thing that is very desirable. A similar phrase is "cat's pajamas."

3
251 50
Wet Blanket

Someone who doesn't know how to have any fun.

4
233 53
Hooch

Liquor. 

5
195 59
Big Cheese

A person in charge or someone very important.

6
167 51
Whoopee

To have a good time.

7
165 76
Clam

Dollar. 100 clams equals 100 dollars.

8
150 72
Hotsy-Totsy

Everything is alright or even perfect!

9
153 76
Zozzled

Drunk. Inebriated.

10
141 71
Gams

Legs, as in, "Look at those gams!"

11
152 83
Handcuff

An engagement ring.

12
138 85
Out On Parole

A person who is divorced.

13
105 67
Sheba

A sexually desirable woman.

14
102 67
Dudding Up

To get dressed up.

15
99 69
Applesauce

Nonsense.

16
110 83
Tomato

An attractive, but stupid, woman.

17
99 76
Dewdropper

A young man who doesn't have a job and sleeps all day (also known as a lollygagger).

18
115 93
Know One's Onions

If you "know one's onions," you are very knowledgeable about a topic.

19
89 70
Fire Extinguisher

A chaperone.

20
85 81
Father Time

A person over the age of 30.

21
92 93
Bank's Closed

No kissing.

22
79 79
Ossified

Drunk.

23
76 78
Phonus Balonus

Nonsense (similar to phoney baloney).

24
79 82
Gimlet

A really boring person.

25
66 81
Scofflaw

An individual who drinks illegally. The word is a comboination of the words "scoff" and "law."