Culture

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

Noelle Talmon
Updated March 9, 2020 12.1k votes 959 voters 27.6k 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
Bee's Knees

The best.

2
Cat's Meow

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

3
Wet Blanket

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

4
Hooch

Liquor. 

5
Big Cheese

A person in charge or someone very important.

6
Whoopee

To have a good time.

7
Hotsy-Totsy

Everything is alright or even perfect!

8
Clam

Dollar. 100 clams equals 100 dollars.

9
Gams

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

10
Zozzled

Drunk. Inebriated.

11
Handcuff

An engagement ring.

12
Dudding Up

To get dressed up.

13
Sheba

A sexually desirable woman.

14
Out On Parole

A person who is divorced.

15
Know One's Onions

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

16
Dewdropper

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

17
Applesauce

Nonsense.

18
Fire Extinguisher

A chaperone.

19
Tomato

An attractive, but stupid, woman.

20
Father Time

A person over the age of 30.

21
Phonus Balonus

Nonsense (similar to phoney baloney).

22
Ossified

Drunk.

23
Bank's Closed

No kissing.

24
Gimlet

A really boring person.

25
Scofflaw

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