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

Noelle Talmon
7.9k votes 641 voters 16.6k 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
363 57
Bee's Knees

The best.

2
302 47
Cat's Meow

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

3
305 60
Wet Blanket

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

4
287 63
Hooch

Liquor. 

5
239 70
Big Cheese

A person in charge or someone very important.

6
216 61
Whoopee

To have a good time.

7
197 85
Hotsy-Totsy

Everything is alright or even perfect!

8
198 101
Clam

Dollar. 100 clams equals 100 dollars.

9
176 89
Gams

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

10
176 103
Zozzled

Drunk. Inebriated.

11
177 110
Handcuff

An engagement ring.

12
164 107
Out On Parole

A person who is divorced.

13
135 81
Sheba

A sexually desirable woman.

14
133 81
Dudding Up

To get dressed up.

15
138 102
Tomato

An attractive, but stupid, woman.

16
143 109
Know One's Onions

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

17
116 84
Fire Extinguisher

A chaperone.

18
121 91
Applesauce

Nonsense.

19
119 95
Dewdropper

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

20
109 96
Father Time

A person over the age of 30.

21
94 96
Phonus Balonus

Nonsense (similar to phoney baloney).

22
105 117
Bank's Closed

No kissing.

23
91 102
Ossified

Drunk.

24
87 108
Gimlet

A really boring person.

25
79 105
Scofflaw

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