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

Noelle Talmon
5.7k votes 503 voters 14.1k 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
277 40
Bee's Knees

The best.

2
216 33
Cat's Meow

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

3
230 43
Wet Blanket

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

4
204 49
Hooch

Liquor. 

5
171 52
Big Cheese

A person in charge or someone very important.

6
148 42
Whoopee

To have a good time.

7
149 67
Clam

Dollar. 100 clams equals 100 dollars.

8
133 63
Hotsy-Totsy

Everything is alright or even perfect!

9
129 61
Gams

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

10
136 69
Zozzled

Drunk. Inebriated.

11
138 72
Handcuff

An engagement ring.

12
121 77
Out On Parole

A person who is divorced.

13
91 56
Dudding Up

To get dressed up.

14
93 58
Sheba

A sexually desirable woman.

15
98 73
Tomato

An attractive, but stupid, woman.

16
106 84
Know One's Onions

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

17
84 62
Applesauce

Nonsense.

18
89 68
Dewdropper

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

19
79 62
Fire Extinguisher

A chaperone.

20
87 79
Bank's Closed

No kissing.

21
77 69
Father Time

A person over the age of 30.

22
72 69
Gimlet

A really boring person.

23
69 69
Ossified

Drunk.

24
65 70
Phonus Balonus

Nonsense (similar to phoney baloney).

25
59 70
Scofflaw

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