Language 30 Weird Slang Terms Old-Timey Hobos Actually Used  

Kellen Perry
8.8k votes 1k voters 33.2k views 30 items

List Rules Vote up the outdated bits of hobo terminology you're most eager to use on a regular basis.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

list ordered by

1
468 57
Coffin Nails Cigarettes, cuz they'll put you in the bone orchard.

2
507 68
Dead Soldier An empty bottle of booze on the side of the road.

3
413 48
Bone Orchard A graveyard.

4
361 58
Cupid's Itch Venereal disease.

5
321 48
Nickel Note A five-dollar bill.

6
305 64
Cabbage Head A hopeless burnout; a drug user incapable of recovery.

7
238 51
How Strong Are You? "How much cash do you have on you?"

8
273 69
Bump Gums To chat about insignificant things.

9
223 50
Grinders Your teeth.

10
232 55
Scrape The Mug To shave your face.

11
262 74
Ghost Story A lie told to explain your tardiness or absence.

12
246 68
Adam And Eve On A Raft How you order two fried eggs on toast, of course.

13
228 60
Wood Butcher A carpenter.

14
202 71
Pile Driver Good, strong coffee.

15
194 79
Knowledge Box A small country schoolhouse.

16
176 73
Throw Your Guts To snitch.

17
213 100
Twist A Dream To roll a cigarette.

18
158 65
Axle Grease Butter.

19
159 68
Thin Ones Coins worth less than quarters.

20
182 87
Tin Roof A drink that's on the house.

21
152 69
Bazoo Mouth, derisively: "Put a cork in your bazoo!"

22
153 71
Eat Snowballs To stay in colder climates during the winter.

23
157 76
Decorate The Mahogany To buy drinks for the whole crew.

24
129 56
Toppings Dessert.

25
136 63
Prone The Body To rest, horizontally.

26
151 84
Mix Me A Hike "Pay me what's due so I can leave."

27
129 73
Cheesy To be covered with a rind of dirt and filth.

28
132 77
Bone Polisher Get your mind out of the gutter, ya bum: this one means "vicious dog."

29
154 97
Balloon Juice Small talk.

30
117 71
Jolt A jail sentence.