language 30 Weird Slang Terms Old-Timey Hobos Actually Used  

Kellen Perry
8.7k votes 998 voters 32.9k 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List Rules Vote up the outdated bits of hobo terminology you're most eager to use on a regular basis.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
504 66
Dead Soldier An empty bottle of booze on the side of the road.

2
465 56
Coffin Nails Cigarettes, cuz they'll put you in the bone orchard.

3
409 47
Bone Orchard A graveyard.

4
358 57
Cupid's Itch Venereal disease.

5
320 46
Nickel Note A five-dollar bill.

6
303 63
Cabbage Head A hopeless burnout; a drug user incapable of recovery.

7
272 67
Bump Gums To chat about insignificant things.

8
236 49
How Strong Are You? "How much cash do you have on you?"

9
232 53
Scrape The Mug To shave your face.

10
222 48
Grinders Your teeth.

11
259 72
Ghost Story A lie told to explain your tardiness or absence.

12
245 66
Adam And Eve On A Raft How you order two fried eggs on toast, of course.

13
225 58
Wood Butcher A carpenter.

14
200 70
Pile Driver Good, strong coffee.

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15
194 77
Knowledge Box A small country schoolhouse.

16
174 72
Throw Your Guts To snitch.

17
157 63
Axle Grease Butter.

18
209 100
Twist A Dream To roll a cigarette.

19
158 66
Thin Ones Coins worth less than quarters.

20
180 85
Tin Roof A drink that's on the house.

21
150 67
Bazoo Mouth, derisively: "Put a cork in your bazoo!"

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22
152 69
Eat Snowballs To stay in colder climates during the winter.

23
129 54
Toppings Dessert.

24
156 75
Decorate The Mahogany To buy drinks for the whole crew.

25
136 61
Prone The Body To rest, horizontally.

26
151 82
Mix Me A Hike "Pay me what's due so I can leave."

27
128 71
Cheesy To be covered with a rind of dirt and filth.

28
131 75
Bone Polisher Get your mind out of the gutter, ya bum: this one means "vicious dog."

29
152 96
Balloon Juice Small talk.

30
116 69
Jolt A jail sentence.