Language 30 Weird Slang Terms Old-Timey Hobos Actually Used  

Kellen Perry
8.9k votes 1k voters 33.7k 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List Rules Vote up the outdated bits of hobo terminology you're most eager to use on a regular basis.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
477 57
Coffin Nails

Cigarettes, cuz they'll put you in the bone orchard.

2
513 68
Dead Soldier

An empty bottle of booze on the side of the road.

3
421 48
Bone Orchard

A graveyard.

4
368 58
Cupid's Itch

Venereal disease.

5
324 50
Nickel Note

A five-dollar bill.

6
309 64
Cabbage Head

A hopeless burnout; a drug user incapable of recovery.

7
243 52
How Strong Are You?

"How much cash do you have on you?"

8
275 71
Bump Gums

To chat about insignificant things.

9
226 51
Grinders

Your teeth.

10
237 57
Scrape The Mug

To shave your face.

11
265 75
Ghost Story

A lie told to explain your tardiness or absence.

12
249 70
Adam And Eve On A Raft

How you order two fried eggs on toast, of course.

13
231 61
Wood Butcher

A carpenter.

14
206 72
Pile Driver

Good, strong coffee.

15
197 81
Knowledge Box

A small country schoolhouse.

16
218 100
Twist A Dream

To roll a cigarette.

17
177 75
Throw Your Guts

To snitch.

18
162 68
Thin Ones

Coins worth less than quarters.

19
160 67
Axle Grease

Butter.

20
184 88
Tin Roof

A drink that's on the house.

21
154 70
Bazoo

Mouth, derisively: "Put a cork in your bazoo!"

22
155 72
Eat Snowballs

To stay in colder climates during the winter.

23
132 57
Toppings

Dessert.

24
159 78
Decorate The Mahogany

To buy drinks for the whole crew.

25
137 65
Prone The Body

To rest, horizontally.

26
153 85
Mix Me A Hike

"Pay me what's due so I can leave."

27
130 75
Cheesy

To be covered with a rind of dirt and filth.

28
133 79
Bone Polisher

Get your mind out of the gutter, ya bum: this one means "vicious dog."

29
155 98
Balloon Juice

Small talk.

30
119 71
Jolt

A jail sentence.