Language 30 Weird Slang Terms Old-Timey Hobos Actually Used  

Kellen Perry
10.6k votes 1.2k voters 45.4k 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List Rules Vote up the outdated bits of hobo terminology you're most eager to use on a regular basis.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
572 76
Coffin Nails

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

2
510 62
Bone Orchard

A graveyard.

3
606 90
Dead Soldier

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

4
442 74
Cupid's Itch

Venereal disease.

5
393 65
Nickel Note

A five-dollar bill.

6
377 74
Cabbage Head

A hopeless burnout; a drug user incapable of recovery.

7
321 68
How Strong Are You?

"How much cash do you have on you?"

8
297 64
Scrape The Mug

To shave your face.

9
333 83
Bump Gums

To chat about insignificant things.

10
321 82
Ghost Story

A lie told to explain your tardiness or absence.

11
280 63
Grinders

Your teeth.

12
281 69
Wood Butcher

A carpenter.

13
287 79
Adam And Eve On A Raft

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

14
250 78
Pile Driver

Good, strong coffee.

15
235 88
Knowledge Box

A small country schoolhouse.

16
216 81
Throw Your Guts

To snitch.

17
200 73
Thin Ones

Coins worth less than quarters.

18
251 110
Twist A Dream

To roll a cigarette.

19
195 74
Axle Grease

Butter.

20
190 78
Eat Snowballs

To stay in colder climates during the winter.

21
187 77
Bazoo

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

22
215 98
Tin Roof

A drink that's on the house.

23
165 66
Toppings

Dessert.

24
169 70
Prone The Body

To rest, horizontally.

25
188 88
Decorate The Mahogany

To buy drinks for the whole crew.