History 30 Weird Slang Terms Old-Timey Hobos Actually Used  

Kellen Perry
12.7k votes 1.5k voters 64.9k 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List Rules Vote up the outdated bits of hobo terminology you're most eager to use on a regular basis.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
734 120
Dead Soldier

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

2
692 112
Coffin Nails

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

3
594 87
Bone Orchard

A graveyard.

4
526 90
Cupid's Itch

Venereal disease.

5
475 79
Nickel Note

A five-dollar bill.

6
443 94
Cabbage Head

A hopeless burnout; a drug user incapable of recovery.

7
400 89
How Strong Are You?

"How much cash do you have on you?"

8
360 76
Scrape The Mug

To shave your face.

9
396 97
Bump Gums

To chat about insignificant things.

10
339 75
Grinders

Your teeth.

11
374 97
Ghost Story

A lie told to explain your tardiness or absence.

12
333 81
Wood Butcher

A carpenter.

13
337 96
Adam And Eve On A Raft

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

14
287 95
Pile Driver

Good, strong coffee.

15
274 100
Knowledge Box

A small country schoolhouse.

16
259 92
Throw Your Guts

To snitch.

17
236 89
Thin Ones

Coins worth less than quarters.

18
231 88
Axle Grease

Butter.

19
291 127
Twist A Dream

To roll a cigarette.

20
251 112
Tin Roof

A drink that's on the house.

21
219 93
Eat Snowballs

To stay in colder climates during the winter.

22
196 79
Toppings

Dessert.

23
214 92
Bazoo

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

24
200 83
Prone The Body

To rest, horizontally.

25
221 100
Decorate The Mahogany

To buy drinks for the whole crew.