History 30 Weird Slang Terms Old-Timey Hobos Actually Used  

Kellen Perry
13.9k votes 1.7k voters 73.8k 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List Rules Vote up the outdated bits of hobo terminology you're most eager to use on a regular basis.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
807 139
Dead Soldier

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

2
764 128
Coffin Nails

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

3
651 98
Bone Orchard

A graveyard.

4
588 98
Cupid's Itch

Venereal disease.

5
522 92
Nickel Note

A five-dollar bill.

6
487 107
Cabbage Head

A hopeless burnout; a drug user incapable of recovery.

7
454 101
How Strong Are You?

"How much cash do you have on you?"

8
400 87
Scrape The Mug

To shave your face.

9
438 107
Bump Gums

To chat about insignificant things.

10
377 83
Grinders

Your teeth.

11
413 105
Ghost Story

A lie told to explain your tardiness or absence.

12
370 89
Wood Butcher

A carpenter.

13
369 106
Adam And Eve On A Raft

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

14
318 107
Pile Driver

Good, strong coffee.

15
302 110
Knowledge Box

A small country schoolhouse.

16
287 104
Throw Your Guts

To snitch.

17
264 97
Thin Ones

Coins worth less than quarters.

18
260 96
Axle Grease

Butter.

19
320 134
Twist A Dream

To roll a cigarette.

20
276 120
Tin Roof

A drink that's on the house.

21
238 97
Eat Snowballs

To stay in colder climates during the winter.

22
216 85
Toppings

Dessert.

23
232 100
Bazoo

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

24
215 90
Prone The Body

To rest, horizontally.

25
236 105
Decorate The Mahogany

To buy drinks for the whole crew.