History 30 Weird Slang Terms Old-Timey Hobos Actually Used  

Kellen Perry
11.1k votes 1.3k voters 49.2k 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List Rules Vote up the outdated bits of hobo terminology you're most eager to use on a regular basis.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
602 83
Coffin Nails

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

2
628 91
Dead Soldier

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

3
533 68
Bone Orchard

A graveyard.

4
461 77
Cupid's Itch

Venereal disease.

5
413 67
Nickel Note

A five-dollar bill.

6
393 77
Cabbage Head

A hopeless burnout; a drug user incapable of recovery.

7
340 72
How Strong Are You?

"How much cash do you have on you?"

8
314 67
Scrape The Mug

To shave your face.

9
347 88
Bump Gums

To chat about insignificant things.

10
297 65
Grinders

Your teeth.

11
336 84
Ghost Story

A lie told to explain your tardiness or absence.

12
297 69
Wood Butcher

A carpenter.

13
301 81
Adam And Eve On A Raft

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

14
258 82
Pile Driver

Good, strong coffee.

15
244 91
Knowledge Box

A small country schoolhouse.

16
226 83
Throw Your Guts

To snitch.

17
209 75
Thin Ones

Coins worth less than quarters.

18
202 76
Axle Grease

Butter.

19
260 115
Twist A Dream

To roll a cigarette.

20
195 82
Eat Snowballs

To stay in colder climates during the winter.

21
192 80
Bazoo

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

22
221 101
Tin Roof

A drink that's on the house.

23
171 68
Toppings

Dessert.

24
176 73
Prone The Body

To rest, horizontally.

25
194 91
Decorate The Mahogany

To buy drinks for the whole crew.