History 30 Weird Slang Terms Old-Timey Hobos Actually Used  

Kellen Perry
13.3k votes 1.6k voters 67k 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List Rules Vote up the outdated bits of hobo terminology you're most eager to use on a regular basis.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
722 117
Coffin Nails

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

2
767 130
Dead Soldier

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

3
616 93
Bone Orchard

A graveyard.

4
554 93
Cupid's Itch

Venereal disease.

5
497 86
Nickel Note

A five-dollar bill.

6
462 101
Cabbage Head

A hopeless burnout; a drug user incapable of recovery.

7
427 95
How Strong Are You?

"How much cash do you have on you?"

8
381 81
Scrape The Mug

To shave your face.

9
415 103
Bump Gums

To chat about insignificant things.

10
358 79
Grinders

Your teeth.

11
393 102
Ghost Story

A lie told to explain your tardiness or absence.

12
349 86
Wood Butcher

A carpenter.

13
350 102
Adam And Eve On A Raft

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

14
302 100
Pile Driver

Good, strong coffee.

15
286 105
Knowledge Box

A small country schoolhouse.

16
270 99
Throw Your Guts

To snitch.

17
249 95
Thin Ones

Coins worth less than quarters.

18
303 132
Twist A Dream

To roll a cigarette.

19
242 95
Axle Grease

Butter.

20
263 116
Tin Roof

A drink that's on the house.

21
227 96
Eat Snowballs

To stay in colder climates during the winter.

22
205 83
Toppings

Dessert.

23
207 88
Prone The Body

To rest, horizontally.

24
220 98
Bazoo

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

25
228 104
Decorate The Mahogany

To buy drinks for the whole crew.