Culture
4.9k voters

30 Weird Slang Terms Old-Timey Hobos Actually Used

Updated August 16, 2019 46.2k votes 4.9k voters 375.9k views30 items

List RulesVote up the outdated bits of hobo terminology you're most eager to use on a regular basis.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.

Photo:
  • 1
    2,827
    672

    Coffin Nails

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

  • 2
    2,148
    596

    Bone Orchard

    A graveyard.

  • 3
    2,552
    864

    Dead Soldier

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

  • 4
    1,766
    706

    Cupid's Itch

    Venereal disease.

  • 5
    1,613
    642

    Nickel Note

    A five-dollar bill.

  • 6
    1,214
    490

    Grinders

    Your teeth.

  • 7
    1,433
    661

    Cabbage Head

    A hopeless burnout; a drug user incapable of recovery.

  • 8
    1,126
    571

    Scrape The Mug

    To shave your face.

  • 9
    1,284
    663

    How Strong Are You?

    "How much cash do you have on you?"

  • 10
    1,066
    557

    Ghost Story

    A lie told to explain your tardiness or absence.

  • 11
    1,002
    523

    Wood Butcher

    A carpenter.

  • 12
    1,138
    613

    Bump Gums

    To chat about insignificant things.

  • 13
    842
    525

    Pile Driver

    Good, strong coffee.

  • 14
    787
    535

    Throw Your Guts

    To snitch.

  • 15
    857
    588

    Adam And Eve On A Raft

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

  • 16
    718
    494

    Thin Ones

    Coins worth less than quarters.

  • 17
    592
    422

    Toppings

    Dessert.

  • 18
    568
    407

    Prone The Body

    To rest, horizontally.

  • 19
    664
    484

    Axle Grease

    Butter.

  • 20
    696
    535

    Knowledge Box

    A small country schoolhouse.

  • 21
    644
    501

    Tin Roof

    A drink that's on the house.

  • 22
    692
    555

    Twist A Dream

    To roll a cigarette.

  • 23
    546
    457

    Eat Snowballs

    To stay in colder climates during the winter.

  • 24
    528
    463

    Decorate The Mahogany

    To buy drinks for the whole crew.

  • 25
    500
    450

    Bazoo

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