Hollywood is one of the hardest places to make a living, and not just because of the dense thicket of agents and managers one has to get through to have a drink with someone - the lexicon of the city is also purposefully confusing. But prior to the modern era of slang, Hollywood terms were absolutely bananas. Some of the film set terms on this list, like "chew the scenery," are pretty well-known, but phrases like “bank’s closed” and “dingle dangler” have sadly dropped out of use and need to be brought back immediately. So don’t be a Joe Brooks, check out these bizarre Hollywood phrases and start using them today!
Listen up you dewdroppers, if you want to make it in this town you’ve got to be on the up and up. And that means learning so many movie industry terms that every gal on a pair of stilts thinks you’re the cat’s pajamas. Don’t worry, nothing on this list is above your pay grade, and if you start dropping these bon mots on Hollywood Boulevard you’ll be a real Gene Kelly in no time. If you still don’t know your onion, then you better take a look at this list of great old Hollwood terms before people start taking you for a real palooka.
Vote up your favorite slang terms from the halcyon days of Hollywood, and if you’re hip to the jive then leave a comment with some other phrases that we should all start using. If not, then go take a trip for biscuits.
list ordered by
Chew the Scenery
When someone overacts.
Save the Cat
When a person does something nice to endear themselves to you.
A well dressed, square looking person. Usually a student.
To Iron One's Shoelaces
A slick way to excuse yourself to go to the bathroom.
Go Chase Yourself!
Get out of here!
Buff and Puff
To get your hair done.
That's Above My Pay Grade
Don't ask me to do that.
Anything used to make a guy look taller.
Trip for Biscuits
To go one a wild goose chase.
Anyone who smokes cigarettes.
Get the Hook
To pull a bad performer offstage.
A nice pair of gams.
Literally anything that's good.
Know Your Onion
To know what's up.
What you say when you want people to stop making out.
Someone who's boy crazy.
In the Canyon
When you can't hear someone because you've lost cellphone service from being ~in the canyon~.
Someone who's a great dancer.
So's Your Old Man
The best way to reply to someone who's a jerk to you.
Hip to the Jive
Someone who is cool (i.e. people who use old Hollywood slang).
Snap Your Cap
To get angry.
Dropping the Pilot
Use this when you're breaking up with someone or getting a divorce.