history 42 Bizarre Slang Terms People Actually Used During World War II  

Robert F Mason
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As one of the most devastating conflicts in the 20th century, World War II permanently changed the social and political landscape of the world for generations to come. However, it also had an indelible impact on the English language. World War II slang terms often centered around military life, but many of these words and sayings are still popular today.  Expressions from World War II that are still commonly used include: "baloney!" to mean "bullsh*t," "beat it" meaning "go away," "copacetic" for "very good," referring to a betrayal as being "double-crossed," and even proclaiming "for crying out loud" when you're frustrated.

However, much of this World War II-era slang fell by the wayside, which is a shame because it was rather colorful to say the least. So, compiled here is a collection of some of World War II's most interesting slang terms for all you modern speakers who are looking for alternatives to the "baes," "lits," and emojis that have overtaken our world.

And when you've finished memorizing all your WWII verbiage, be sure to check out slang from the 1930s, the 1950s, and the era of the American hobo and we'll have you talkin' like an old-timer lickety-split!

list ordered by

1
24 6
All Wet Bad, terrible. "That idea is all wet."

2
20 3
Beat Your Gums To engage in useless or pointless chit-chat. "Quit beating your gums and get to work."

3
22 6
Applesauce Nonsense, ridiculousness. "Knock off that applesauce, kids."

4
19 5
Bushwa Bullsh*t.

5
15 2
P.D.Q. Pretty damn quick.

6
15 3
Bunk Lizard A lazy person whose only passion in life is sleeping.

7
16 4
Balled Up Messed up.

8
16 4
Asthma Referring to the jokester of a group - because they're chock full of wheezes.

9
16 4
File 13 The trash; throwing something away by putting it in File 13.

10
13 2
Cooking With Gas Being wise to something.

11
15 4
Borrowed Brass Liquid courage; a sense of bravado brought on by alcohol inebriation or being high on drugs.

12
18 7
Belly Cousin A person who has slept with someone you have also slept with.

13
18 7
Cat's Beer Milk.

14
13 5
Brush A mustache.

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15
9 2
Palooka An incompetent boxer; someone who is bad at something.

16
9 2
Wilco "Will comply." Meaning, "I'll do it."

17
9 2
Coffee Cooler A person who seeks easy jobs; a loafer.

18
13 6
Chair-Borne Infantry Desk workers; can also be revised to refer to keyboard warriors or Internet tough guys.

19
9 3
Clam A US dollar.

20
8 3
Dead Battery A pessimist; an irritable or gloomy person.

21
13 9
Blow It Out Your Barracks Bag Shut up; be quiet.

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22
11 7
Cheaters Eyeglasses.

23
6 2
Short Arm Penis.

24
5 1
O.A.O. One and only. "You're my one and only gal."

25
8 5
Egg In Your Beer Too much of a good thing.

26
5 2
Pocket Lettuce Paper money.

27
5 2
Monkey Clothes Full dress uniform; could be broadened to mean "your finest outfit."

28
5 2
Glad Rags A person's best clothes.

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29
4 1
High Hat A snob, usually rich.

30
4 1
Jane-Crazy Overly fond of women.

31
4 1
Get-Alongs Another term for legs.

32
5 3
Mind Your Potatoes Mind your own business.

33
4 2
Hashburner A cook.

34
3 1
Stripe-Happy Too eager for a promotion.

35
3 1
Gams Legs, particularly on women.

36
7 6
Duck Soup An easy task.

37
4 3
Jake Fine, good. "Everything's jake here, pal."

38
3 2
Ribbon Happy Impressed by one's own decorations.

39
3 2
Tell It To The Marines I don't care about your problem. Go tell someone else.

40
6 6
Four-Flusher A cheater or a faker; borrowed from poker.

41
6 6
Dude Up To dress in your best uniform or outfit.

42
3 4
On A Toot Drunk or on a drinking binge.