Learn the Lingo: 1920s Slang

    Don't be all wet! Learn the Jazz Age lingo with our handy slang dictionary.

    The parties, the clothes, the music — we are desperate to live in the world of Bright Young Things and Beautiful Days. But since we’re stuck here, we’re making the best of it and dropping the very finest of Twenties-era slang into our every day conversations. Give it a try — it makes the Millennium feel a little more Deco-esque.

    All wet, adj; Full of it and not in a fun way.
    Example: Cordelia liked Max, she really did, but sometimes he was just all wet.

    Applesauce, slang phrase; an expletive used like “oh sh**!”
    Example: “Oh applesauce!” Astrid yelled after she accidentally tipped the tea tray into the pool.

    Bank’s closed, slang phrase; an expression meaning “no kissing or funny business.” Used like “I have a headache.”
    Example: Charlie was in an amorous mood but Astrid just sighed, “Sorry Charlie — bank’s closed.”

    Bee’s knees, slang phrase; an expression meaning “the very best.”
    Example: Before Letty went out on the town, she dressed in a sweet black dress that was just the bee’s knees.

    Clam, noun; a dollar
    Example: Astrid realized she had left her pocketbook in the car. “Applesauce!” she yelled. “Cordelia, spot me a clam.”

    Fly boy, noun; an aviator
    Example: Let the other girls have their doctors and lawyers, Cordelia was happy with her fly boy.

    Gin Mill, noun; a bar where hard liquor is sold.
    Example: Cordelia wasn’t trying to ignore Letty and Astrid — she was just so busy preparing her gin mill.

    Handcuff, noun; an engagement ring
    Example: Astrid went home for Sunday supper to flash her shiny, new handcuff at her doubting mother.

    Pill, noun; a difficult person
    Example: Letty was ready to leave the club but she didn’t say anything because she didn’t want to be a pill.

    Sinker, noun; a donut
    Example: Cordelia knew that her enviable figure wouldn’t last forever but until then, she was enjoying her share of sinkers.

    Now it’s your turn. Steal your favorite twenties phrases from our list and try your hand at talking like a flapper in the comments.


    1. sarah Said:

      what does park mean!?

    2. sarah Said:

      what does two-timer mean!? Will anybody answer me!? I’m desperate! HELP ME!

    3. Naomi Said:

      Sometimes my grandma can be such a pill.

    4. Naomi Said:

      Entemann’s makes pretty good sinkers 🙂

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