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The Flappers’ Dictionary

Jim Lewin received a stack of old magazines at his used bookstore that included some issues of The Flapper from the 1920s. A July 1922 issue contained “The Flapper’s Dictionary,” a glossary of hot slang terms of the time, which he posted in its entirety. Here’s a small sample:

Absent Treatment—Dancing with a bashful partner.

Airedale—A homely man.

Alarm Clock—Chaperone.

Anchor—Box of flowers.

Apple Knocker—A hick; a hay-shaker.

Apple Sauce–Flattery; bunk.

Barlow—A girl, a flapper, a chicken.

Bank’s Closed—No petting allowed; no kisses.


Bee’s Knees—See “Cat’s Pajamas”

Bell Polisher—A young man addicted to lingering in vestibules at 1 a.m.

Ask your grandmother (or great-grandmother) if she remembers some of these words. Some I know from watching old movies, and my own mother gave me “mad money” before I went on a date. Link -via Boing Boing

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April 11th, 2011

Stranger to the World


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