1940s slang 

A

B

C

D

E

F

G
  • g-man - FBI investigator.
  • gas - A great time, something hilarious. 
  • gat - A gun (from Gatling gun).
  • Gay - light-hearted or carefree
  • geezer - An old person (offensive). 
  • get a load of - Look at.
  • get lost - To leave, go away.
  • get under your skin - To annoy, bother
  • give it to - To do something (unpleasant) to someone.
  • glitterati - Rich, famous people who love bright lights and cameras.
  • go belly up - To fail or go bankrupt.
  • Gobbledygook – double talk, long speech 
  • gone - Knowledgeable about the current scene.
  • Gone with the wind – run off (with the money) 
  • goof - To make a mistake, error.
  • goof-off - A loiterer, someone who wastes time.
  • gorilla - A stupid thug or bodyguard. 
  • Grandstand – to show off 
  • gravy - Easy money.
  • greenback - A dollar.
  • grill - To interrogate intensely.
  • gumshoe - A private investigator.
  • gunsel - A stupid thug or bodyguard who carries a gun.
H
  • hairy - Old, out-dated.
  • Hang! - Interjection of frustration or emphasis.
  • hang up - To quit.
  • heave-ho - An ejection, throwing out physically.
  • Hen fruit – eggs  
  • Hi-de-ho - hello
  • Hi sugar, are you rationed? – are you going steady?  
  • hipster - A member of the counterculture of the 40s (Origin of ‘hippie’).
  • hitch - To marry
  • hold - Borrow.
  • Holy mackerel! - An interjection of surprise.
  • honcho - The boss, commanding officer.
  • honey - An attractive female.
  • hots - Strong desire for a person of the opposite sex.
  • Hot damn! - An interjection of surprise.
  • Hot diggity dog! - An interjection of surprise.
  • Hot dog! - An interjection of surprise.
  • hotrod - A souped-up car. 
  • hotshot - Expert.
I
  • In cahoots with – conspiring with 
  • in my book - In my opinion.
  • in the know - Knowledgeable, aware.
J
  • Jerk - A stupid or foolish person.
  • jitterbug - A dance to fast big band jazz.
  • jive - To make sense, fit.
  • johnson - The male organ.
  • joint - A prison, jail.
  • juvie - Juvenile delinquent.
K
  • Keen - Wanting to, excited about
  • Khaki wacky – boy crazy 
  • kibosh - A stop (to something).
  • kick - Enjoyment.
  • kicks - Fun
  • Killer-diller – good stuff 
  • king-size - Really huge.
  • knock off - To kill.
  • knock off - To quit.
  • knocked out - Asleep.
  • knuckle sandwich - A punch in the mouth.
  • knucklehead - A stupid or foolish person.
L
  • Let someone have it - To shoot someone. 
  • Lettuce - money 
  • like crazy - Really fast.
  • line - An untrue story or statement.
  • lulu - Something excellent, outstanding.
M
  • make a pass - To flirt with, try to seduce.
  • meatball - A stupid or foolish person.
  • megabucks - A lot of money.
  • megillah - A tediously detailed account.
  • moolah - Money.
  • Motorized freckles – insects
  • mug - Face.
  • mug - To make faces.
N
  • nada - Nothing.
  • natch - Naturally, of course
  • nerve - Audacity.
  • Nice going! - Interjection of congratulations.
  • No dice! - An interjection of rejection.
  • No fooling - telling the truth
  • nuts - Crazy, insane. 
O
  • Off the hook - Exonerated, cleared of guilt.
  • Old lady - Mother.
  • On the nose - Exactly.
P
  • Pain in the neck - Annoyance.
  • Pass the buck – pass responsibility for 
  • Patsy - A scapegoat.
  • Paw - Hand.
  • Peanuts - Little money.
  • Peepers - Eyes.
  • Pennies from heaven – easy money 
  • Pistol - A dynamic person.
  • Pull - Influence.
Q
  • Quarterback - To lead.
  • Queer - A homosexual.
R
  • Rag - To make fun of, tease.
  • Reach for the sky! - Raise your hands.
  • Retread - An old performer making a comeback.
  • Rhubarb - Argument, squabble. 
  • Rock - A diamond or other precious stone. 
  • Rocks - Ice. 
  • Roughhouse - To play rough.
  • Rub out - To kill. 
  • Rug - A toupee, a wig.
  • Run out of gas - To lose interest or momentum.
S
  • Sappy - Gullible, or overly sentimental.
  • Sauced - Drunk, intoxicated.
  • Say - express surprise or to draw attention to a remark or question 
  • Screw up - To make a mistake, error.
  • Sell out - To betray someone.
  • Share crop – sexually promiscuous girl 
  • Sharp - Excellent, outstanding
  • Shot - A try, turn, go.
  • Shove - Keep (contemptuous rejection).
  • Shut-eye - Sleep.
  • Sing - To inform or tattle.
  • Skip - To leave with someone in pursuit. 
  • Slug - To hit.
  • Smoke out - Force out, make come out.
  • Smooch - To hug and kiss.
  • Snap your cap – get angry 
  • Soppy - self-indulgently sentimental
  • Souse - A drunk.
  • Spew - To vomit.
  • Spew one’s guts out - To tell everything one knows.
  • Spiffy - Dressed up
  • Spivvy - Dressed up.
  • Spook - A spy.
  • Spook - To frighten.
  • Spring - Let out, let loose.
  • Stacked - Having a nice female figure.
  • Stick around - Stay.
  • Sticks - An isolated place in the country.
  • Stompers – shoes
  • Straight up - Without ice.
  • Sugar daddy - A rich man who supports a female.
  • Sweet - Excellent, outstanding.
  • Swell - very good
  • Swigger - A drinker. 
T
  • Take a gander - Look at, examine.
  • Take a powder - To leave.
  • Tap - To deprive of money.
  • The big house - Federal prison.
  • Thingamabob - An object for which a name is unavailable. 
  • Through the wringer - A chastising, a tough questioning.
  • To skunk - To hold scoreless.
  • Tough - Too bad.
  • Two cents worth - Weak advice, opinion.
U
  • Unmentionables - Women’s underwear.
  • Up for grabs - Available to anyone.
W
  • Wacky - Crazy, insane.
  • Wad - Money.
  • What’s buzzin’, cousin? – How’s it going? 
  • What’s cooking? - What is going on?
  • What’s eating you? - What’s annoying or bothering you?
  • What’s up? - What is going on?
  • What of it? - What concern is it of yours?
  • Whistle Dixie - To be mistaken. 
  • Wolf - Aggressively forward male.
  • Wow! - An interjection of surprise.
  • Wrack your brain - Think hard.
Y
  • You know - Speech punctuation.
  • Yuck - A stupid or foolish person.
  +  Notes