Skip to comments.26 Beatnik Slang Words and Phrases We Should All Start Using
Posted on 02/07/2013 1:44:03 PM PST by nickcarraway
On the weekends, it's fun to go to a red onion and get dixie-fried, but try not to run into a used-to-be
Plenty of phrases from the first self-described hipster generation remain a part of modern conversation: People still get bent out of shape, annoying people bug us and muscular guys are still built, just to scan the b-words. Here are 26 words and phrases that don't get much use today, but are worth sneaking into conversation.
1. A shape in a drape A well-dressed person. "Usually she just wears jeans, but she sure is a shape in a drape in that dress."
2. Bright disease To know too much. "He has bright disease. Make sure he doesn't rat us out."
3. Claws sharp Being well-informed on a number of subjects. "Reading Mental Floss keeps your claws sharp."
4. Dixie-fried Drunk. "It's Friday and the eagle flies tonight. Let's go get dixie-fried."
5. Everything plus Better than good-looking. "He wasn't just built, he was everything plus."
6. Focus your audio Listen carefully. "Shut your trap and focus your audio. This is important."
7. Gin mill cowboy A bar regular. (A gin mill is a bar.) "Cliff Clavin was the _flossiest gin mill cowboy of all time."
8. Hanging paper Paying with forged checks. "I hope that chick who stole my purse last week goes to jail for hanging paper."
9. Interviewing your brains Thinking. "I can see you're interviewing your brains, so I'll leave you alone."
10. Jungled up Having a place to live, or specific living arrangements. "All I know is that he's jungled up with that guy he met at the gin mill last month."
11. Know your groceries To be aware, or to do things well. (Similar to Douglas Adams' "know where your towel is.") "You can't give a TED Talk on something unless you really know your groceries."
12. Lead sled A car, specifically one that would now be considered a classic model. "His parents gave him their old lead sled for his 16th birthday."
13. Mason-Dixon line Anywhere out of bounds, especially regarding personal space. "Keep your hands above the Mason-Dixon line, thanks."
14. Noodle it out Think it through. "You don't have to make a decision right now. Noodle it out and call me back."
15. Off the cob Corny. "Okay, some of this old Beat slang is kinda off the cob."
16. Pearl diver A person who washes dishes. "I'm just a pearl diver at a greasy spoon, but it's a job."
17. Quail hunting Picking up women. "I'm going quail hunting and you're my wingman."
18. Red onion A hole in the wall; a really crappy bar. "I thought we were going somewhere nice but he just took me to the red onion on the corner."
19. Slated for crashville Out of control. "That girl's been in college for five minutes and is already slated for crashville."
20. Threw babies out of the balcony A big success; interchangeable with "went down a storm." "I was afraid the party would suck, but it threw babies out of the balcony."
21. Used-to-be An ex, a person you used to date. "I ran into my used-to-be in Kroger's and I looked terrible."
22. Varicose alley The runway in a strip club. "Stay in school or you'll be strutting varicose alley, girls."
23. Ways like a mowing machine An agricultural metaphor for impressive sexual technique, from the song "She's a Hum Dinger" by Buddy Jones. "She's long, she's tall / She's a handsome queen / She's got ways like a mowing machine." (Let us know if any of you ever successfully pull this one off in conversation.)
24. X-ray eyes To understand something, to see through confusion. "That guy is so smart. He's got x-ray eyes."
25. Yard A thousand dollars. "Yeah, it's nice, but rent is half a yard a week. Let's jungle up somewhere else."
26. Zonk on the head A bad thing. "It stormed all night and we lost power, but the real zonk on the head was when hail broke the bedroom window."
If I start talking like this, people will probably look at me real strange, daddio.
I believe Lead Sled would only be used for full sized automobiles (e.g. C-Body Chryslers like the Newport, 300 and New Yorker, Caddilac Fleetwood, Lincoln Continental).
A VW Beetle, MG, Sunbeam Tiger, Corvette, Corvair, Mustng, Comet or Valiant would never be called a LEad Sled.
Wow. Reading that list, I just received a Snapper Carr flashback. Real Gonesville, Daddy-O.
I just don’t understand how those people communicated back then. Oh, well, TTFN, GTG!
“Snap snap snap snap snap....” (beatnik clapping)
I’ve never heard of any of those.
Don’t know how it started but my kids have always called me daddyo.
# 5 is doubleplus good.
Gravy and out-of-state, dude.
Noodle it out is still used. Actually wasn’t it Neal Boortz that used it or a variant?
Don't just talk it, like preach it, man!
Tell them about Daddio, Laddio and The Spook!
Did Maynard G. Krebs use any of these?
One thing I remember about the fifties were all the beatnik joke. Unfortunately, I don’t remember any of the jokes. Dig me daddy-o?
strictly squaresville clyde.
For me, the term “Lead Sled” usually conjures up images of an early-’50s Mercury.
I think, all of them. Look where it got him. He ended up stranded on a desert isle with an old guy who called him “Little Butty”...
Like... cosmic, man.
***7. Gin mill cowboy A bar regular.***
We always call them “Barflies”. Including the women.
Copasetic, mon frere.
HEY YOU KIDS!
Ditto. Extra points if it’s chopped. I use three or four of those but had no idea they were hip related. For instance I’m pretty sure yard as slang for a grand predates the beats by a lot time.
I’m hep...Like, I dig man.
I was a little kid and I asked my mother what a beatnik was and she told me that a beatnik was a person who refused to wear clothes that matched.
My grandparents lived in Venice, CA.
I loved going to the beach and seeing the coffee houses and those people dressed in all black with the original skinny pants.
My Gran bought me some jewelry from one of the shops, it is still as beautiful today as 1955.
I still remember my Gran saying “damn beatniks”, they always let their kids run around the beach naked.
Hey cats, how about a new you for '42? Want to look keen, sharp and hep? Get yourself a zoot suit with a reet pleat, a drape shape and a stuff cuff!
A Zoot Suit--Kay Kyser (1942)
channeled, smoothed, and filled with mooncaps ...
I use three or four of those but had no idea they were hip related.
Went away on my honeymoon with my brother-in-law's big Linc bad enough without changing anything -- except the jugs, headers, and glasspaks ...
For instance Im pretty sure yard as slang for a grand predates the beats by a lot time.
Philologists say slang comes from criminal or fringe subcultures, which used publicly long enough becomes popularized, hence passe. You probably don't know the current terms unless you're "with it." I don't.
But as a Texan, you know "big one" = $1000 and "Big Money" = Beaumont. TX = oil, right?
It’s all copacetic, man.
Actualy I think that would be a boat. A sled would be an uncool car that lacks performance. A leadsled is a custom car with significant body mods (seams used to be filled with lead rather than bondo)
Yeah daddio they’d say Oh man, you’re bringing me down, you’re like on a trip to Squaresville!’’
Maynard G. Crebbs lives!!!!!!!!