Straight from the Fridge, Dad: A Dictionary of Hipster Slang


Righteous jive for all you weedheads, moochers, b-girls, gassers, bandrats, triggermen, grifters, snowbirds, and long-gone daddies.

Much of the slang popularly associated with the hippie generation of the 1960s actually dates back to before World War II, hijacked in the main from jazz and blues street expressions, mostly relating to drugs, sex, and drinking. Why talk when you can beat your chops, why eat when you can line your flue, and why ...
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Straight from the Fridge, Dad: A Dictionary of Hipster Slang

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Righteous jive for all you weedheads, moochers, b-girls, gassers, bandrats, triggermen, grifters, snowbirds, and long-gone daddies.

Much of the slang popularly associated with the hippie generation of the 1960s actually dates back to before World War II, hijacked in the main from jazz and blues street expressions, mostly relating to drugs, sex, and drinking. Why talk when you can beat your chops, why eat when you can line your flue, and why snore when you can call some hogs? You’re not drunk–you’re just plumb full of stagger juice, and your skin isn’t pasty, it’s just caf? sunburn. Need a black coffee? That’s a shot of java, nix on the moo juice.

Containing thousands of examples of hipster slang drawn from pulp novels, classic noir and exploitation films, blues, country, and rock ’n’ roll lyrics, and other related sources from the 1920s to the 1960s, Straight from the Fridge, Dad is the perfect guide for all hep cats and kittens. Think of it as a sort of Thirty Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary for the beret-wearing, bongo-banging set. Solid, Jackson.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Go back to the time when "cool" began with this entertaining dictionary of terms from novels, movies, and songs from the 1920s to 1960s. It's great for decoding your favorite pulp fiction or noir classic.
Library Journal
Decharne's fun and appealing reference source offers words, phrases, and sentences derived from early 20th-century jazz musicians, crime figures, etc., as represented in such sources as film, pulp novels, blues, and country songs dating from the early 20th century through the mid-1960s. Often noir in tone, these colorful gems include examples illustrating the context. Although originally published in Great Britain, the book draws heavily on American slang. Decharne does not always authenticate the definitions with documentary proof, as with the entry "beat the boards," which he defines as "tapdance." Other times, an entry may include a series of sensational examples: "My solid pigeon, that drape is a killer-diller, an E-flat Dillinger, a bit of a fly thing all on one page," says a young woman complimenting a pretty dress. The book lacks editorial principles like those of the very impressive Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang (Vol. 1: LJ 8/94; Vol. 2: LJ 11/15/97), which provides a pronunciation key, indicates who or what group currently uses the entry, arranges the entries alphabetically according to the primary word, and offers variant forms and cross references. Nonetheless, Decharne's book includes many entries that do not appear in Random House. Highly recommended for reference collections serving writers, historians, hipsters, and anyone who enjoys language. Michelle Foyt, Russell Lib., Middletown, CT Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780767908405
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/6/2001
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 867,306
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Max Décharné started out as the Gallon Drunk drummer before graduating to lead singer of the Flaming Stars. He is also an author and journalist for Mojo and Bizarre. He currently divides his time between London and Berlin.
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Read an Excerpt

A-1 The best, top of the heap
"That's my baby,' I said. 'We'll have our good times. Just you and me and thirty grand; maybe five or ten more if it's an A-1 job." From the novel Savage Night, Jim Thompson, 1953

A-Bomb juice Moonshine liquor

A-OK Fine, all in order, just right

A double this time, waiter. Your singles keep leaking The correct way to order drinks From Ocean's Eleven, the novel of the film screenplay, George Clayton Johnson and Golden Russell, 1960

A Shape in a drape Someone who looks good in clothes, is sharply dressed

Abyssinia See you later (I'll be seein' ya.)

Ace 1. Something superlative, the top

2. One dollar

3. A marijuana cigarette

4. A policeman

"'Who's chasin' you, Frankie?"
The aces. They're goin' to pin the sluggin' on me.' "
From the novel The Man with the Golden Arm, Nelson Algren, 1949

5. "An outstanding, regular fellow."
From the booklet The Jives of Doctor Hepcat, Lavada Durst, 1953

Ace in the hole Something in reserve, an advantage, secret weapon, deriving from cardplayers having an ace up their sleeve See the jazz recording Ace in the Hole, The Black Diamond Seranaders, 1926.

Ace out Cheat, defraud

Aces up Something mighty fine, excellent

Action What's happening,
e.g., "Where's the action, pops?"

Adobe dollar Mexican peso

Age of pain Prohibition, the time of the 18th Amendment, which lasted from January 1920 until December 1933

Agitate the gravel Leave, depart, vamoose

Ain't no sin to take off your skin, and dance around in your bones Enjoy yourself, get with it, relax.

Ain't nothin' you can tell me I don't already know I'm right, you're wrong, shut up.

Alabama lie detector Police baton

All broke out with the blues Depressed, low-down

All creeped up Scared, apprehensive, frightened

All-electric Far better looking than the average
"Ordinarily, too, I am not a guy who goes ga-ga on lamping a babe, even though, like this one, she makes it appear that other gals run on gas and she's an all-electric." From the novel Slab Happy, Richard S. Prather, 1958

All gone Drunk, intoxicated

All over them like a cheap dog suit Sticking really close to someone,
e.g., "That guy at the dance was all over my sister like a cheap suit."

All sharped up Well dressed, suavely turned out

All shook up Disturbed, hopped up, excited, real gone
"Cool down Eve, you look all shook up." From the novel Scandal High, Herbert O. Pruett, 1960

All steamed up like a pants presser Sexually excited

All wet Disappointing, worthless

Alligator 1. Down Beat's Yearbook of Swing, 1939, lists this as "a swing fan who plays no instrument, or musician who frequents places where orchestras are playing."

2. Hipster term of address, often shortened to "gator." Similar in meaning to "cat" or "hepcat"

Already slated for crashville Out of control e.g., "We could see that the car was already slated for crashville."

Alreet In order, fine, very good

Alroot See "alreet."

Alvin A rube, a sucker, an easy mark

Amscray Run away, leave (pig latin for "scram")

Ankle To walk

Ants in my pants Sexually excited
"I'm gonna hug you baby good and tight, now love me baby like you done last night, cause I got ants in my pants,
baby for you . . ." From the blues recording Ants in My Pants, Bo Carter, 1931

Anywhere Possessing drugs,
e.g., "Is you anywhere?" (Do you have any?) From the autobiography Really the Blues, Mezz Mezzrow and Bernard Wolfe, 1946

Applesauce Flattery, insincere praise, a load of old flannel;
e.g., "Don't hand me that applesauce, Pops."

Ark "Dance hall, coliseum, any building for dances, meetings, etc." From the booklet The Jives of Doctor Hepcat, Lavada Durst, 1953

Artillery Guns

As bare as hell's backyard Completely empty

As busy as a one-legged tapdancer Extremely busy

As dead as five-cent beer Dead and buried

As drunk as two sailors Soused, plastered, three sheets to the wind

As full as a pair of goats Totally drunk
"Before long we were as full as a pair of goats." From the short story The Golden Horseshoe, Dashiell Hammett, 1920s

Having sex e.g., "Getting your ashes hauled."
"She said I could haul her ashes better than any other man, she said I could sow my seed anytime in her ash can."From Ash Can Blues, Bob Clifford, c. 1930

"I worked all winter and I worked all fall, I've gotta wait until spring to get my ashes hauled." From the blues recording Tired As I Can Be, Bessie Jackson (Lucille Bogan), 1934

See also Alleyman (Haul My Ashes), Sadie Green, 1926 and Looking for My Ash Hauler, Washboard Sam, 1937.

Awash Drunk

Axe Musical instrument

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2002

    I hope you get the jargon

    If you ask me, this book just didn't quite come together. It appeared confusing and lacked direction. I could't get to the point fast enough and ended up giving up.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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