Straight from the Fridge, Dad: A Dictionary of Hipster Slangby Max Decharne
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/b>
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.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
"Fun and appealing . . . draws heavily on American slang . . . Highly recommended for reference collections serving writers, historians, hipsters, and anyone who enjoys language." Library Journal
"An afternoon spent poring through a vocabulary-building guide for your inner hipster is time well spent . . . Décharné has compiled the most righteous slang from film noir, blues, country, jazz and pulp fiction; with annotations and examples galore, it's guaranteed to turn a rube into a real wild child." Entertainment Weekly
"There's no question that in the pages of Straight from the Fridge, Dad, everyday speech is put through some hilarious and convoluted permutations. But you don't have to take that on faith. Just cop a squat, cast your lamps on the book's leaves and dig its mellow kicks." Chicago Tribune
"If you are the kind of hep cat who harbours a burning urge to gas the slobs, then the righteous Max is the man. He shoots the works to fascinating and often hilarious effect." Esquire
"You'll surely be interested in having a new way to irritate your friends with obnoxious and obscure ways of saying 'to have sex' or to 'get drunk' (give 'burn rubber' and 'burning with a low blue flame' a whirl). Décharné has done a lot of homework here, but reading his book doesn't feel like school." Philadelphia Weekly News
"If you enjoy watching noir films, listening to blues or jazz, reading pulp novels or poring over certain song lyrics, this "dictionary of hipster slang", a guide to hep as it was spoken through the first half of the last century, will prove indispensable." Independent
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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
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
Ashes 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.
Axe Musical instrument
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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