November 08, 2015

#Noirvember - Noir Slang Glossary

Would you like to speak the hard-boiled language spoken in films noir? Then you need to get hep, baby. Give my glossary the once-over and you'll be a wise head.

(This is a work in progress and I need your help. Please leave a comment to add words and definitions to the glossary.)

Example 1:
When that palooka glommed my moolah, I gave him lead poisoning.
(When that man stole my money, I shot him.)

Example 2:
Don't try to palm off that rotgut on me, ya chiseler! I gotta have real booze for the wing-ding.
(Don't try to sell me that low quality liquor, you swindler. I must have real liquor for the party.)

Example 3:
You're plenty rugged, ain't ya?
(You're big and strong, aren't you?)

Example 4:
Hey, doll! You're togged to the bricks tonight.
(Hey, honey! You're dressed up tonight.)

Example 5:
Open your lamps! Don't ya know Sollitto's torpedoes will drill ya if ya keep playin' around with his twist!
(Open your eyes! Don't you know Sollitto's hired men will shoot you if you keep having an affair with his girlfriend!)


Abe's cabe: A five-dollar bill
Abercrombie: A know-it-all
Abyssinia: I'll be seeing you
Ace: A dollar bill
Aces: Very good
Alderman: A man’s pot belly
Alligators: Fans of swing music
All wet: Completely wrong
Ameche: A telephone (Don Ameche played Bell in The Story of Alexander Graham Bell.)
And how!: Very much so (used to express strong agreement)
Ankle: 1. Woman 2. To walk
Apple: Any big town or city
Applesauce: Nonsense or bunk
Attaboy: An exclamation of approval or encouragement (from that's the boy)
Attagirl: An exclamation of approval or encouragement (from that's the girl)


Babe: Woman
Baby: 1. A man or a woman 2. Glass of milk
Baby grand: Heavily built man
Baby vamp: A socially and sexually active young woman
Bacon: Money (as in bring home the bacon)
Bag: An unattractive woman
Balled up: Confused or entangled
Baloney: Foolish or deceptive talk; nonsense
Bang: To inject a drug
Bangster: Drug user
Bangtails: Racehorses
Bank's closed: No lovemaking
Banty rooster: A small, aggressive man
Barber: Talk
Barrelhouse: 1. A disreputable old-time saloon or house of prostitution 2. An early style of jazz characterized by boisterous piano playing, group improvisation, and a two-beat rhythm (originated in the barrelhouses New Orleans)
Bathtub gin: Prohibition alcohol usually made in back rooms and of low quality
Batty: Crazy
Baumes rush: Senator Caleb H. Baumes sponsored a New York law (the Baumes Law) which called for automatic life imprisonment of any criminal convicted more than three times. Some criminals would move to a state that didn’t have this law in order to avoid its penalty should they be caught again, and this was known as a "Baumes rush," because of the similarity to "bum's rush."
Bean-shooter: Gun
Bearcat: An aggressive or forceful person, esp. a woman
Beat: 1. Exhausted 2. Broke 3. Ruined 4. Area that a worker, a police officer, reporter, etc., is assigned to cover 5. Rhythm 6. Counterfeit or bogus drugs 7. Having to do with the Bohemian youths of the 1950s
Beat down: 1. To hit something until it falls down 2. To defeat or demoralize someone
Beat it: To leave hurriedly
Beat one's gums: To waste time talking a great deal without results (As if one were toothless.)
Beat the band, To: To an extreme degree
Beat the bushes: To make an exhaustive search
Beat the rap: To escape punishment or be acquitted of a charge
Beat up on: 1. To attack physically 2. To criticize or scold harshly
Bee's knees: Something that's excellent
Beef: 1. A complaint; a quarrel 2. To complain 3. A criminal charge or complaint 4. A large and muscular man
Beeswax: Business or concern
Beezer: Nose
Behind the eight-ball: In a difficult position
Behind the grind: Behind in one's studies
Bell bottom: A sailor
Belt: A drink of liquor
Belt the grape: To drink wine or liquor heavily and become intoxicated
Bent: 1. Alcohol or drug intoxicated 2. Dishonest; crooked 3. Angry
Bent cars: Stolen cars
Be on the nut, To: To be broke
Berries: 1. Money 2. The best or finest 3. Wine
Big cheese: An important person
Big daddy: 1. An influential man, a big shot 2. A male sweetheart or friend, often a man considerably older than his female companion; a sugar daddy
Big house: Jail
Big money: A person with money to burn
Big one, The: Death
Big six: A strong man (from auto advertising for the new and powerful six cylinder engines)
Big sleep, The: Death (coined by Raymond Chandler)
Bim: A giddy woman; a sexually loose woman
Bimbo: 1. A clownlike person 2. A giddy woman; a sexually loose woman
Bindle: 1. Little folded-up piece of paper (with heroin inside) 2. The bundle in which a hobo carries all his worldly possessions.
Bindle punk, bindle stiff: Chronic wanderers; itinerant misfits, criminals, migratory harvest workers and lumber jacks. Called so because they carried a bindle.
Bing: Jailhouse talk for solitary confinement
Bird: 1. A woman 2. A derisive noise made with the lips; a raspberry 3. An odd person 4. An airplane 5. One hundred dollars
Bit: Prison sentence
Bit of fluff:  A girl or young woman (now regarded as patronizing)
Blackjack: A leather-covered bludgeon with a short, flexible shaft or strap, used as a hand weapon
Bleed: To extort or blackmail
Blind: Drunk
Blinkers: Eyes
Blip off: To kill
Blotto: Drunk
Blow: 1. Leave 2. A wild party
Blower: Telephone
Blow one down: Kill someone
Blow your wig: Become very excited
Bo: Pal
Bohunk: 1. A resident of or an immigrant from an Eastern European country (now considered derogatory) 2. An oafish man (objectionable) 3. A term of endearment for a close friend or child
Boiler: Car
Boob: Dumb guy
Booby hatch: An institution for the mentally ill
Boogie-woogie: A style of blues piano playing characterized by a quick tempo, a repeated bass line, and a series of improvised variations in the treble.
Bootleg: 1. Liquor made, distributed, or sold illegally 2. To make, distribute, or sell (illicit goods, esp. liquor) illegally (from a smuggler's practice of carrying liquor in the legs of boots)
Bootlegger: Someone who makes or sells illegal liquor
Booze: Liquor
Boozehound: Drunkard
Bop: To kill
Box: 1. A safe 2. A bar
Box job: A safecracking
Bozo:  A man, esp. a stupid one
Brace: Grab, shake up
Bracelets: Handcuffs
Bread: Money
Break it up: Stop that, quit the nonsense
Breeze: To leave
Breeze off: Get lost
Breezer: A convertible automobile
Broad: Woman
Broderick, The: A thorough beating
Brodie: A mistake
Brother: A man
Brown: Whiskey
Brown plaid: Scotch whiskey
Bruno: Tough guy, enforcer
Bubs: Breasts
Bucket: Car
Bug-eyed Betty: An unattractive girl
Bughouse: 1. An insane asylum 2. Insane; crazy
Bulge: Having the advantage
Bull: 1. A police officer or detective 2. Foolish, deceitful, or boastful language 3. Insolent talk or behavior
Bum: A tramp; a vagrant.
Bump: Kill
Bump gums: To talk about nothing worthwhile
Bump off: Kill
Bum rap: A trumped-up or false charge, an unjust punishment
Bum’s rush, To get the: To be kicked out
Bunco: 1. A swindle in which an unsuspecting person is cheated; a confidence game 2. To swindle
Bunk: 1. Leave 2. False 3. To sleep
Bunny: 1. A mug; dupe 2. Talk, esp. when inconsequential; chatter 3. Deeply dissatisfied or discontented 4. An attractive young woman
Burn powder: Fire a gun
Bus: A large or ungainly automobile
Bushwa: Nonsense; baloney; bull
Bust chops:  1. Work very hard to do, accomplish, or complete something 2. To harass, nag, or upbraid someone to do, accomplish, or complete something
Busted flush: A person, organization, or thing that at one time held great potential or influence but that ultimately ended up a failure
Buster: A boy or man
Busthead: Homemade liquor
Butter-and-egg fly: An attractive woman
Butter-and-egg man: A prosperous businessman from a small town or a farmer who spends his money ostentatiously on visits to a big city
Buttermilk: An unattractive woman
Buttlegger:  The transportation of untaxed or undertaxed cigarettes across a state line
Butt me: I'd like a cigarette.
Button: Face, nose, end of jaw
Button man: Professional killer
Buttons: Police
Butts: Cigarettes
Buy a drink: To pour a drink
Buzz: Looks me up, comes to my door 2. Call on telephone 3. Be intoxicated
Buzzer: Policeman’s badge


C-note: A 100 dollar bill
C: $100, a pair of Cs = $200
Cabbage: Money
Caboose: Jail
Cadillac: One ounce packet of cocaine or heroin
Cake eater: 1. A ladies' man 2. An effeminate lover of ease and pleasure
Calaboose: Jail
Call a spade a spade: To speak plainly and forthrightly
Call copper: Inform the police
Call girl: Appointment only prostitute
Can: 1. Jail 2. Car
Canary: Woman singer
Can house: Bordello
Can opener: Safecracker who opens cheap safes
Caper: A criminal or illegal act, as a burglary or robbery
Case dough: Nest egg
Cash: A kiss
Cash in: 1. To withdraw from a venture by or as if by settling one's account 2. To obtain a profit or other advantage by timely exploitation 3. To die
Cash on the barrelhead: Immediate payment
Cash or check?: Do we kiss now or later?
Cat: Man
Cat's meow, The: Something that's excellent
Cat's pajamas, The: Something that's excellent
Cat's whiskers, The: Something that's excellent
Catch the drift: To understand the general meaning of some situation or piece of information
Cats: Fans of swing or jazz music
Cave: One's house or apartment
Celestial: Derogatory term for Chinese or East Asians
Century: $100
Chassis: The body of a woman
Cheaters: Sunglasses
Check: kiss me later
Cheese it: Put things away, hide
Cheesy: Cheap
Chew: Eat
Chewing gum: Double talk or ambiguous talk
Chicago lightning: Gunfire
Chicago overcoat: Coffin
Chicago typewriter: "Tommy Gun" - Thompson Submachine Gun
Chick: Woman
Chicken: Coward
Chilled off: Killed
Chin: Conversation
Chinese angle: A strange or unusual twist or aspect to something
Chinese squeeze: Grafting by skimming profits off the top
Chin music: Punch on the jaw
Chippy: Woman of easy virtue
Chisel: To swindle, cheat, or work an angle
Chiseler: A person who cheats
Chiv: 1. A knife 2. To stab (someone)
Choice bit of calico: An attractive woman
Chopper: "Tommy Gun" - Thompson Submachine Gun
Chopper squad: Men with machine guns
Chrome-dome: A shiny, bald head; a man with a bald head (rude term of address)
Chump: A gullible person; a dupe 2. A stupid or foolish person; a dolt
Chunk of lead: An unattractive woman
Ciggy: Cigarette
Cinder dick: Railroad detective
City Juice: Water
Clam: A dollar
Clambake: A gathering characterized by noisy sociability
Clammed: Close-mouthed
Clean sneak: An escape with no clues left behind
Clip: Kill
Clip joint: Night club or gambling joint where patrons get fleeced
Clipped: Shot
Close your head: Shut up
Clout: Shoplifter
Clubhouse: Police station
Cluck: A stupid person
Coffee-and-doughnut: Refers to something cheap or of little value
Coffin nail: Cigarette
Coffin varnish: Inferior liquor
Cokie: Cocaine addict
Cold: Leads that could no longer be pursued
Con: Confidence game, swindle
Conk: 1. Head 2. To hit or strike on the head
Convincer: Gun
Cool: 1. To knock out 2. Very good
Cooler: Jail
Cop: 1 Detective, even a private one 2. To win, as in a bet
Copacetic: Very good; excellent; completely satisfactory
Copped, To be: Grabbed by the cops
Copper: 1. Policeman 2. Time off for good behavior
Corn: Bourbon
Crab: Figure out
Crackers: Crazy
Crack up: To have a wreck 2. To break out in laughter
Crasher: A person who attends a party without invitation
Crate: Car
Cream puff: A weak or ineffective person 2. A secondhand car in very good condition
Creep: A detestable person
Creep joint: 1. A brothel or other disreputable or low-class place, especially where patrons are robbed 2. A gambling game which moves to a different location every night
Creeps, The: The jitters; a case of nerves
Croak: 1. To die 2. To kill
Croaker: Doctor
Crock: An unattractive woman
Crocked: Drunk
Crooner: Singer
Crumb: A loser by social standards
Crush: A usually temporary infatuation 2. One who is the object of such an infatuation
Crushed out: Escaped from jail
Crust: To insult
Cuckoo: Crazy
Cuddler: A person who likes to make out
Curve: Disappointment
Cush: Money
Cut down: Killed
Cute as a bug's ear: Very cute


Daddy: A male sweetheart or friend, often a man considerably older than his female companion; a sugar daddy
Daddy-o: Term of address for a man (formerly used as a term of endearment)
Daisy: An effeminate man
Dame: A woman
Dance: To be hanged
Dangle: Leave, get lost
Dapper: A flapper's father
Darb: Something remarkable or superior
Dark meat: Black person
Daylight: Put a hole in, by shooting or stabbing
Dead hoofer: Bad dancer
Dead soldier: An empty liquor bottle
Deb: A debutant
Deck: Pack of cigarettes
Derrick: Shoplifter
Dewdropper: Lazy young man who sleeps all day and has no ambition
Diapers: Clothes, get dressed
Dib: Share of the proceeds
Dick: Detective (usually qualified with “private” if not a policeman)
Dig: Understand
Dinge: Black person (derogatory)
Dingus: Thing
Dingy: Crazy
Dip: Pickpocket
Dip the bill: Have a drink
Dish: Pretty woman
Dive: A disreputable nightclub or bar
Dizzy with a dame, To be: To be deeply in love with a woman
Dog: 1. A person 2. A person regarded as contemptible 3. A person regarded as unattractive or uninteresting 4. Something of inferior or low quality
Doghouse: Upright bass
Dogs: Feet
Dog soup: Water
Doll: An attractive woman
Dolled up: Dressed in fancy or formal clothing
Dollface: An attractive woman
Dolly: An attractive woman
Don't take any wooden nickels: A lighthearted reminder to be cautious in one's dealings
Doozy: Something extraordinary, impressive, or unique
Dope: 1. Drugs 2. Information 3. A stupid person
Dope addict: Drug addict
Dope fiend: Drug addict
Dope out: To figure out from one's interpretation of what information is available
Dope peddler: Drug dealer
Doper: Drug addict
Dormy: Dormant, quiet
Doss: Sleep (in rough or inexpensive accommodations)
Do the dance: To be hanged
Double cross: To betray by acting in contradiction to a prior agreement
Double sawbuck: A $20 bill
Dough: Money
Drift: Go, leave
Drill: Shoot
Drink out of the same bottle: We were close friends
Drip: A person regarded as unpleasant or insipid
Drop: To kill
Drop a dime: Make a phone call, sometimes meaning to the police to inform on someone
Droppers: Hired killers
Drugstore cowboy: 1. A young man who frequents public places trying to impress and entice women; a Romeo of the street corners 2. An extra in a western film 3. A loafer who passes time on sidewalks or at drugstores 4. One who dresses or acts like a cowboy but has never been one
Drum: Speakeasy
Drumsticks: Legs
Dry-gulch: To ambush someone
Dry up: 1. Stop talking 2. Disappear
Ducat: 1. Ticket 2. For hobos, a union card or card asking for alms
Duck soup: Easy; a piece of cake
Ducky: Okay; good (Often used sarcastically.) Now, isn’t that just ducky?
Dukes: Hands
Dumb bunny: A stupid person; an oaf
Dumb cluck: A stupid person; an oaf
Dumb Dora: A stupid woman
Dummerer: Somebody who pretends to be dumb in order to appear a more deserving beggar
Dump: 1. A poorly maintained or disreputable place 2. To knock down; beat
Dust: 1. Nothing 2. Leave 3. A look
Dust out: Leave, depart
Dutch, The: Suicide (“do the Dutch”)
Dutch act: Committed suicide (Suicides by prominent St. Louis German-Americans, which included a number of brewers, became so notorious that their affliction became known as the "Dutch act." The phrase was coined by the St. Louis Police Department who had to investigate all the untimely deaths.)
Dutch courage: Liquor; false courage from drinking liquor


Earful: A great amount of discussion, criticism, gossip, or complaint
Edge: Drunkenness; the early stage of intoxication from alcohol or drugs
Eel juice: Liquor
Egg: A fellow; a person He's a good egg.
Eggs in the coffee: General phrase of approval
Elbow: 1. Policeman 2. A collar or an arrest
Electric cure: Electrocution
Elephant ears: Police
Ethel: An effeminate man
Extra: A girl no one wants to date


Face stretcher: An old woman trying to look young
Fade: Go away, get lost
Fag: 1. Cigarette 2. Derogatory term for a homosexual
Fakeloo artist: Con man
Fall guy: 1. A scapegoat 2. A gullible victim; a dupe.
Fat-head: A stupid person
Fat chance: Very little or no chance
Fella: Fellow
Filly: An attractive woman
Fin: $5 bill
Finagle: To trick, swindle, or cheat (a person) (often followed by out of)
Finder: Finger man
Finger: Identify
Fink: 1. Informer 2. A contemptible person
Fire extinguisher: A chaperone
Fish : 1. A new prisoner not wise to prison life 2. A college freshman
Five spot: $5 bill
Fix: 1. Something craved, especially an intravenous injection of a narcotic drug 2. To influence the outcome or actions of (something) by improper or unlawful means
Flame-top: Redhead
Flame: An attractive woman
Flapper: A young woman of the 1920s who rebelled against conventional ideas of ladylike behavior and dress
Flat: Broke
Flatfoot: Police officer, esp. a patrolman walking a regular beat
Flat out: 1. In a direct manner; bluntly 2. At top speed
Flattie: Flatfoot
Flat tire: A dull or socially inept person
Flimflam: Swindle
Flippers: Hands
Flirt: An attractive woman
Flivver: An automobile, especially one that is small, inexpensive, and old
Floater: Corpse in the water
Flogger: Overcoat
Floozy: A cheap woman
Flop: 1. Go to bed 2. Fallen through, not worked out
Flophouse: A cheap, run-down hotel or rooming house
Flour lover: A woman wearing too much face powder
Flyboy: A member of an air force, esp. a pilot
Fog: To shoot
Folding green: Folding money
For crying out loud: Used to express annoyance or astonishment Let's get going, for crying out loud!
Four-bits: 50 cents
Four flusher: A person who makes empty boasts or bluffs; a welcher, piker, or braggart
Frail: Woman
Frau: Wife
Fried: Drunk
From nothing: I don’t know anything.
Fry: To electrocute
Fuss: Frequent companion
Futz: 1. To waste time or effort on frivolities; fool. Often used with around. 2. To fiddle, trifle, or tamper with something. Often used with with.
Fuzz: A policeman or detective


G-Man: Federal agent (short for Government Man)
Gams: A woman's legs
Gas: 1. A good time 2. Something that was really funny
Gashouse: Rough
Gasper: Cigarette
Gat: Gun or "Tommy Gun" - Thompson Submachine Gun
Gatecrasher: One who gains admittance, as to a party or concert, without being invited or without paying
Gay: 1. Showing or characterized by cheerfulness and lighthearted excitement; merry 2. Bright or lively, especially in color 3. Given to social pleasures, especially at the expense of serious pursuits 4. Dissolute or licentious
Gaycat: 1. A tramp who will work if the inducement is sufficient 2. A young and inexperienced tramp
Gazump: 1. To raise the price of something, esp. a house, after agreeing to a price verbally with the intended buyer 2. To swindle or overcharge
Gee: Man
Geetus: Money
Geezer: Derogatory term for an old man
Get-up: An outfit
Get a jump on: To get an advantage over other people by doing something before they do
Getaway sticks: Legs
Get a wiggle on: To hurry or hurry up
Get bent: An exclamation of dismissal, anger, annoyance, or exasperation toward someone or in response to what he or she is saying.
Get hot: 1. To begin to get lucky, as in gambling 2. To become busy or hectic
Get wise to: See through the deception of; become aware of
Giggle juice: Liquor
Giggle water: Liquor
Gigolo: 1. A man who has a continuing sexual relationship with and receives financial support from a usually older woman. 2. A man who is hired as an escort or a dancing partner for a woman.
Gimp: 1. A limp or a limping gait 2. Often Offensive A person who limps
Gink: Man
Gin mill: A run-down or seedy nightclub or bar
Girlie: Woman
Give (someone) the gate: 1. To discharge from a job 2. To reject or jilt
Give the third: Interrogate (third degree)
Glad rags: Fancy clothes
Glom: 1. To steal 2. To look at
Go-around: 1. An argument 2. An evasive excuse; a runaround
Gobble pipe: Saxophone
Go chase yourself: Go away and stop bothering me
Go climb a tree: Go away and stop bothering me
Go climb up your thumb: Go away, get lost
Go fly a kite: Go away and stop bothering me
Go jump in the lake: Go away and stop bothering me
Gold digger: Attractive young woman hunting for a rich man
Gonif: Thief (Yiddish)
Good-time girl: A ​young woman who is only ​interested in ​pleasure, not in ​serious ​activities, ​work, etc.
Goods on (someone), The: Something potentially damaging or embarrassing about someone
Goof: 1. An incompetent, foolish, or stupid person 2. A careless mistake; a slip 3. To waste or kill time 4. To tease or make fun of someone 5. To spoil, as through clumsiness; bungle - goof up 6. A flapper's boyfriend
Goofy: 1. Foolish; silly; stupid 2. Intoxicated 3. In love
Goog: Black eye
Goon: Thug
Goose: Man
Gooseberry lay: To steal clothes from a clothesline and sell them (Tramps often did this on Monday, the traditional wash day.) (from The Maltese Falcon)
Go over the edge with the rams: To get very drunk
Go sit on a tack: Go away and stop bothering me
Go soak your head: Go away and stop bothering me
Go to read and write: Rhyming slang for take flight
Gowed up: High on drugs
Grab (a little) air: Put your hands up
Grabbers: Hands
Graft: 1. Con jobs 2. Cut of the take
Grand: $1000
Grape(s): Wine or champagne
Grape smugglers: Tight swimming briefs
Greasers: 1. Mexicans or Italians 2. A hoodlum, thief or punk
Greasy spoon: A small, inexpensive, often unsanitary restaurant
Grift: Confidence game, swindle
Grifter: Con man
Grilled: Questioned
Gum: 1. To clog, impede (gum up) 2. Opium
Gumming the works: To cause something to run less smoothly
Gumshoe: Detective
Gun for: Look for, be after
Guns: 1. Pickpockets 2. Hoodlums
Gunsel: 1. A young man kept for homosexual purposes; a catamite 2. A gun-carrying hoodlum or other criminal (courtesy of Hammett in The Maltese Falcon) - Click here to find out more.


Hack: Taxi
Hackie: Taxi driver
Hair of the dog: An alcoholic drink supposed to cure a hangover
Hairpin: Woman
Half, A: 50 cents
Half seas over: Drunk
Ham: A performer who overacts or exaggerates
Hammer and saws: Police (rhyming slang for laws)
Handcuff: An engagement ring
Hanky-panky: 1. Devious or mischievous activity 2. Illicit sexual activity
Happy ladies: Prostitutes
Hard-boiled: Tough
Hard: Tough
Hard number: Tough guy
Harlem sunset: A fatal wound caused by a knife fight (now considered racist) - Used in Raymond Chandler's Farewell, My Lovely, suggesting the red color of a sunset.
Harp: An Irishman
Hash house: A cheap restaurant
Hash pipe: A small pipe for smoking cannabis
Hatchetmen: Killers, gunmen
Have a screw loose: To behave in an eccentric or mentally deranged manner
Have kittens: Get very angry and fly into a rage
Have the bees: To be rich
Have the curse on someone: Wanting to see someone killed
Hay: 1. A small sum of money 2. Marijuana
Hay burner: 1. A worthless racehorse; any old and worn-out horse 2. A gas guzzling car
Hay head: A marijuana smoker
Head doctors: Psychiatrists
Heap: Car
Heat: A gun
Heater: A gun
Heavy sugar: Lots of money
Heebie-jeebies: An extreme case of anxiety or fear
Heel: A despicable or unscrupulous person
Heeled: Carrying a gun
Heeler: A poor dancer
Hellcat: A woman regarded as bad-tempered and evil
Hep: Informed about the latest trends
High-hat: 1. To snub or treat condescendingly 2. Snobbish; haughty
Highbinders: 1. Corrupt politician or functionary 2. Professional killer operating in the Chinese quarter of a city
High pillow: Person at the top, in charge
Hinky: Suspicious
Hip to the jive: Cool and trendy
Hit on all eight: In good shape, going well (refers to eight cylinders in an engine)
Hit on all six: In good shape, going well (refers to six cylinders in an engine)
Hit the pipe: Smoking opium
Hocks: Feet
Hock shop: Pawnshop
Hogs: Engines
Homo: A disparaging term for a gay man or lesbian
Honey: An attractive woman
Honey cooler: A kiss
Hoo-ha: 1. A fuss; a disturbance 2. A chortle or laugh
Hooch: Liquor (From Hoochinoo, an Alaskan Indian tribe involved in the production and transportation of bootleg liquor)
Hood: Criminal
Hooey: Nonsense; rubbish
Hoofer: Dancer
Hooker: 1. A drink of strong liquor 2. A prostitute
Hoosegow: Jail
Hootenanny: 1. An informal performance by folk singers, typically with participation by the audience 2. An unidentified or unidentifiable gadget
Hop: 1. Drugs, mostly morphine or derivatives like heroin 2. Bellhop 3. Dance
Hope chest: Pack of cigarettes
Hophead: A heroin or opium addict
Hopped up: High on drugs
Horn: Telephone
Horse liniment: Bootleg liquor
Hot: 1. Stolen 2. Very good
Hot dog!: Expression of great joy or delight
Hot mama: Pretty woman
Hot number: Pretty woman
Hot sketch: 1. A card or cut-up 2. An attractive woman
Hotsquat: Electric chair
Hotsy-totsy: An attractive woman
House dick: House/hotel detective
House peeper: House/hotel detective
How's tricks?: Make a friendly inquiry about a person or that person's affairs
Hunk of beef: An attractive man regarded as a sex object
Hussy: A shameless or promiscuous woman
Hype: Shortchange artist


Ice: Diamonds
In Dutch: In trouble
Ing-bing: A fit
In spades: To a considerable degree
In stir: In jail
Insured: Engaged
Iron: 1. Bullets 2. A car or motorcycle


Jack: 1. Money 2. A man
Jake: 1. Okay 2. A homemade or bootleg liquor made from or infused with Jamaica ginger, esp. during Prohibition in the U.S.
Jakeloo: Okay
Jalopy: An old car in dilapidated condition
Jam: Trouble
Jane: A woman
Jasper: A man (perhaps a hick)
Java: Coffee
Jaw: Talk
Jeepers: Expression of surprise or alarm
Jeepers creepers: Expression of surprise or alarm
Jeeves: Quintessential name and nature of a valet or butler (Reginald Jeeves is a fictional character in the short stories and novels of P. G. Wodehouse. He's the valet of Bertram Wilberforce Wooster.)
Jerking a nod: Nodding
Jerk soda: To dispense soda from a tap
Jigaboo: A disparaging term for a black person
Jingle-brained: Addled
Jitney: 1. A small vehicle that carries passengers for a low price, originally five cents 2. A nickel; five cents
Jitters, The: A fit of nervousness
Jive: 1. Jazz or swing music 2. The jargon of jazz musicians and enthusiasts 3. Deceptive, nonsensical, or glib talk
Job: A criminal act, especially a robbery 2. A state of affairs
Joe: 1. Coffee 2. An average guy
Joe Brooks: A perfectly dressed person
John: 1. Policeman 2. Toilet 3. Client of a prostitute
Joint: 1. A cheap or disreputable gathering place 2. A building or dwelling 3. A prison 4. A marijuana cigarette
Joker: 1. An insolent person who seeks to make a show of cleverness 2. An annoying or inept person
Jorum of skee: Shot of hard liquor
Joss house: Temple or house of worship for a Chinese religion
Joy girl: Prostitute
Jug: Jail
Juice: 1. Interest on a loan shark’s loan 2. Liquor 3. Electricity
Juicer: An electrician
Juice joint: A speakeasy
Jujus: Marijuana cigarettes
Jump, The: A hanging
Jump: 1. To attack someone 2. To copulate (with) someone
Jump bail: To fail to appear in court and so forfeit one's bail
Jump street: The beginning; the start (of something) (Prisons and streets)
Jump through hoops: To undergo a rigorous trial or examination
Junk: Any narcotic drug, esp. heroin
Junkie: Drug addict


Kale: Money
Keen: Very good
Keen number: An attractive woman
Keister: 1. Buttocks 2. A suitcase, trunk, or box
Keyhole peeper: Detective
Kibosh: Squelch
Kick: I have nothing to complain about.
Kicking the gong around: Taking opium
Kick off: Die
Kike: A disparaging term for a Jew
Killjoy: One who spoils the enthusiasm or fun of others
Kippy: An attractive young woman
Kiss-off: 1. Death 2. The dismissal of someone or something
Kiss: To punch
Kisser: Mouth
Kitten: Woman
Knock off: 1. Kill 2. To rob a place 3, To copy or imitate something, esp. without permission
Knock over: Steal or burgle
Knock up: To make pregnant
Know from nothing: To be ignorant; be deeply uninformed or ill-informed (from Yiddish)
Know one's onions: Be very knowledgeable about something


Lady of the night: Prostitute
Lamebrain: A fool
Lammed off: Ran away, escaped
Lamps: Eyes
Lap: To drink
Large: $1,000
Lather: A condition of anxious or heated discomposure; agitation
Law, The: The police
Lay: 1. Job (Marlowe was on a confidential lay.) 2. What someone does 3. An act of sexual intercourse or a sexual partner
Lay off: To stop doing something; quit
Lay of the land: The nature, arrangement, or disposition of something
Lay out: 1. To clothe and prepare (a corpse) for burial 2. To knock to the ground or unconscious
Lead-pipe cinch: Something very easy to do; something entirely certain to happen
Lead poisoning: To be shot
Leave holding the bag (or baby): To allow someone to take all the blame; to leave someone appearing to be guilty
Let George do it: Let someone else do it: it doesn't matter who.
Lettuce: Folding money
Level with someone: To speak truly and honestly with someone
Lid: Hat
Lime-juicer: 1. A British sailor or ship 2. A British person (British sailors were required to drink lime juice as a protection against scurvy.)
Limey:  1. A British sailor or ship 2. A British person (British sailors were required to drink lime juice as a protection against scurvy.)
Lincoln: $5 bill
Line: 1. A story or argument; a story intended to seduce someone. 2. A dose of finely cut cocaine arranged in a line, ready for insufflation or snorting.
Lip: (Criminal) lawyer
Lit, To be: To be drunk
Live wire: A vivacious, alert, or energetic person
Lollapalooza: Something outstanding of its kind
Lollipop: Person without a backbone or lacking experience
Lollygag: To waste time by puttering aimlessly; dawdle
Long green: Folding money
Loogan: Marlowe defines this as “a guy with a gun”
Look-out: Outside man
Looker: Pretty woman
Lousy with: To have lots of
Low down: All the information
Lug: 1. Bullet 2. Ear 3. Man (“You big lug!”)
Lulu: A remarkable person, object, or idea
Lunger: Someone with tuberculosis
Lush: A drunkard


M: Morphine
Mac: Used as a form of address for a man whose name is unknown
Macher: 1. An important or influential person (often used ironically)
Macho: A strong or exaggerated sense of traditional masculinity placing great value on physical courage, virility, domination of women, and aggressiveness.
Made: Recognized
Make tracks: Leave in a hurry
Make whoopee: 1. Make love 2. To engage in a noisy, boisterous celebration
Malarkey: Nonsense; foolishness
Manacle: Wedding ring
Map: Face
Marbles: Pearls
Mark: Sucker, victim of swindle or fixed game
Mazuma: Money
Meat: He’s the subject of interest, there’s your man
Meat hooks: Hands
Meat wagon: Ambulance
Mesca: Marijuana
Meshuga: Crazy; insane
Mick: A disparaging term for a person of Irish birth or descent
Mickey: A drink drugged with knockout drops (shortened from Mickey Finn)
Mickey Finn: 1. A drink drugged with knockout drops given to someone without their knowledge with intent to incapacitate them. (Named for Michael "Mickey" Finn, the manager and bartender of Chicago's Lone Star Saloon and Palm Garden Restaurant, which operated from 1896 to 1903. In December 1903, several Chicago newspapers document that Michael "Mickey" Finn was accused of using knockout drops to incapacitate and rob some of his customers.)
Mighty white of you: To be decent and trustworthy in one's actions (now considered offensive)
Mill: Typewriter
Milquetoast: One who has a meek, timid, unassertive nature (after Caspar Milquetoast, a character in The Timid Soul, a comic strip by H. T. Webster)
Mind your own beeswax: To mind one's own business
Mind your own potatoes: To mind one's own business
Miss-out: 1. Loaded dice 2. A losing throw in craps
Mitt: Hand
Mob: Gang
Moll: 1. A gangster's female companion 2. A prostitute
Monicker: Name
Mooch: 1. To get or try to get something free of charge; sponge 2. To wander about aimlessly 3. To skulk around; sneak 4. A dupe, as in a confidence game
Moolah: Money
Moonshine: Illegally distilled spirits
Moonshiner: A person who distills or sells liquor, esp. corn liquor, illegally
Mop: 1. Handkerchief 2. A loosely tangled bunch or mass
Mouthpiece: Lawyer
Moxie: 1. The ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage 2. Aggressive energy; initiative 3. Skill; know-how
Mrs. Grundy: An extremely conventional or priggish person (after Mrs. Grundy, character alluded to in the play Speed the Plough by Thomas Morton)
Mud: Opium
Muddy plow: An unattractive woman
Mud pipe: Opium pipe
Muffin: Woman
Mug: Face
Muggles: Marijuana
Mugs: Men, esp. dumb ones
Mule: Liquor
Mulligan: Irish policeman
Munitions: Face powder
Muscle: 1. Strength or force 2. To force one's way
Muscleman: 1. A strong man hired as a bodyguard or thug 2. A henchman employed by a gangster to intimidate or use violence upon victims
Mush: Face


Nail: 1. To stop and seize; catch 2. To detect and expose 3. To strike or bring down 4. To perform successfully or have noteworthy success in
Nance: An effeminate man
Nancy: An effeminate man
Neck: To kiss and caress amorously
Nevada gas: Cyanide
Newshawk: A newspaper reporter, especially one who is energetic and aggressive
Newsie: Newspaper vendor
Nibble one: To have a drink
Nick: Steal
Nifty: 1. Very good; fine; excellent 2. Attractively stylish
Night owl: A person who habitually stays up and is active late into the night.
Nippers: Handcuffs
Nitwit: A stupid or silly person
Nix: 1. Nothing 2. No 3. To veto; refuse to agree to; prohibit 4. An  exclamation, especially of warning (Nix, the cops!)
No-nonsense: Not tolerating irrelevancies; direct, efficient, and practical
Nobby: Very good
Noodle: Head
Noodle juice: Tea
Nookie: Sexual intercourse
Nose candy: Cocaine
Now you're on the trolley: On the right track (as in track of streetcar rails)
Number: A man or a woman
Nut: 1. Crazy person 2. The head
Nuts: Interjection used to express disgust, defiance, disapproval, or despair (''Nuts!'')
Nuts about: 1. To be extremely or excessively enthusiastic about; be fervent in one's admiration of 2. To be deeply in love with


Ofay: A disparaging term for a white person
Off one's nut: 1. Foolish, silly, or insane 2. Confused; unreasonable 3. Mistaken or wrong
Off one's rocker: Foolish, silly, or insane
Off one's trolley: Foolish, silly, or insane
Off the cob: Corny
Off the track: Crazy
Oh, yeah!: To indicate agreement, often sarcastically
Oh yeah: An exclamation of excitement or joy
Oh yeah?: To introduce a refutation, sometimes sarcastically
Okie: Migrant worker from Oklahoma
Old boy: A man
Old man: 1. A man 2. Father 3. Husband 4. Boyfriend
Old man, The: The boss; a high-ranking officer
Once-over: A quick but comprehensive survey or performance
On the lam: Running from the police
On the level: Honest; straightforward
On the make: 1. Aggressively striving for financial or social improvement 2. Eagerly seeking a sexual partner
On the up-and-up: Legitimate; open and aboveboard
Op: Detective, esp. private (from operative)
Orchid: An expensive item
Orphan paper: Bad checks
Ossified: Drunk
Out on the roof, To be: To be drunk
Oyster fruit: Pearls


Pack: To carry a gun
Pack heat: Carry a gun
Pally: Friend, sometimes used sarcastically
Palm off: Pass off by deception, substitute with intent to deceive
Palooka: 1. A stupid or clumsy person 2. An incompetent or easily defeated athlete, esp. a prizefighter (from the Joe Palooka comic strip)
Pan: A person's face
Panic: A person or thing that is considered extremely funny
Pansy: A disparaging term for a man or boy who is considered effeminate
Panther piss: Raw and inferior whiskey; rotgut
Paste: Punch
Patsy: Person who is set up; fool, chump
Paws: Hands
Peach: An attractive woman
Peaching: Informing
Pearl diver: A dish washer
Peeper: Detective
Peepers: Eyes
Pen: Penitentiary, jail
Percolate: 1. To become lively or active 2. To spread slowly or gradually
Perm: To give (hair) a permanent
Pet: 1. An object of the affections 2. To stroke or fondle amorously
Peterman: Safecracker who uses nitroglycerin
Petting-party: A session of kissing and caressing
Petting pantry: Movie theater
Phony-baloney: A phony
Phooey: An exclamation of scorn, contempt, disbelief, etc.
Picklepuss: A person who has a puckered up mouth
Pick up: To take into custody 2. To make casual acquaintance with, usually in anticipation of sexual relations
Pie-eyed: Drunk
Pies: Eyes
Piffle: Foolish or futile talk or ideas; nonsense
Pigeon: Stool pigeon, informant
Piker: A person who does things in a petty way; esp. one who gambles or speculates in an overly cautious way
Pill: 1. Disagreeable person 2. Bullet 3. Cigarette 4. To blackball
Pillars: Legs
Pinch: An arrest, capture
Pink: 1. Stab 2. A person who holds moderately leftist political views; a pink
Pinko: A person who holds moderately leftist political views; a pink
Pins: Legs
Pip: Attractive person
Pipe: An easy course in school
Pipe down: To become quiet; to cease making noise; to shut up
Pipe dream: A wish or an idea that is impossible to achieve or carry out (from the dreams or visions induced by the smoking of an opium pipe)
Pipes: The vocal cords; the voice, especially as used in singing
Pipe up: To interject a comment; to interrupt with a comment.
Pitching woo: Making love
Plant: 1. A person placed in a group as a spy or informer 2. Put or hide (something) among someone's belongings to compromise or incriminate the owner 3. Bury
Plastered: Drunk
Plates: Feet
Platter: Record
Playing around: Having a romantic or sexual affair
Plenty rugged: Big and strong
Plug: 1. A gunshot or bullet 2. A flat cake of pressed or twisted tobacco 3. Something inferior, useless, or defective, especially an old, worn-out horse
Plugging along: Just managing to function
Poke: 1. A punch or blow with the fist 2. A projecting brim at the front of a bonnet 3. A sack, a bag, a purse, or a wallet
Poke fun at: To ridicule in a mischievous manner
Pooped: 1. Exhausted 2. Killed
Poor little bunny: A term of endearment applied to the lost and confused
Pop: To kill
Pops: A man
Pro skirt: A prostitute
Prosty: A prostitute
Puffing: Mugging
Pug: Pugilist, boxer
Pull:  A drink; a swig; a drink from a flask 2. A mouthful of smoke from a cigarette; a drag on a cigarette 3. To smoke a cigarette
Pull a fast one: To succeed in an act of deception
Pull a Houdini: Disappear
Pull a job: To carry out a crime, esp. a robbery
Pull one over on: To deceive someone
Pull rank: To get one's own way by virtue of one's superior position or rank
Pull someone's chain: Make someone speak out of turn
Pull strings: To exert secret control or influence in order to gain an end
Pull the plug on: 1. To terminate 2. To disconnect life-sustaining equipment from (a moribund patient)
Pump: Heart
Pump metal: Shoot bullets
Punk: 1. An often aggressive or violent young man 2. An inexperienced young person 3. A cowardly or weak young man 4. A young man who is the sexual partner of an older man, especially in prison
Push up daisies: To be dead and buried
Puss: Face
Put down: Drink
Put on ice: Kill
Put on the ritz: To assume a superior air or make an ostentatious display (from the luxury hotels created by the Swiss hotelier César Ritz)
Put that in your pipe and smoke it: See how you like that!; It is final, and you have to live with it.
Put the screws on or to someone: To use extreme coercive pressure (from a torturer's use of thumbscrews)
Put wise: To inform or warn (of)


Queer: 1. Spoil or ruin (an agreement, event, or situation) 2. Homosexual (offensive) 3. Counterfeit 4. Strange or odd
Quiff: A woman regarded as promiscuous


Ragamuffin: A ragged and unkempt person, esp. a child
Rags: Clothes
Rain pitchforks: To rain very hard and heavy
Rank: 1. To complain 2. To engage in carping criticism
Rap: 1. To hit sharply 2. To criticize severely 3. To arrest, detain, or sentence for a crime 4. A person or thing's reputation, typically a bad one
Rappers: Fakes, set-ups
Rat: 1. Inform 2. A contemptible person
Rate: To be good, to count for something
Rats!: Oh, damn!
Rats and mice: Rhyming slang for dice; a game of dice
Rattler: Train
Razz: To tease someone
Real McCoy: An authentic thing or person
Red-light: To eject from a car or train
Redhot: Criminal
Reefers: Marijuana cigarettes
Regular guy: A normal and dependable guy
Reuben: An unsophisticated country person
Rhino: Money
Rib: A teasing remark or action; a joke
Right: The state or quality or an instance of being correct
Right guy: A good fellow
Ring-a-ding-ding: A good time at a party
Ringer: 1. An imposter 2. An athlete or horse fraudulently substituted for another in a competition or event
Ritzy: Elegant; fancy (from the luxury hotels created by the Swiss hotelier César Ritz)
Rod: Gun
Roll: To rob (a drunken, sleeping, or otherwise helpless person)
Rooster: A man regarded as cocky or pugnacious
Roscoe: Gun
Rotgut: Prohibition alcohol usually made in back rooms and of low quality
Roundheel: 1. A promiscuous woman 2. An inferior prizefighter
Rub: 1. To mix or socialize closely (rub elbows or shoulders) 2. A student dance party
Rube: An unsophisticated person from a rural area
Rub out: To murder
Rumble: A street fight between rival teenage gangs
Rummy: 1. A drunkard; an alcoholic; an alcoholic hobo 2. lntoxicated 3. Habitually confused and inept
Run-out: A fleeing; desertion; escape


Sack: An unattractive woman
Sap: 1. A foolish and gullible person 2. A bludgeon or club
Sap poison: Getting hit with a sap
Savvy?: Do you understand?
Sawbuck: A $10 bill
Says who?: A formulaic challenge indicating disagreement with someone who has said something. Tom: Says who? Fred: Says me, that's who!
Says you!: That's just what you say!; You don't know what you are talking about! Fred: You are fat and ugly. Tom: Says you!
Scat: 1. Nonsense syllables sung to music 2. Heroin 3. Inferior whiskey
Scattered: Drug intoxicated; confused by drug use
Schnoz: A person's nose
Scram: Leave
Scratch: 1. Money 2. To cancel
Scratcher: Forger
Screaming-meemie: A screaming child or adult
Screaming-meemies: A mental breakdown
Screw: 1. Leave 2. Prison guard
Screwball: Nut
Screwy: 1. Crazy 2. Intoxicated
Scrub: Poor student
Section 8: A category of United States military discharge based on military assessment of psychological unfitness or character traits deemed undesirable 2. A soldier given such a discharge or behaving as if deserving such a discharge
See a man about a dog (or horse): Excuse oneself without giving the real reason for leaving, esp. to go to the toilet or have an alcoholic drink
Send over: Send to jail
Shake a leg: Hurry up
Shamus: A police or private detective
Sharper: A cheating gambler
Sheba: A woman with sex appeal
Sheik: A masterful man to whom women are irresistibly attracted
Shells: Bullets
Shine: 1. Black person 2. Moonshine or bootleg liquor
Shine box: A bar or club for black patrons
Shiv: 1. A knife 2. To stab (someone)
Shutters: Eyes
Shylock: Loan shark
Shyster: Lawyer
Simoleon: A dollar
Sing: Act as an informer to the police
Sinker: A doughnut
Sister: Woman
Sitting pretty: Doing very nicely; in a very pleasant and secure position
Six-bits: 75 cents
Skate around: To be promiscuous
Skee: Hard liquor, esp. whiskey
Skid row: A run-down part of a town frequented by vagrants, alcoholics, and drug addicts
Skin tickler: A drummer
Skipout: Leave a hotel without paying, or a person who does so
Skirt: A woman
Skirt chaser: A man who aggressively pursues casual sexual relationships with many different women
Slant, Get a: Take a look
Slay:  To overwhelm, as with laughter or love
Sleepy-time girl: A prostitute
Sleuth: Detective
Slip me five: Shake my hand
Slug: 1. Bullet 2. To knock unconscious 3. A shot of liquor
Slugburger: Adding day-old bread to ground beef
Smart aleck: An obnoxiously conceited and impertinent person
Smarty: 1. A smart aleck 2. A quick-witted person
Smell from the barrel, Have a: Have a drink
Smoke: 1. A cigarette 2. A black person
Smoke-eater: 1. A firefighter 2. A cigarette smoker
Smoked: Drunk
Smooth: 1. Very good 2. Suave and stylish
Smooth as silk: Lacking impediments or obstacles, unhindered
Smoothie: A person regarded as being assured and artfully ingratiating in manner
Smooth operator: A skillful, manipulative person, con artist or clever scoundrel
Smudger: A close dancer
Snap a cap: Become excited and flustered
Snappy piece of work: An attractive woman
Snatch: Kidnap
Snazzy: Very good
Sneak: 1. A stealthy or furtive departure 2. Someone who prowls or sneaks about; usually with unlawful intentions
Sneeze: Take
Snipe: Cigarette
Snitch: 1. An informer 2. To inform
Snooper: Detective
Snort: A drink
Snow: 1. Cocaine or heroin 2. To overwhelm with insincere talk, especially with flattery
Snowbird: A person addicted to cocaine or heroin
Snowed: To be under the influence of narcotic drugs
So's your old man: A catch phrase indicating basic disagreement or hostility
Soak: 1. To drink to excess 2. To pawn
Sock: Punch
Sockdolager: 1. A conclusive blow or remark 2. Something outstanding
Soda fountain: 1. An apparatus with faucets for dispensing soda water 2. A counter equipped for preparing and serving soft drinks, ice cream dishes, or sandwiches.
Soda jerk: A person who prepares and serves sodas and ice cream at a soda fountain (from the jerking action the fountain attendant made when pulling the soda draft arm)
Son of a gun: A rogue or rascal
Soup: 1. A chaotic or unfortunate situation 2. Dense fog 3. Nitroglycerine
Soup job: To crack a safe using nitroglycerine
Sourdough: Conterfeit money
Sourpuss: A grouchy or frowning person
Spade: A disparaging term for a black person
Speakeasy: An illicit liquor store or nightclub during Prohibition
Spill: To disclose (something previously unknown); divulge
Spill one's guts: To tell all; to confess
Spinach: Money
Spitting: Talking
Splifficated: Drunk
Split: Leave
Spondulix: Money
Spoon: To engage in amorous behavior, such as kissing or caressing
Square: 1. Honest 2. A person who is regarded as dull, rigidly conventional, and out of touch with current trends
Squat: Nothing
Squirt metal: Shoot bullets
Static: 1. Back talk 2. Interference; obstruction 3. Angry or heated criticism
Steady: A person whom one dates regularly and exclusively
Stems: Legs
Step off: To be hanged
Sticks of tea: Marijuana cigarettes
Stiff: A corpse 2. Drunk
Stilts: Legs
Sting: A confidence game, especially one implemented by undercover agents to apprehend criminals 2. To cheat or overcharge
Stinko: Drunk
Stoolie: A stool pigeon
Stool pigeon: Informer
Streetwalker: Prostitute
Strike-me-dead: Bootleg liquor
String along: 1. To keep someone waiting or in a state of uncertainty 2. To fool, cheat, or deceive someone
Struggle buggy: The backseat of a car (in reference to its use for romantic liaisons)
Stuck on: In love
Sucker: 1. One who is easily deceived; a dupe 2. a. An unspecified thing 3. A person
Suds: Beer
Sugar: 1. Money 2. Sweetheart
Sugar daddy: A wealthy, usually older man who gives money or gifts to a younger person in return for sexual favors or companionship
Swanky: Classy; ritzy
Sweet: Very good
Sweet mama: An attractive woman
Sweet patootie: Pretty woman
Swell: 1. Excellent 2. One who is fashionably dressed or socially prominent
Swift, To have plenty of: To be fast on the draw
Swing: Hang


Tail: Secretly follow and observe someone closely
Take a Mickey Finn: Leave
Take a powder: Leave
Take for a ride: 1. To deceive or swindle 2. To transport to a place and kill
Take it on the heel and toe: Leave
Take on: Eat
Take the air: Leave
Take the bounce: To get kicked out
Take the fall for: Accept punishment for
Take the pipe: To commit suicide (originally by inhaling gas)
Take the rap: To accept punishment or take the blame for an offense or error
Tasty: Very attractive or appealing
Tea: Marijuana
Tell it to Sweeney: A scornful response to an unbelievable story
Tell it to the judge: A scornful response to an unbelievable story
Tell it to the marines: A scornful response to an unbelievable story
That’s the crop: That’s all of it
Three-letter man: A homosexual
Three-spot: Three-year term in jail
Throw lead: Shoot bullets
Ticket: Private investigator's license
Tiger milk: Liquor
Tight: 1. Drunk 2. Attractive
Tighten the screws: Exert strong pressure on someone
Tin: 1. Badge 2. Small change
Tin can: Car
Tin ear: An insensitivity to music or to sounds of a given kind
Tin Pan Alley: 1. A district (originally in New York) associated with musicians, composers, and publishers of popular music. 2. The publishers and composers of popular music considered as a group.
Tip a few: To have a few drinks
Tip your hand: To reveal one's resources or intentions (also tip your mitt)
Togged to the bricks: Dressed up
Tomato: Pretty woman
Tomcat: To pursue women in order to make sexual conquests (tomcat around)
Toot: 1. A binge; a drinking spree 2. To drink copiously 3. An emotional jag of some kind 4. A line or dose of cocaine; cocaine 5. To snort a portion of cocaine
Toothead: A cocaine user
Toots: Babe; sweetie
Torcher: Torch singer
Torpedoes: Gunmen
Tough customer: Someone who is difficult to deal with
Tramp: A loose woman 2. A hobo
Trap: Mouth
Trick: A young woman 2. A prison term 3. A robbery or theft 4. An act of prostitution
Trigger man: Man whose job is to use a gun
Trip for biscuits: Make the trip for no purpose, achieve no results
Trolley: A streetcar
Trollop: A woman considered sexually promiscuous
Trouble boys: Gangsters
Twist: Woman
Twit: Fool or idiot
Two-bits: 25 cents


Under glass: In jail
Unreal: So remarkable as to elicit disbelief; fantastic
Up-and-down: Look at closely ("he gave her the up-and-down")
Upchuck: To vomit
Uppers: To be broke
Uprights: Legs
Upstage: 1. To outdo professionally, socially, etc. 2. To behave snobbishly toward
Up the river: In jail


Vag: 1. Vagrant 2. Vagrancy Act 3. To arrest someone for vagrancy
Vamp: A woman who aggressively seduces men, sometimes to exploit or manipulate them
Vigorish: 1. An excessive rate of interest on a loan, typically one from an illegal moneylender 2. The percentage deducted from a gambler's winnings by the organizers of a game (also vig)


Weak sister: An ineffectual or unreliable member of a group
Wear iron: Carry a gun
Weed: Marijuana
Weepie: A work, esp. a film or play, that is excessively sentimental
Wet blanket: One that discourages enjoyment or enthusiasm
Wet smack: A dull or obnoxious person
Whacky: Crazy (from out of whack)
What's your story, morning glory?: What's up? (A title of an Ella Fitzgerald song)
Wheat: Person not used to city ways
Wheats: Pancakes
White: 1. Honorable; square dealing 2. Gin
White lightning: Illegally distilled spirits
Whoop-de-do: 1. Lively and noisy festivities; merrymaking 2. Heated discussion or debate, esp. in public 3. Extravagant publicity or fanfare
Whoopie: 1. A noisy, boisterous celebration 2. Sex
Wickiup: Home (Native American shelter made of brushwood, mats, or grass.)
Willies: A case of fear or anxiety
Wing-ding: Party
Wire: 1. Telephone 2. News 3. A hidden microphone 4. A pickpocket 5. To send a telegram
Wise, To be: To be knowledgeable of
Wise: Rude and disrespectful; impudent
Wise guy: A smart aleck 2. A mobster.
Wise head: A smart person
Wise to: To be or become aware or informed (of something) or to face up (to facts)
Wise up: To make or become aware, informed, or sophisticated
Wooden kimono: A coffin
Worker: A woman who takes a man for his money
World-beater: One that is markedly superior to all others, as in the ability to succeed
Wren: Woman
Wrong gee: A bad man
Wrong number: A bad man


Yap: A person's mouth
Yard: $100
Yegg: A burglar or safecracker
Yo: Yes
You and me both: In the same situation; having the same problem
You shred it, wheat: You said it


Zap: To destroy or kill
Zotz: To kill someone or something
Zozzled: Drunk

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