1920s Slang That 100% Needs To Be Brought Back For The 2020s

Swap out ‘Lit’ for ‘Zozzled’ next year.

The 2010s have delivered some interesting slang phrases. We started with YOLO and swag, moved through bae and slay and finished up with yeet and GOAT. Most of us claim to hate these words, but they somehow end up firmly secured within our vocabulary.

The 1920s was an era of decadence, glamour and hedonism. Here’s to hoping the 2020s will be of similar character. The turn of the century is an opportunity to reflect and embrace everything ‘twenties.’ Including 1920s slang. So here are the best slang phrases of the roaring twenties to start sprinkling into your sentences.


Applesauce: a synonym to describe your lack of appreciation for something someone has said. Basically instead of saying ‘bullshit,’ say ‘applesauce.’


Bearcat: a free-spirited women who is possibly a bit fiery. I imagine Kate Moss falls into bearcat category.

Bees Knees: a huge compliment to describe someone or something that is seriously the shit.

Behind The Eight Ball: if you’re behind the eight ball, you’re in a bit of a predicament or a tricky sitch.

Big Cheese: a super important person. Your boss is probably the big cheese.

Butt Me: this basically mean, ‘can I please have a dart.’


Cash: a smooch.

Clam: a dollar.

Cut Down: someone who’s been cut down has been murdered.


Dewdropper: a young, lazy dude who has no job and sleeps all day. (You probably went to high school with a few dewdroppers.)

Don’t Take Any Wooden Nickles: this basically means, ‘don’t be stupid.’

Dumb Dora: what you would call a girl who’s dumb.


Egg: someone who is extremely wealthy and lives a very luxurious life. The Kardashians are all eggs.


Flour Flusher: a person who bums off other people’s money. Referred to as gold diggers today.

A Fire Extinguisher: a buzz kill. The fire extinguisher is the friend who takes the wine bottle away from you and says, ‘I think you’ve had enough.’


Gams: legs.

Gasper: a cig.

Giggle Water: alcohol. (e.g. had so much giggle water last night, got lit af.)

Glad Rags: your nice clothes.


Half-seas Over: absolutely mortal; plastered; loose af; shitfaced.

Handcuff: engagement ring. (e.g. put a handcuff on the old ball and chain last month.)

Hotsy-totsy: perfect. (eg. a big-mac would be hotsy-totsy right now.)


I Have To Go See A Man About A Dog: this basically means you gotta go buy some booze.

Iron My Shoe Laces: this is what you would say when you’re excusing yourself to go to the loo.


Jake: all g. (e.g. everything’s Jake.)

Jorum Of Skee: a sip of straight liquor.

Juice Joint: a speakeasy. Could be used today to refer to a bar.


Kiss: punch. (I dare you to ask a creepy dude at a bar if you can kiss him. You can’t get in trouble if you had permission, right?)

Know Your Onions: someone who knows their onions knows all of the tea.


Let’s Blouse:  let’s kick it and rip it; let’s bounce; let’s blow this joint.


Mazuma: cash money.

Moll: a gangster’s girl.


Noodle: head.

Noodle Juice: tea (as in the drink).


Oliver Twist: a person with some killer dance moves.

On A Toot: on a bender.


Petting Pantry: a cinema.

Phonus Balonus: absolute nonesense; rubbish.

Putting On The Ritz: doing it in style. Going all out.

Pull A Daniel Boone: having a vom from drinking.


Razz: make fun of.

Reuben: a bogan.

Rhatz: this basically means, ‘oh no.’


Sheba: a sexyyyy ladyyyyy.

Spifflicated: intoxicated.


Tell It To Sweeny: go tell someone who will believe your phonus balonus.

Tomato: a chick.


Upchuck: vomit.

Upstage: someone or something that is upstage is super snobby.


Voot: another word for mooooney.


Wurp: someone who’s a wurp is a real Debbie Downer.


You Slay Me: this is what you would say to someone who makes you laugh. It basically mean, you’re hilarious. (I hear this one a lot.)


Zozzled: another word for being drunk af.

Image Sources:  GIPHY, Gravier Productions

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