December 6, 2010

SLANGTIONARY PART 2: words and expressions out of the past

Here is part 2 of a list of words and expressions seldom heard these days. In the streets of Levittown in the 1950s, however, one was likely to commonly hear these terms. We have omitted terms of profane, sexual, racial and ethnic natures as those are readily available elsewhere on the Internet.

Jailbait - underage girl; sometimes Stacked (see under S)
Johnny-Ride-a-Pony - schoolyard game involving vaulting onto players’ backs
J.D. - juvenile delinquent

Large charge - something exciting causes it
Lucky duck - fortunate person

Made in the shade - success, successful
Make out, making out - kissing and hugging with all four hands above the waist; vs. Petting (see under P)
Make the scene - be there
Meanwhile, back at the ranch – sarcastic prompt to get speaker back on the subject
Mimeo- a copy made by machine (Mimeograph)
Monkey-in-the-Middle - keepaway street game

Natives - A group of mostly harmless guys who hung out at the North Village Green.
No sweat - easy
Noogie - rap on the skull; to hit someone on the top of the head with one knuckle extended

Oddball - strange person
Ollie Ollie in come free!- you can come out of your hiding place, you are not “it”
Out-to-lunch - dazed mental state

Pad - apartment, home
Pajama party- group sleepover (usually girls and ONLY girls)
Panic, a - something funny
Party pooper - event spoiler
Passion pit - drive-in theater
Pea shooter-small straw-like tube for shooting beans or peas from mouth (bane of moviegoers)
Peel out - burn-rubber departure
Pegged pants - formal trousers especially for Hoods (see under H), Rocks (see under R)
Penguin - teaching nun
Petting - making out (see under M) with hands possibly drifting below the waist
Pididdle - car with one headlight; supposed reason for a kiss from date
Pinkball - Spalding rubber ball; also stickball
Potsie - sidewalk game aka hopscotch
Pusher - drug dealer
Put out - girl willing to Pet (see under P)

Rank, Rankout - clever put down, usually as humorous and insulting as possible, as in, “If b.s. was cement, you’d be a 10-lane highway to Alaska”
Rat fink - tattler or total jerk
Raunchy - messy or gross
Red Rover Come Over - field game sans equipment similar to All Across (see under A); good groping opportunities when played co-ed
Ring-a-Levio - form of hide and seek
Rock - Hood
Rubber - condom; often used in sarcasm, as in “What’s that got to do with the price of rubbers?”
Rumble - gang fight
Running Bases - 3-man catch and tag game similar to Monkey-in-the–Middle (see under M) that simulates a player getting caught in a rundown between bases

Salugi - keepaway game involving the snatch of something (usually hat or school book) belonging to another and tossing it back and forth with a third person to prevent the owner from getting it back
Scene, the - the place or event
Scream - something very funny
Shotgun! - front seat call, Dibs! (see under D); used when traveling with family; mothers always trumped call
Smarty pants- a know-it-all
Smartass- wiseacre (see under W) know-it-all
Sock hop - informal dance
Spaldeen - Spalding made rubber ball, pinkball (see under P)
Split - to leave
Spud - game of It involving throwing a ball to tag the victim; also putrid-tasting cigarette brand
Stacked - large-breasted, referring to a female
Stickball - broomstick-bat pinkball (see under P) baseball played in street; also 2-man version on schoolyard wall
Stick up - to defend, as in “Why don’t you stick up for me?”
Stoop ball - game played with tennis ball or Spaldeen (see under S) batless baseball variation
Straighten up and fly right - behavioral advice similar to Wise Up! (see under W)
Straight Arrow- well-behaved goody two shoes (see under G)
Submarine races – making out (see under M) near water
Square, a - uncool conformist

Tear ass - to go very fast
Think fast! - reflex check
Threads - wardrobe
Three on a match - bad luck to third person (dates to WWI trench warfare; third man often shot by snipers)
Thrown to the wolves - to sacrifice; due to shortage of wolves, today synonymous phrase is “throw under the bus”
Tinkle - ladylike term for urination

Up yours! - verbalization of middle finger gesture often accompanied by upfisted crook arm flourish
Upsie daisy - cute saying while helping one to one’s feet after mishap

Wasted - drunk
Way out! - innovative
Wazoo - anal canal often used to in quantitative description, as in “I’ve got homework tonight up the wazoo!”
Weed - cigarette
White bucks - laced white suede shoes with red soles
Wild - amazing thing
Wiseacre - smartass (see under S)
Wise guy - smart aleck
Wisenheimer-sarcastic variation of wise guy, wiseacre (see above)
Wise up! - truculent behavior suggestion
Thank you to Jeff McGann who compiled this list for the Forest Hills Club website. It
has been edited to provide a Levittown flavor.

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