January 4, 2011
SLANGTIONARY: words and expressions from the past
By Ken Taylor and Barbara Wittenberg Taylor '60
Here is 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. Previous Slangtionary lists were posted in this blog on December 5 and 6.
Ixnay - Pig Latin for nix
Poodle Skirts - Must have woman's skirt for the school dances. Worn in the movie Grease by The Pink Ladies (see photo above)
Curb Feelers - Twisted wire connected to your right front bumper to "feel" for the curb to protect your car
Hollywood Mufflers - a must have sound for your set of wheels, also illegal to install
See you later alligator - Goodbye (from Bill Haley and the Comets)
After awhile crocodile - What your answer is to the above
Sock Hop - Friday night dance at the school gym, no shoes allowed
Riding the clutch - to get more traction from the clutch for more speed
Cheat Sheet - Answers to the school exam that you snuck in to an exam room
Haul Ass - Leave the scene ASAP, usually in a car
Suicide knob - attached to the steering wheel for one-handed turning of the wheel
Suicide seat - also called the "shotgun seat" the right front passenger seat
Holy Mackerel! - Wow, unbelievable!
Set of Wheels - Your car, usually your first set of wheels
F-- you and the horse you rode in on - Basically "Go to Hell"
Cancer Sticks - cigarettes
Bet your bottom dollar - I totally agree with you
Four on the Floor - Manuel shift car with the stick shift on the floor
Garrison Belt - All "Hoods" wore them; a thick black belt
Zippo Lighter - Many people carried one whether they smoked or not. They had to learn how to flick it open with one hand.
Chocolate Egg Cream - The drink of the 1950s
Vanilla Egg Cream - The runner-up in the best drink contest
Strawberry Egg Cream - No such thing
Over the shoulder boulder holder - A bra