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Straight from the Fridge, Dad

A Dictionary of Hipster Slang

Straight from the Fridge, Dad by Max Decharne
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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.
Crown/Archetype; May 2002
224 pages; ISBN 9780767910996
Read online, or download in secure EPUB
Title: Straight from the Fridge, Dad
Author: Max Decharne
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

Artillery Guns

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

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.

Awash Drunk

Axe Musical instrument

From the Trade Paperback edition.
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