Monday, May 21, 2007

The Jazz Age...

I was discussing language with my good friend the eminent scholar Monty Dingham Smythington…well, he was doing most of the talking…my contribution to the conversation consisted mainly in a valiant attempt to remain awake.

Anyway, he told me that while doing research for a book about the 1920’s, he had come across some fascinating examples of forgotten slang terms from that period. So, in keeping with the old adage misery loves company, I now inflict…I mean present them to you…


Crank up the Tin Lizzy: Meant either to start your automobile or to induce a state of sexual desire in one’s wife.

Like a flapper to hooch: This phrase could refer to a very strong attraction to something or the migration pattern of some unknown bird.

Don’t spit on my spats: I think this was either a warning not to be disrespectful or a literal reference to the ugliest footwear ever worn by man.

Twisting the Kaiser’s sausage: During the 20’s this phrase was used mostly by veterans of WWI and described either a great victory over your enemy or possibly a sex act performed by European prostitutes.

I’d like to Rudolph her Valentino: A statement of lecherous intent inspired by the popularity of the silent film star, this phrase was a favorite of drunken college students of the time.

A Charleston chippy: This could be either a young woman of easy virtue obsessed by the famed dance craze or an injury to the ankle caused by said dance craze.


zzzzzz…huh? Oh, sorry. Thank you Monty, that was enthralling, old boy. I can hardly wait to read your next book: “The Cultural Impact of Facial Hair on the Office of the Presidency”.


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13 comments:

Julian Syngen-Smythe said...

I believe I once made the acquaintance of this Monty fellow, after his fascinating lecture, 'The History of Cardigans and Cardigan Wearers'.

He had to wake me up after he had finished speaking. Poor Monty.

Allen said...

Sadly, I would have relished that conversation!
Great post!

Nerdishly,
-Allen's Brain

The Drive-by Blogger said...

Julian Syngen-Smythe- Ah yes, that was back at Oxford, before he was banned from there for attempting to give a commencement address wearing nothing but a pair of argyle sox.

Allen- Thank you AB, come to think of it a brain in a jar would be the perfect listener for old Monty.

HollyGL said...

I sure hope the people who are around you on a daily basis appreciate what must be a constant stream of hilarious commentary.

Thanks for another laugh out loud post!

Sher said...

Having lived in Germany for many years, I can say with some authority the thing about the sausage is entirely sexual. I'm not even lying.

I'm lying a little.

The Drive-by Blogger said...

HollyGL- Thanks, you are much too kind. While I can't speak for those around me, the voice in my head are in complete agreement with you.

Sher- Well, I'll tell the old boy he got that one right anyway...it takes so little to make him happy.

Diesel said...

I knew Monty in college. It's true he was a bit of a bore, but the girls all loved him for his linguistic skills.

The Drive-by Blogger said...

Diesel- I did not know that about old Monty...unfortunately for me, it puts his "friendship" with my Aunt Clara in a disturbing new light.

Paul "FooDaddy" Brand said...

We all know that to "hit the hay" means "go to sleep," but it's a mystery to me as to how that one got started. Perhaps you could run it by Monty for me?

Personally, when I'm about to turn in for the night, I announce that I am preparing to "slap the rabbits," but that's just me.

The Drive-by Blogger said...

FooDaddy- According to Monty, it has something to do with a man in 19th century London, who was found unconscious on the floor of a stable, after apparently having attempted to perform an unnatural act on a horse.

Monty also says he hopes your expression doesn't share a similar origin.

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

I kinda' like the sound of this old buffer, sounds like he was quite a lad in his time..

meleah rebeccah said...

hi, great blog, i found you on mybloglog, and i dig this page!

i say we bring back the flapper dress.

but, im also a girl that "puts out" for big words!

The Drive-by Blogger said...

Shrink Wrapped Scream- Well, he certainly was a legend in his own mind anyway.


meleah rebeccah- Thanks, throw in some bathtub gin to go with that flapper dress and you've got yourself a deal.