A to Z 1920’s Slang Guide for Flappers

1920's slang guide for flappers

The Concise A to Z  guide to 1920’s slang for flappers

Ella Hartung recorded this dictionary of 1920’s slang words for the Flapper in 1922.

  • Absent Treatment- Dancing with bashful partner.
    Anchor- Box of flowers.
    Apple knocker- A hick, a hay-shaker.
    Apple Sauce- Flattery; bunk.
  • Barlow- A girl, a flapper, a chicken.
    Bank’s Closed- No petting allowed; no kisses.
    Barney mugging- Lovemaking.
    Bee’s Knees- See Cat’s Particulars.
    Bell Polisher- A young man addicted to lingering in the vestibule at 1 a.m.
    Berry Patch- A man’s particular interest in a girl.
    Berries- Great.
    Biscuit- A pettable flapper.
    Big Timer (n. masc.)- A charmer able to convince his sweetie that a jollier thing would be to get a snack in an arm-chair lunchroom; a romantic.
    Billboard- Flashy man or woman.
    Blushing Violet- A publicity hound.
    Blouse- To go.
    Blow- Wild party.
    Blaah- No good.
    Boob Tickler- Girl who entertains father’s out-of-town customers.
    Brush Ape- Anyone from the sticks, a country jake.
    Brooksy- Classy dresser.
    Bun Duster- See Cake Eater
    Bush Hounds- Rustics and others outside of the Flapper pale.
  • Cancelled Stamp- A wall flower.
    Cake Basket- A limousine.
    Cake Eater- See Crumb Gobbler.
    Cat’s Particulars- The acme of perfection; anything that’s good.
    Cat’s Pajamas- Anything that’s good.
    Cellar Smeller- A young man who always turns up where liquor is to be had without cost.
    Corn Shredder- Young man who dances on a girl’s feet.
    Crasher- Anyone who comes to parties uninvited.
    Crashing Party- Party where several young men in a group go uninvited.
    Cuddle Cootie- Young man who takes a girl for a ride on a bus, gas wagon, or automobile.
    Cuddler- One who likes petting.
1920's slang guide for flappers
  • Dapper- A flapper’s father.
    Dewdropper- Young man who does not work, and sleeps all day.
    Dincher- A half-smoked cigarette
    Dingle Dangler- One who insists on telephoning.
    Dipe Ducat- A subway ticket.
    Dimbox- A taxicab.
    Di Mi- Goodness.
    Dog Kennels- Pair of shoes.
    Dropping the Pilot- Getting a divorce.
    Duck’s Quack- The best thing ever.
    Ducky- General term for approbation.
    Dud- Wall flower.
    Dudding Up- Dressing.
    Dumb Dora- Stupid girl.
    Dumb Bell- Wall flower with little brains.
    Dumb Kuff- General term for being “nutty” or “batty.”


  • Edison ed- Being asked a lot of questions.
    Egg Harbor- Free dance.
    Embalmer- A bootlegger.
    Eye Opener- A marriage.
  • Father Time- Any man over 30 years of age.
    Face stretcher- Old maid who tries to look young.
    Fire Extinguisher- A chaperone.
    Finale Hopper- Young man who arrives after everything is paid for.
    Fire Alarm- Divorced woman.
    Fire Bell- Married woman.
    Flap- Girl.
    Flat Shoes- Fight between a Flapper and her Goof.
    Fluky- Funny, odd, peculiar, different.
    Flat wheeler- Flat shy of money; takes girls to free affairs.
    Floor flusher- Inveterate dance hound.
    Flour Lover- Girl who powders too freely.
    Frog’s Eyebrows- Nice, fine.
  • Gander- process of dudding up.
    Gimlet- A chronic bore.
    Given the Air- When a girl or fellow is thrown down on a date.
    Give Your Knee- Cheek-to-cheek and toe-to-toe dancing.
    Goofy- To be in love or attracted to. Example: I’m goofy about Jack.
    Goat’s Whisker’s- See Cat’s Particulars
    Goof- Sweetie
    Grubber- One who always borrows cigarettes.
  • Handcuffs- Engagement ring.
    Hen Coop- A beauty parlor.
    His Blue Serge- His sweetheart.
    Hopper- Dancer.
    Houdini- To be on time for a date.
    Hush Money- Allowance from father.
  • Jane- a girl who meets you on the stoop.
    Johnnie Walker- Guy who never hires a cab.
  • Kitten’s Ankles- See Cat’s Particulars.
    Kluck- Dumb, but happy.
  • Lap- Drink.
    Lens Louise- A person given to monopolizing conversation.
    Lemon squeezer- An elevator.
    Low Lid- The opposite from high brow.
1920's flappers
  • Mad Money- Carfare home if she has a fight with her escort.
    Monkey’s Eyebrows- See Cat’s Particulars.
    Monog- A young person of either sex who is “goofy” about only one person at a time.
    Monologist- Young man who hates to talk about himself.
    Mustard Plaster- Unwelcome guy who sticks around.
    Munitions- Face powder and rouge.

  • Necker- A petter who puts her arms around a boy’s neck.
    Noodle Juice- Tea.
    Nut Cracker- Policeman’s Nightstick.
  • Obituary Notice- Dunning letters.
    Orchid- Anything that is expensive.
    Out on Parole- A person who has been divorced.
  • Petting Pantry- A movie.
    Petting Party- A party devoted to hugging.
    Petter- A lovable person; one who enjoys to caress.
    Police Dog- Young man to whom one is engaged.
    Potato- A young man shy of brains.
  • Ritzy Burg- Not classy.
    Ritz- Stuck-up.
    Rock of Ages- Any woman over 30 years of age.
    Rug Hopper- Young man who never takes a girl out. A parlor hound.
1920's flapper
  • Sap- A 1920’s Flapper term for floor flusher.
    Scandal- A short term for Scandal Walk.
    Scandaler- A dance floor fullback. The interior of dreadnought hat, Piccadilly suiting and shoes with open plumbing, size 13.
    Seetie- Anybody a flapper hates.
    Sharpshooter- One who spends well and dances much.
    Shifter- Another species of a Flapper.
    Show Case- Rich man’s wife with her jewels.
    Sip- Flapper term for female Hopper.
    Slimp- Cheapskate or “one way guy.”
    Smith Brothers- Guys who never cough up.
    Smoke Eater- A girl cigarette user.
    Smooth- Guy who does not keep his word.
    Snuggle pup- A man fond of petting and petting parties.
    Sod Buster- An undertaker.
    Stilts- Legs.
    Stander- Victim of a female grafter.
    Static- Conversation that means nothing.
    Swan- Glide gracefully.
  • Tomato- A young woman shy of brains.
    Trotzky- Old lady with mustache and chin whiskers.
  • Umbrella- Young man any girl can borrow for the evening.
    Urban Set- Her new gown.
  • Walk In- Young man who goes to parties without being invited.
    Weasel- Girl stealer.
    Weed- Flapper who takes risks.
    Weeping Willow- perpetual crier
    Whisk broom- Any man who wears whiskers.
    Wind Sucker- Any person given to boasting.

That’s all !
©Glamour Daze 2011


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5 thoughts on “A to Z 1920’s Slang Guide for Flappers”

  1. Hah. My Dad used to make sure I had “mad money” when I was a teenager. To be kept tucked into the top of your stocking!

  2. so if Flap means girl people are really saying when they say flapper girl "girl girl?" funny.

  3. This is classic! I love learning slang. I've copied and pasted this for when I have a flapper costumed night!

  4. LOVE IT! I may very well have to start peppering my vocab with some of these phrases…they're just too fun! Thankss so much for sharing!

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