18 Slang Terms From the Twenties to Use in Daily Conversation

There are plenty of reasons why the roaring 1920s are awesome: flappers, swing dancing, the Nineteenth Amendment, the debut of Mickey Mouse, and of course, jazz. For those of us who can’t get over The Great Gatsby or the awesome fedoras and flapper dresses, here are some common twenties slang words and phrases that are simply “berries!”

“And how!”

As in, “I agree!”

Synonymous with “horsefeathers,” use this term when you want to express exasperation or disbelief.

The much cooler and even more old school version of “the bee’s knees,” this term is the 1920s equivalent to today’s “awesome!”

A somewhat onomatopoeic word for a woman’s boobs.

history hustle twenties 1920s slang terms
“Can ya butt me, doll?”
“Butt me!”

A way cooler way of saying, “Hey man, can I bum a cigarette?”

A kiss.
“Choice bit of calico”

A desirable, even classy woman; a dime. “She’s a choice bit of calico!” Better than saying “she’s a hot piece of ass,” no?

A lazy lollygagger. As in, “I told my dewdropper boyfriend that if he didn’t get off the couch and get a job, we were through!”

A superior term to “bae.”
“Go chase yourself!”

A safe-for-work version of “go f— yourself!”

twenties 1920 slang couple history hustle

A perfect term for “in love,” since, well, being in love makes people goofy.
“Iron one’s shoelaces”

A way of excusing yourself to the bathroom. What it means, we’re not completely sure.
“Know your onions”

To be “in the know” (albeit a little smellier).
“On a toot”

On a “totally lit bender.” Note: the phrase sounds extra-funny when you’re actually on a toot.
“Panther piss”

Whiskey (don’t try this one out on a bartender).

To make fun of someone i.e. “Don’t razz me!”


“Shitfaced,” but with more Zs. See also: canned, corked, tanked, primed, scrooched, jazzed, spifflicated, owled, ossified or fried to the hat. They did a lot of drinking in the 1920s…

What’s your favorite term?