alcoholic liquor unlawfully made, sold, or transported, without registration or payment of taxes.
American English slang, from the trick of concealing something (originally a flask of liquor) down the leg of a high boot.
Not for nothing were they called the Roaring Twenties, as is evident from the cool slang the people used back then. We've listed some of the very best twenties slang in this Buzzle article―it's a little amusing to read, but it can get offensive in no time. But then, such was the Jazz Era, and the societal norms bore heavily into the mannerisms and vernacular of the time. So, just sit back and enjoy.
List of American Slang Words and Phrases
A - D
BabyA person (endearment)
Bee's KneesExtraordinary thing/person
Big CheeseSomeone important/the boss
Bug-eyed BettyAn unattractive woman
Cat's MeowThe best/finest
Drugstore CowboyA guy that hangs around on a street corner trying to pick up girls
E - H
EggMan living a wealthy lifestyle
Fall GuyVictim of a frame-up
Flat TireA disappointing date
Hard-boiledA tough person
FlapperA stylish, brash young woman with short skirts and shorter hair
I - L
M - Q
NailedCaught by the police
Petting PartyMake-out party
R - T
U - Z
WhoopeeTo have a good time
Wet blanketA boring person
Ya follow?You understand?
Prohibition's Contribution to 1920s' Slang
As the most coveted and covertly traded item of the twenties, alcohol had quite a few names. Some of these are straightforward, while others are downright funny. Take a look:
- Corn (Bourbon/Corn liquor)
- Giggle juice
- Tiger milk
- Busthead (Homemade liquor)
- Coffin varnish (Bootleg liquor, often poisonous)
- White lightning
- Giggle Water
- Panther piss/sweat
So this was just a peek into the lingo of the smooth talkers of the twenties. Mind you, most of these words can even make their way into our vocabulary, and still not sound dated. Way to go, Roaring Twenties!