You Talk Too Much — Jive Talking in Carleton Place



My grandmother always said:  “Home again, home again, jigadigig”. I find myself using that almost daily sometimes. Or, “Hold on Martha we’re headed to the barn” — one of my cousins always said that when he said he beat the cops home–and so out raced a speeding ticket. We never really took him seriously when he recanted his tales, until one day word on the street was that he had landed himself in jail for speeding. I guess he never made it to the barn that day.

Other popular slang were: Hey man, peace man, what’s up man, no way man (we added ‘man’ to just about everything :)), chill, cool, hot stuff, super cool, neato, no way hosay, super, holy toledo, hokey doodle, the cat’s meow, dog’s breakfast, geez Louise, sheesh, gee whiz, by golly gee, gosh and some haircut slang: rat tail, mullet, afro, buzz cut.

My neighbour loved to use archaic phrases like “Well that’s a horse of a different color!” and “Well isn’t this a fine kettle of fish”. Because of him I still use the word “swell”.

What about: Why I oughta…..It’s for the birds…. the bee’s knees…….it’s your nickel……dames and broads …….he’s a good egg……shut your trap….

How about 50’s terms, like hep cats, cool chicks, or jazz it up a bit with Daddy-o, or “you dig it?” Righteous, see you later alligator, and for the real go getters, any phrase from the jive speak scene in the movie Airplane. In a way they were. Made up by a very few, to be understood by a very few.




List of Slang from Vintage Allies and photos from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Above my pay grade – That’s not in my area of expertise so don’t ask me
Ace – Top notch expert
Ameche – Make a telephone call
Applesauce – Expletive
Are you rationed? – Are you going steady?
Armored heifer – Canned milk

Baby – Affection term for male or female
Baby-doll – Affectionate term for female
Bad business – It’s troublesome
Bad news – It’s trouble
Bathtub – Sidecar for a motorcycle
Beat – Beyond tired
Beat me daddy eight to the bar – Exclamation of excitement or accomplishment
Be-bop – Dancing
Beef – A complaint
Bender – A drinking spree
Biz – Business
Black-and-white – Policeman’s car
Blah – So-so
Blast – Ready set, go, shoot
Blivet – Unexplainable
Blow – While away, spend
Blow a fuse – Bad Temper
Bonkers – Over the top, wild
Book – Arrest
Boondocks – The middle of nowhere
Booze – Liquor
Bop – Dancing
Brainchild – An idea
Broad – A woman
Brush off – To ignore/snub
Bum – Borrow from
Bum rap – Accusation/false
Bupkis – Zero, Nothing
Bust your (his/her) chops – To scold, chastise.
Buy the farm – Croak, die
Buzz – Excitement/Heady/slightly inebriated



Mississippi River Days and the Hospital Bed Races
Call-girl – Prostitute
Can – Jail
Carry a Torch – To ardently admire/have a crush on someone
Cat’s Meow – The best
Cheesy – Crude/cheap
Chew out – Berate
Chicken – Coward
Chicken out – Weak
Chopper(s) – Teeth
Chrome-dome – Baldhead
Cock-eyed – Backward/crazy/illogical
Cold – Without a trace
Cold fish -Prude
Cook with gas – To do something right
Cookie – Cute Girl
Cool down – Chill/Relax/Calm down.
Cop – Policeman.
Corny – Hoakey, tacky
Crack open – Open
Crack up – Funny/Stressed out
Creep – Unfavorable person
Croak – To expire
Crummy – Bad

Dame – Woman
Dad-blamed – Expression of surprise
Dang – Expression of surprise
Dang nabbit! – Expression of frustration
Dead hoofer – Poor dancer
Deck out – Dressed in impressive attire
Dish – Good looking
Ditch – Depart company/dump someone or something
Dog – Track/follow
Dolly – Woman/girl
Done for – Found out/finished/kaput
Dope – Scoop/information
Dreamboat – Beautiful/handsome individual
Done for – Found out/finished/kaput
Dope – Scoop/information
Dreamboat – Beautiful/handsome individual
Ducky Shincracker – Good dancer



Thanks to Wendy Healey the students are : Joanne Drader, Kathy Code, John Willard, Pam Giffin, Larry Croswell, Laurie Gardiner, Jeff Puckett, Lee Wilson, Sharon Scissons, Terry Craig, Ann Marie Murray and Carole Morris. Wendy was thinking it was the year book committee or student council.
Ease up – Loosen up
Eager beaver – Ready and likely able person
Edgy – Overly alert/anxious/nervous
Fat-head – Numbskull
Flap your lips – Talking
Flatfoot – Policeman
Flip your wig – Over the top
Fuddy-Duddy – Old fashioned/not mainstream person

G-man – FBI
Gams – Legs
Gas – Great time
Gat – Gatling gun
Gay -Fun Filled
Geezer – Old person
Get a load of – Take a look
Get lost – Buzz off/go Away/dissapear
Get under your skin – Bothersome
Glitterati – People in the spotlight/glitz
Go belly up – Fail
Gobbledygook – Nonsense
Goof – Error
Gorilla – Bully/Bodyguard
Grandstand – Brag/show off
Gravy – Cinch
Greenback – Dollar
Grill – Interrogate
Gumshoe – Private Investigator
Hang it up – Quit
Hard-boiled – Jaded/Tough Man
Hen fruit – Eggs
Hepcats – Admirer of jazz/swing – A really happening/hip person
Hey sugar, are you rationed? – Are you going steady?
Hi-de-ho – Hello
Hipster – Original Hippi
Hitch – Marry
Holy mackerel! – Expression of surprise and disbelief
Honcho – Head man/leader
Hooch – Bootleg liquor
Hoofer – Dancer
Horsefeathers – Expletive
Hot damn! – Expression of surprise
Hot diggity dog! – An expression of surprise
Hot dog! – An expression of surprise
Hotrod – Souped-up car
Hotsy-Totsy – Pleasing/flirtacious/the right stuff
Hotshot – Head man/leader/knowledgeable
Hubba Hubba- Expression of approval

In cahoots with – To agree and act together
In my book – In my opinion.
In the know – Having access to knowledge
Jerk – Less than desirable person
Jitterbug – Style of dance
Joint – Jail
Juvie – Juvenile delinquent.

Keen – Appealing/the best
Khaki wacky – Boy crazy
kibosh – A stop (to something).
Kick – Enjoyment/fun
Kicks – Fun
Killer-diller – The best.
King-size – Really huge
Kisser – Mouth
Knock off – To kill/To Quit.
Knocked out – Asleep.
Knuckle sandwich – A punch in the mouth.
Knucklehead – A stupid or foolish person.

Let someone have it – To give the full brunt of your thoughts/to shoot someone.
Lettuce – Money
Like crazy – Fast and hard/furious
Line – Exaggerated facts or lie
Lulu – Something beyond the pale, or excellent, outstanding.

Make a pass – Seducing
Meatball – A sucker
Megabucks – Wealth
Megillah – Details
Moolah – Money.
Motorized freckles – Insects
Mug – Face.
Mug – To make faces.
Nada – Nothing.
Match – Naturally, of course
Merve – Audacity.
Nice going! – Interjection of congratulations.
No dice! – An interjection of rejection.
No fooling – Telling the truth or utterance of surprise and re-assurances
Nuts – Crazy, insane.
Off the hook – Exonerated, cleared of guilt.
Old lady – Slang for females, usually wife or mother.
On the nose – Exactly.
Pain in the neck – Annoyance.
Pass the buck – Passing responsibility for
Patsy – A scapegoat
Paw – Hand
Peanuts – Negligible
Peepers – Eyes
Pennies from heaven – Money easily earned
Pistol – Person full of themselves
Pull – Influence/Sway
Quarterback – Lead
Queer – A homosexual
Rag – Teasing
Reach for the sky! – Ganster terminology, raise your hands
Retread – Someone intent on trying an event again
Rhubarb – Argument
Ritzy – High class/appearances of wealth
Rock – A jewel (ring)
Rocks – Ice cubes
Roughhouse – Physical play in a friendly manner
Rub out – Murder
Rug – A toupee
Run out of gas – Lack of interest



Bob Brown on the left and Dave Johnson on the right.


Sappy – Romantic
Sauced – Intoxicated.
Say – Expression of Surprise
Screw up – Mistake
Sell out – Bribed
Share crop – Promiscuous woman
Sharp – Brilliant/Edgy
Shot – Giving something a go or try
Shut-eye – Sleep.
Sing – Tattle
Skip – To depart
Slug – To hit.
Smoke out – To reveal
Smooch – Romantic kissing
Snap your cap – Anger
Soitently- Expression of agreement/Sure!/Of course!
Soppy – Over romantic and sentimental
Souse – Become inebriated
Speakeasy – Bar that sells bootleg whiskey
Spew – To regurgitate (vomit)
Spew your guts out – To reveal everything
Spiffy – To Look the best
Spivvy – To Dress Up
Spook – A spy
Spook – To Frighten
Spread Out! – Get out of the way!/Stand Clear!/Make way!
Spring – To release
Stacked – A well balanced or over-endowed femal physique
Stick around – To stay nearby
Sticks – A backroads area or lodging
Stompers – Shoes
Straight up – Unembellished facts or alcoholic drink sans ice
Stuck On – Infatuated with someone
Sugar daddy – A wealthy boyfriend
Swanky – Appearances of wealth, grandeur, ritz
Sweet – An ideal situation, person, place or thing
Swell – Excellend/positive/wonderful
Swigger – A drinker


Take a gander – To Look
Take a powder – To leave.
Tap – To borrow money, etc.
The big house – Federal prison.
Thingamabob – An adjective for something
Through the wringer – A difficult situation/repeated berating or questioning
Tough – Description for a difficult situation
Two cents worth – Opinion
Unmentionables – Undergarments
Up for grabs – Anything goes



Pictured are Blaine Cornell, Gary McLellan, Weldon Armour seated, Dave Gordon, Dale Costello, Bob Bigras, Gerald Griffith, Ray Paquette and Gordon Bassett.
Wacky – Out of sorts/wild
Wad – Money
What’s buzzin’, cousin? – Expression of greetings/What’s new
What’s cooking? – Expression of greetings/What’s new
What’s eating you? – Query for what’s the matter
What’s up? – Expression of greetings/concern
What of it? – Query for ‘What business is it of yours’
Whistl’n (Whistling) Dixie – Wasting Time
Whoopee – Romance/good time
Wise guy- Obnoxious, rude, smart aleck
Wolf – Man with romantic intentions
Wow! -Expression of surprise/delight
Wrack your brain – Examining all facts/evidence
Wacky – Out of sorts/wild



About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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