words. Here are 26 words and phrases that don’t get much use today, but are worth sneaking into conversation.


1. A shape in a drape

A well-dressed person. “Usually she just wears jeans, but she sure is a shape in a drape in that dress.”


2. Bright disease

To know too much. “He has bright disease. Make sure he doesn’t rat us out.”


3. Claws sharp

Being well-informed on a number of subjects. “Reading Mental Floss keeps your claws sharp.”


4. Dixie fried

Drunk. “It’s Friday and the eagle flies tonight. Let’s go get dixie fried.”


5. Everything plus

Better than good-looking. “He wasn’t just built, he was everything plus.”


6. Focus your audio

Listen carefully. “Shut your trap and focus your audio. This is important.”


7. Gin mill cowboy

A bar regular. (A gin mill is a bar.) “Cliff Clavin was the _flossiest gin mill cowboy of all time.”


8. Hanging paper

Paying with forged checks. “I hope that chick who stole my purse last week goes to jail for hanging paper.”


9. Interviewing your brains

Thinking. “I can see you’re interviewing your brains, so I’ll leave you alone.”


10. Jungled up

Having a place to live, or specific living arrangements. “All I know is that he’s jungled up with that guy he met at the gin mill last month.”


11. Know your groceries

To be aware, or to do things well. (Similar to Douglas Adams’ “know where your towel is.”) “You can’t give a TED Talk on something unless you really know your groceries.”


12. Lead sled

A car, specifically one that would now be considered a classic model. “His parents gave him their old lead sled for his sixteenth birthday.”


13. Mason-Dixon line

Anywhere out of bounds, especially regarding personal space. “Keep your hands above the Mason-Dixon line, thanks.”


14. Noodle it out

Think it through. “You don’t have to make a decision right now. Noodle it out and call me back.”


15. Off the cob

Corny. “Okay, some of this old Beat slang is kinda off the cob.”


16. Pearl diver

A person who washes dishes. “I’m just a pearl diver at a greasy spoon, but it’s a job.”


17. Quail hunting

Picking up chicks. “I’m going quail hunting and you’re my wingman.”


18. Red onion

A hole in the wall; a really crappy bar. “I thought we were going somewhere nice but he just took me to the red onion on the corner.”


19. Slated for crashville

Out of control. “That girl’s been in college for five minutes and is already slated for crashville.”


20. Threw babies out of the balcony

A big success; interchangeable with “went down a storm.” “I was afraid the party would suck, but it threw babies out of the balcony.”


21. Used-to-be

An ex, a person you used to date. “I ran into my used-to-be in Kroger’s and I looked terrible.”


22. Varicose alley

The runway in a strip club. “Stay in school or you’ll be strutting varicose alley, girls.”


23. Ways like a mowing machine


About beatnik woman

i am a "beat" poet and have had 3 u.s. tours and one of europe. i have authored 40 books of poetry and one novel "eenie meenie minee moe" on -my work has been taught in soviet georgia and colleges around the country. i am having my second book published "noddy's bar and grill" i was co-publisher of "Alpha Beat Press" with my late husband Dave Christy. when i am not writing i watch movies and love to cook indian food.

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