Friday, August 5, 2011

20th-century slang

20th-century slang
 20th-century slang. There were lots of slang terms that become famous in 20th-century but most of them are usually short lived. Rather some slang terms are really strong enough to remain in use. Slang terms are often particular to a certain subculture such as hip hop. Slang can be regional, but slang terms are often particular instead to a certain subculture, such as music or video gaming. We're taking a look back at some of the more memorable phrases to join the American lexicon in the past 100 years. Twenty-three skidoo
It is an American slang phrase popularized during the early twentieth century, first attested before World War I and becoming popular during the 1920s.

The decade: '20s
Twenty-three skidoo Meaning forced to leave quickly: It generally refers to leaving quickly, being forced to leave quickly by someone else, or taking advantage of a propitious opportunity to leave, that is, "getting while the getting's good."

Twenty-three skidoo Origin: The exact origin of the phrase is uncertain.Although there are a number of stories suggesting the possible origin of the phrase, none has been accepted universally.

Perhaps the most widely known story of the origin of the expression concerns a famous New York building, the triangular-shaped Flatiron Building at Madison Square in New York City, was responsible for the silly-sounding phrase. A British rock band and a short film later borrowed the moniker.

Bee's knees
The phrase 'the bee's knees' became popular in the US in the 1920s during the Prohibition era.

The decade: '20s
Bee's knees Meaning height of excellence: The phrase 'the bee's knees' means 'the height of excellence'.
Bee's knees Origins: Stories in circulation about the phrase's origin include: "b's and e's", short for "be-alls and end-alls"; and a corruption of "business".

Some say the rhyme and other say one of many nonsensical phrases called flapper slang used by nattily dressed party girls was popularized by a famous dancer Bee Jackson. Bartenders are still serving up "bee's knees" drinks today.

Cat's pajamas
The phrase "the cat's pajamas" is a slang phrase coined by Thomas A. Dorgan and it became popular in the U.S. in the 1920s, along with "the bee's knees" and "the cat's whiskers".

The decade: '20s
Cat's Pajamas Meaning: It means somebody or something special: an excellent or special person or thing.
Cat's Pajamas Etymology: In the 1920s the word cat was used as a term to describe the unconventional flappers from the jazz era. This was combined with the word pyjamas (a relatively new fashion in the 1920s) to form a phrase used to describe something that is the best at what it does, thus making it highly sought and desirable.

"Cat's pajamas" was considered a compliment during the flapper culture decade. These days, it's a popular sleepwear line.

The decade: '40s
Hepcat Meaning: It is a dated slang that means somebody considered to be cool: a knowing and aware person, especially a jazz fan in the 1940s.

Hepcat Etymology: Subsequently, around 1940, the word hipster was coined to replace hepcat, and hipsters were more interested in bebop and hot jazz than they were in Swing, which by the late 40s was becoming old-fashioned and watered down by "squares" like Lawrence Welk and Guy Lombardo.

Jazz fans and musicians in the '40s were some of the first to use "hepcat" to describe a cool person. A California ska band took the name in the late '80s.

Hipster was often used in the 1940s and 1950s to describe jazz performers, in particular bebop, which became popular in the early 1940s.

The decade: '40s
Hipster Meaning: It is also a dated slang means somebody up-to-date: somebody conversant with fashions in music, clothes, and social attitudes, especially an enthusiast of modern jazz.

Hipster 1940s Etymology: The term hipster was coined by Harry Gibson in 1940's in his stage name "Harry the Hipster", and was revived in the 2000s and 2010s to describe types of young, recently settled urban middle class adults and older teenagers.

Present-day hipsters seem to have inherited their particular music tastes from their bebop-loving forbears

The decade: '60s
Far-out Definition: It is an adjective having a unusual meaning: strange and unconventional and excellent meaning: extremely good or enjoyable.

"Far-out" Etymology: Far out also far-out, 1887, "remote, distant;" from far + out. Slang sense of "excellent, wonderful," is from 1954, originally in jazz talk.

The spacey phrase first showed up in the '50s, but it was the next decade's hippies - with their penchant for psychedelic drugs - who made it their own.