While it was hard to put slang in a couple of my historical romance novels, one of them was not only an absolute must, but was some of the funnest writing I’ve done. One simply doesn’t write a novel set in the roaring 1920’s and not use the slang people spoke back then. It’s just not right. So, of course, I scoured several websites to find all that I could.
What did I find?
A list of words that part of me wishes we still used today. Seriously, some of these are just too perfect and utterly hilarious.
- Apple – “The big apple” (being New York) however the word “apple” referred to any big city in the 1930s
- Big House – refers to a prison.
- Blow your wig – to become very excited
- Broad/dame/doll – the fairer sex; they simply referred to women.
- Cadillac – an ounce of cocaine or heroin.
- Canary – a female singer.
- Cats/alligators – were fans of swing music.
- Chicago Overcoat – a coffin
- Chicago typewriter/chopper – the Thompson machine gun also known as “Tommy Gun.”
- City Juice/Dog Soup – a cup of water.
- Copper – police officer/cop
- Dizzy with a dame – in love with a woman
- Dough/Clams/Salad/Moolah – money
- Gat/rod/heater/convincer – referring to a gun.
- Hooch/Booze – alcohol
- Hot mama/looker/dame/dish – good looking women.
- Mitt me kid – congratulate me
- Togged to the bricks – all dressed up
- Trigger Men – hired gunmen.
- Trip for biscuits – a task that will yield no results
For me personally, I think I will start using “togged to the bricks”, “trip for biscuits”, “mitt me kid”, and “blow your wig”. Those just seem to have the most charisma I think I’ve ever heard in a phrase. I have to say that 1929 was a great era to write about. I had a lot of fun not only writing the novel, but in doing the research. And of course, when you love the research, of course, it doesn’t feel like a job. I truly had a blast writing this novel and I hope that you have a blast when reading it.
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How far would you go to save your family?
Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929, the day the stock market crashed, and the day Evelyn Ford will never forget.
Her brother is in jail and owes a mob boss fifty grand. To save his life, Evelyn must seek employment anywhere she can get it—even if that means becoming a bootlegger and illegally running hooch for none other than Don Vincent Giovanni, the most powerful Kingpin in the city of New York. Thrown into the world of the mob, she finds herself drawn to Max Catalano, the only man she believes she can trust.
Unfortunately, Giovanni’s Consigliere has secrets of his own. Secrets that could get him and those he’s protecting killed. The last thing he needs is a beautiful, young woman messing with his well-laid plans—especially when her foolish choices get her entangled in the middle of the mafia crime wars.
Can he keep her safe? Or will both of their deceptions catch up with them in the end?