1920s Phrases to Bring Back in 2018

A 1921 cartoon that’s circulating the internet may very well be America’s first meme. It shows a dapper gentleman with sharp features next to a similarly dressed gentleman who’s very poorly drawn. The caption under them reads: “How you think you look when a flashlight is taken” under the well-drawn man and “How you really look” under the poorly drawn fellow.

It’s fun to look at a 1920s cartoon and see the humor still holds up today. So that got us thinking: What other 1920s terminology would be fun to reintegrate into today’s language?

1. Dewdropper

Lazy Thirty something Man Lying Asleep on a Sofa in an Apartment

Next time you see someone being lazy call them this. | Digital Vision/iStock/Getty Images

You know that brother-in-law who can’t keep a job and never brings anything to the family potlucks but always takes plenty? Dewdroppper. According to Thought Catalog, a “dewdropper” is a slacker who sits around all day and is often unemployed.

Next: This term means “everything’s fine.”

2. Jake

Use it when everything is fine. | Thinkstock

According to Thought Catalog, “jake” means fine — as in, “Don’t worry, everything’s jake.” We’re not quite sure who Jake is, but he must have been a fine fellow.

Next: A lively, fiery woman

3. Bearcat

Woman in summer straw hat

This should come back. | Rohappy/iStock/Getty Images

Back in the ’20s, a “bearcat” was a lively, spirited woman with a fiery streak. Women have been strong and fiery since the beginning of time, but the term seems even more appropriate considering the women of 2018 who are making changes and speaking out.

Next: A quite funny term for a wealthy person

4. Egg

Private Plane

Think Gatsby. | iStock/Getty Images

Think of the wealthiest, most luxurious person you know. That’s an “egg.” It’s “a person who leads an absurdly wealthy, extravagant lifestyle (see: Gatsby’s ‘West Egg’),” explains Thought Catalog.

Next: This one refers to someone who’s a great dancer. 

5. Oliver Twist

It’s a pretty catchy phrase. | iStock/Getty Images

No, we’re not talking about the beloved orphan boy who learns to steal under the watchful eye of Fagin. “Oliver Twist” was a 1920s term for an extremely good dancer. Catchy, isn’t it?

Next: When you want to tell people to stop with the PDA already

6. Bank’s closed!

Couple kissing in car

It’s the ’20s version of “get a room.” | karelnoppe/iStock/Getty Images

“Bank’s closed” is the “get a room,” of the 1920s. Want to tell someone to quit making out? Exclaiming “Bank’s closed!” should do the trick.

Next: How to confront someone who’s lying to you

7. Tell it to Sweeney!

arguing couple

It’s for when you know someone is lying. | Hybrid Images/iStock/Getty Images

What do you say when you know you’re being lied to? We don’t really have a go-to catchphrase we can pull out of our pockets in today’s language. But back in the ’20s, when someone said something you thought was untrue, you’d say, “Tell it to Sweeney,” meaning, “Tell it to someone who’d believe that.”

Next: A charming term for alcohol

8. Giggle water

alcohol bottles

It’s an accurate name. | iStock/Getty Images

There are already a lot of fun terms for alcohol. Juice, the hard stuff, hooch, sauce, and liquid courage are few good ones. “Giggle water,” though, is a really cute one. Popular in the 1920s, “giggle water” simply referred to any type of liquor or alcoholic beverage.

Next: Well that’s just berries! 

 9. Berries

Happy couple

Everything is “berries.” | Ivanko_Brnjakovic/iStock/Getty Images

Running out of synonyms for cool, great, and awesome? Let’s bring back “berries” from the 1920s! “Berries” is similar to “the bee’s knees.” Example: “Sounds like berries to me!”

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