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19 Old-Timey Slang Terms to Bolster Your Vocabulary

One of my favorite reference books on our office bookshelf is the Dictionary of American Slang (1967 edition). Here are some words and phrases you should awkwardly shoehorn into conversation.

1. In the ketchup: Operating at a deficit
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2. John Hollowlegs: A hungry man [hobo use]
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3. Lobbygow: One who loafs around an opium den in hopes of being offered a free pipe
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4. Happy cabbage: A sizable amount of money to be spent on self-satisfying things
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5. Zib: A nondescript nincompoop
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6. Give someone the wind: To jilt a suitor with great suddenness
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7. The zings: A hangover
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8. Butter and egg man: A wealthy, unsophisticated, small-town businessman who tries to become a playboy, especially when visiting a large city
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9. Cluck and grunt: Eggs and ham
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10. Off the cob: Corny

> > > 31 Adorable Slang Terms for Sexual Intercourse from the Last 600 Years

11. Dog robber: A baseball umpire
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12. Happies: Arch supporters [shoe salesman use]
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13. High-wine: A mixture of grain alcohol and Coca-Cola [hobo use]
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14. Flub the dub: To evade one's duty
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15. Donkey's breakfast: A straw mattress
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16. George Eddy: A customer who does not tip
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17. Wet sock: A limp, flaccid handshake
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18. Gazoozle: To cheat
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19. On a toot: On a drunken spree

> > > 4 Changes to English So Subtle We Hardly Notice They're Happening

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26 Facts About LEGO Bricks

Since it first added plastic, interlocking bricks to its lineup, the Danish toy company LEGO (from the words Leg Godt for “play well”) has inspired builders of all ages to bring their most imaginative designs to life. Sets have ranged in size from scenes that can be assembled in a few minutes to 5000-piece behemoths depicting famous landmarks. And tinkerers aren’t limited to the sets they find in stores. One of the largest LEGO creations was a life-sized home in the UK that required 3.2 million tiny bricks to construct.

In this episode of the List Show, John Green lays out 26 playful facts about one of the world’s most beloved toy brands. To hear about the LEGO black market, the vault containing every LEGO set ever released, and more, check out the video above then subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up-to-date with the latest flossy content.

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Of Buckeyes and Butternuts: 29 States With Weird Nicknames for Their Residents
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Tracing a word’s origin and evolution can yield fascinating historical insights—and the weird nicknames used in some states to describe their residents are no exception. In the Mental Floss video above, host John Green explains the probable etymologies of 29 monikers that describe inhabitants of certain states across the country.

Some of these nicknames, like “Hoosiers” and “Arkies” (which denote residents of Indiana and Arkansas, respectively) may have slightly offensive connotations, while others—including "Buckeyes," "Jayhawks," "Butternuts," and "Tar Heels"—evoke the military histories of Ohio, Kansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. And a few, like “Muskrats” and “Sourdoughs,” are even inspired by early foods eaten in Delaware and Alaska. ("Goober-grabber" sounds goofier, but it at least refers to peanuts, which are a common crop in Georgia, as well as North Carolina and Arkansas.)

Learn more fascinating facts about states' nicknames for their residents by watching the video above.

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