Forties Slang (40s)

A list of slang words and phrases that were used during the 1940s, and their meanings. This is just icing on the cake when you consider what the decade already gave us in the form of patriotism, music, fashion, and movies. Now, a language!

In no particular order:

Take a powder – to leave

Fuddy-Duddy – old-fashioned person

Gobbledygook – double talk, long speech

Fat-head – stupid or foolish person

Chrome-dome – word for a bald headed man

Eager beaver – enthusiastic helper

Armored heifer – canned milk

In cahoots with – conspiring with

Snap your cap – get angry

Active duty – sexually promiscuous boy

Share crop – sexually promiscuous girl

Doll dizzy – girl crazy

Ducky shincracker – a good dancer

Above my pay grade – don’t ask me

Cook with gas – to do something right

Killer-diller – good stuff

Hi sugar, are you rationed? – are you going steady?

Stompers – shoes

Flip your wig – to lose control of yourself

Dead hoofer – poor dancer

Bathtub – motorcycle sidecar

Pennies from heaven – easy money

Ameche – to telephone

Gone with the wind – run off (with the money)

Lettuce – money

Gas – either a good time or something that was really funny

Grandstand – to show off

Brainchild – someone’s creative idea

What’s buzzin’, cousin? – how’s it going?

Khaki wacky – boy crazy

Hen fruit – eggs

Hi-de-ho – hello

Pass the buck – pass responsibility for

Motorized freckles – insects


October, 2003, War Slang: American Fighting Words and Phrases Since the Civil Wa

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McGraw-Hill's Essential American Slang by Richard A. Spears (2008, Paperback)

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Historical Dictionary of American Slang Vol. 1 by Jonathan E. Lighter (1994)

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