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Arcane phrases from the classic era


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My favorite has got to be "I didn't want him to think I was high hatting him." "Hi-Hatting" being the operative arcane phrase. (Source:  The Thin Man) 

 

What's your favorite?

 

Lydecker

 

 

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Giving someone the hot foot --- a prank involving a worn shoe and a lit match. 

 

Mickey Finn --- spiking a drink with knockout pills.

 

Pig Latin --- Amscray!

 

Calling someone you don't know by the name of Buster, Mac, Chum, Bub, etc.

 

Names for women --- skirt, doll, dame, broad.

 

No medicine cabinet is complete without Castor Oil, a hot water bottle, or bicarbonate of soda.

 

Ailments: a bum ticker (heart trouble); or "my lumbago's acting up" (lower back pain).

 

Two of my all-time favorite films both use the word lookit (short for 'look'), as in "Now lookit, Dorothy, you ain't usin' your head about Miss Gulch..."

 

For the love of Mike!

 

Raspberry --- a rude (and sometimes wet) sound made by sticking out your tongue at someone and then blowing in their direction.

 

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Jack Carson in Mildred Pierce

 

----What were you doing in there, pal?

Picking up souvenirs?

                 

----No, pal. Nothing petty.

This is a pretty big night for you.                 

Lots of excitement.

There's a stiff in there.

 

Or many characters in many movies:  He's croaked...

 

Or: That's white of you (Cary Grant, William Powell, many others)

 

Or Groucho in Go West Red man, you're a white man...

 

Or Dick Powell talking about his BVD's in 42nd Street

 

Or comebacks like Must've been tough on your mother, not having any children

(Ginger Rogers in 42nd Street---you could fill this entire topic with lines from that movie, like Getta load of Minnie the Mountaineer)

 

Many more, but the hour is late....

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"I'll do him like Dempsey"

 

"Now you're cooking with gas"

 

"We pushed over our first pushcart together"

 

"Bought the bill of goods"

 

"The paper came out with screamers"

 

"clip joint" 

 

"What's the grift?" 

 

"hop-head"

 

"lousy with"

 

"He was too far off the track. Strictly section eight"
 
"put the screws on"
 
"tighten the screws"
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I always liked $23.80 from the Nancey Drew movies, as in I bet you $23.80.  Not used anymore, but apparently it referred to the amount of money WPA workers received and was a populat phrase at the time.

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"Now you're cooking with gas"

 

"lousy with"

I still use these two quite a bit

 

"The jig's up"

 

"jinx it"

Use "the jig's up" a lot. Also, "Cheese it, the cops!"

 

...

a fin and a saw

I use "C-note" at least several times a year

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I still use these two quite a bit

 

Use "the jig's up" a lot. Also, "Cheese it, the cops!"

 

I use "C-note" at least several times a year

 

H e l l, I still use just about every one of the expressions mentioned in this thread, and always with a deadpan face.  Sometimes I get a quizzical look in return, but most of the time people get what I'm saying in spite of the anachronisms.  Of course you can't overdo this sort of thing or it becomes just another schtick.

 

Speaking of anachronistic deadpan expressions, when was the last time anyone ever heard the classic  "I only drink when I'm around company, unless I'm alone"?  That was a conversational staple in the late 60's among many of the 50-something gents I knew back then, mostly in pool rooms, but I can't remember hearing it for at least 40 years now.

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I still use these two quite a bit

 

Use "the jig's up" a lot. Also, "Cheese it, the cops!"

 

I use "C-note" at least several times a year

What is the alternative to be "cooking with gas"? This to me is a candidate for the lamest expression ever.

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What is the alternative to be "cooking with gas"? This to me is a candidate for the lamest expression ever.

 

LOL, you young whippersnapper!

 

When I was a little kid in the mid-40s, my folks rented a small apartment in a small Southern town, and my mother had to cook our dinner on a wood-burning kitchen stove. In my Grandmother's rural home, she used a kerosine kitchen stove into the early 1960s.

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LOL, you young whippersnapper!

 

When I was a little kid in the mid-40s, my folks rented a small apartment in a small Southern town, and my mother had to cook our dinner on a wood-burning kitchen stove. In my Grandmother's rural home, she used a kerosine kitchen stove into the early 1960s.

So, now you're cooking with GAS meant that you were really, really cooking? To me, now you're cooking with gas should mean that you're burping and farting all over the place.

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So, now you're cooking with GAS meant that you were really, really cooking? To me, now you're cooking with gas should mean that you're burping and farting all over the place.

Well, of course. Today..

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So, now you're cooking with GAS meant that you were really, really cooking? To me, now you're cooking with gas should mean that you're burping and farting all over the place.

 

I think it was a radio and magazine advertise campaign with that phrase in it. Meaning, gas was quick and easy to light and adjust, and was the modern way to cook.

 

stovead1937.jpg

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LOL, you young whippersnapper!

 

When I was a little kid in the mid-40s, my folks rented a small apartment in a small Southern town, and my mother had to cook our dinner on a wood-burning kitchen stove. In my Grandmother's rural home, she used a kerosine kitchen stove into the early 1960s.

I know more than a few homeowners in the rural areas of Maryland who have those large, enameled, cast iron stoves in their kitchens. They look pretty cool, as they are custom painted in your choice of color - or pick a standard. Beautiful, with polished brass looking like gold. One guy has a fire engine red unit which is ducted to not only cook, but heat the whole house.

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I think it was a radio and magazine advertise campaign with that phrase in it. Meaning, gas was quick and easy to light and adjust, and was the modern way to cook.

 

You're correct Fred.   Cooking with gas is preferred over other ways like using wood or an electric stove top for the reasons you state.

 

DGD must eat out most of the time!

 

So to me 'cooking with gas'  was a good expression to use in that it meant one was doing something the best way possible.   

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I know more than a few homeowners in the rural areas of Maryland who have those large, enameled, cast iron stoves in their kitchens. They look pretty cool, as they are custom painted in your choice of color - or pick a standard. Beautiful, with polished brass looking like gold. One guy has a fire engine red unit which is ducted to not only cook, but heat the whole house.

 

Here's one for sale at a local Indian trading post:

 

qxjgjm.jpg

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