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Arcane phrases from the classic era


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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..."

 

 

I wonder if "lookit" actually might be shorthand for "look at it this way....."

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A lot of old movies in the 30s and 40s have actors referring to men or groups of men as "mugs".

 

I've never heard this term used in real life, so I wonder if it is strictly a movie term for "guys", "boys", "saps", "bums", "jerks", or just the main term for "average men".

 

What is a "mug" anyway? Where did the term come from? "face"? "mugshots"?

 

Dictionary dot com says its a British slang term for: " a gullible person; dupe; fool."

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Dictionary dot com says its a British slang term for: " a gullible person; dupe; fool."

 

The definition makes sense. I always think of Moe Howard when I hear the word "mugs."

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In "Top Hat", Ginger Rogers says "Maybe I'll go back to America and live on the dole".  Where did "On The Dole" come from?

 

How about names for guns like "Gat", "Rod", and "Hog Leg"?

 

"Tommy Gun"

 

And one of my favorite expressions  "Oh Applesauce !", meaning nonsense.

 

"You're gonna q u e e r  it !", meaning you're going to ruin the plan.

 

"Driving a hack", meaning driving a taxi cab.

 

"A Taxi Dancer" 

 

"This old crate", meaning a plane.

 

"This old tub", meaning a boat.

 

"This old nag", meaning a horse.

 

Why were sailors referred to as "Gobs"?

 

(I had to put spaces in q u e e r to get by the censor.)

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Can anyone explain to me what in the heck "gosh all fish hooks" is supposed to mean and how it originated? (I know it's a line in the song Jeepers Creepers but still don't get what it signifies.)

 

Here are the lyrics to "Jeepers Creepers".  I don't see anything about fish hooks.

 

Now, I don't care what the weather man says

When the weatherman says it's raining

You'll never hear me complaining, I'm certain the sun will shine

I don't care how the weather vane points

When the weather vane points to gloomy

It's gotta be sunny to me, when your eyes look into mine

Jeepers Creepers, where'd ya get those peepers?

Jeepers Creepers, where'd ya get those eyes?

Gosh all git up, how'd they get so lit up?

Gosh all git up, how'd they get that size?

Golly gee! When you turn those heaters on, woe is me

Got to get my cheaters on, Jeepers Creepers

Where'd ya get those peepers? On, those weepers

How they hypnotize, where'd ya get those eyes?

Where'd ya get those eyes? Where'd ya get those eyes?

 

 

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Here are the lyrics to "Jeepers Creepers".  I don't see anything about fish hooks.

 

 

Gosh all git up, how'd they get so lit up?

Gosh all git up, how'd they get that size?

 

 

 

Guess I misheard that...however, I HAVE heard the phrase "gosh all fish hooks" used in old films, most notably VOODOO MAN with Bela Lugosi.

 

The mystery deepens.

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In "Top Hat", Ginger Rogers says "Maybe I'll go back to America and live on the dole".  Where did "On The Dole" come from?

 

......

Scavenged info : That's British slang from the WWI period - from the 'doling out' (handing out) of charitable gifts of food or money.

 
In a phrase: "You won't draw your out-of-work dole of 29s. this week."
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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.   

I don't eat out much, and I also don't cook. Figure it out for yourself what I do.

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My wife cooks with gas.  She grew up with electric range and wood stove for heat and used electric range for decades.  When we remodeled house and she got to choose new range, no question it was going to be gas.

I think the meaning of the expression was, and still is when used, that someone cooking with gas was using the most modern method possible and had a good idea.  As when someone has a very good idea or does something really well, he or she is "cooking with gas."

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In "Top Hat", Ginger Rogers says "Maybe I'll go back to America and live on the dole".  Where did "On The Dole" come from?

 

How about names for guns like "Gat", "Rod", and "Hog Leg"?

 

"Tommy Gun"

 

And one of my favorite expressions  "Oh Applesauce !", meaning nonsense.

 

"You're gonna q u e e r  it !", meaning you're going to ruin the plan.

 

"Driving a hack", meaning driving a taxi cab.

 

"A Taxi Dancer" 

 

"This old crate", meaning a plane.

 

"This old tub", meaning a boat.

 

"This old nag", meaning a horse.

 

Why were sailors referred to as "Gobs"?

 

(I had to put spaces in q u e e r to get by the censor.)

"Tommy gun" is easy.

 

Referrencing the popular with gangsters THOMPSON SUB-MACHINE gun.

 

Don't know about "Gat" for gun, but "Rod" and Hog Leg" could be a referral to the phallic  nature of the pistol's barrels.  Didn't Mae West once also say( as well as other words) "Is that a GUN in your pocket?  Or  are  you glad to see me? (or, someone might have paraphrased her!)  As "Rod" and Hogleg" in the past, and in certain quarters has been used as slang in referrence to  an  e r e c t i o n.  Maybe "Gat" was too, but that woud only be a wild guess.

 

As applesauce is usually made from boiled and smashed apples, "applesauce" as slang for nonsense is both "cleaner" to say than the referral to bull droppings, and as the substance is far from representative to an actual apple, kinda fits, don'tcha think?

 

Don't know about "taxi dancer" or "hack" for a taxi cab driver, OR the cab itself, or why an old horse is called a "nag" (Tiki might know this one). 

 

I've only heard of sailors being called "Swabbies" or Swab Jockeys."  "Swab" a referral to a mop.  Used to "Swab" the deck of a ship.

(My brother, once a sailor, told me about this many moons ago)

 

"crate" for an old and unreliable airplane, well, I've also heard "crate" in referral to an old car.  Crates, back in the day, were usually thrown together with old wood and not too sturdy for more than one or two uses probably.

 

I'D like to know about the DUTCH!

 

WHAT do some people have against these people?

 

Referring to:  "Dutch treat", which means the bill is split between two people.  Makes it sound like someone is a cheapskate.  Like going out with a girl and asking to "go Dutch" makes the guy look like a skinflint( and there's another one for ya!).

 

Also, my buddy's mom used the phrase, "You'll be in DUTCH!" a lot.  In referrence to someone is going to be in big trouble.  HOW did this come about?  WHAT did the DUTCH have to do with it?

 

And yes, I've heard these both used in old movies, too!

 

 

Sepiatone

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I use several of the phrases that have been listed so far:

 

"The jig's up" (This makes me think of Jackie in one of my favorite episodes of Roseanne rather than old movies)

 

"Now you're cooking with gas" (or "with propane")

 

"lousy with"

 

"tighten the screws"

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I think Dutch actually referred to Germans, as in Deutsch.

 

That is supposed to be the origin of the film term "Dutch Tilt", when the camera is tilted a little, such as in THE THIRD MAN. It was an old German film photography invention.

 

tumblr_n6cdciXj7D1tujnioo8_r1_400.jpg

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In "Top Hat", Ginger Rogers says "Maybe I'll go back to America and live on the dole".  Where did "On The Dole" come from?

 

How about names for guns like "Gat", "Rod", and "Hog Leg"?

 

"Tommy Gun"

 

And one of my favorite expressions  "Oh Applesauce !", meaning nonsense.

 

"You're gonna q u e e r  it !", meaning you're going to ruin the plan.

 

"Driving a hack", meaning driving a taxi cab.

 

"A Taxi Dancer" 

 

"This old crate", meaning a plane.

 

"This old tub", meaning a boat.

 

"This old nag", meaning a horse.

 

Why were sailors referred to as "Gobs"?

 

(I had to put spaces in q u e e r to get by the censor.)

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gatling_gun

 

I could see Rod and Hot Leg in general reference to rifles or shotguns.

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"So tell me Pressure, What's your angle in this racket?" - Jane Wyman

"Oh sweetheart, you got me all wrong.  I'm on the level now" - E.G. Robinson

"You can't fool me"

-paraphrased from Larceny, Inc

 

 

"Say, you catch a glimpse of that tasty dish that just walked by?"

"Oh, you shouldn't ha' said that 'bout Joey's new girl, he's lookin' awfully sore right now"

"Gulp"

 

 

"One of us is right and one of us is wrong, see? And the wrong guy is the dead guy, see?"

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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.

 

Ha!  LUXURY!...

 

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When I was a kid I picked up on some of the jargon used by Eddie G., and others...

 

2 bits (a quarter), as in quarter of a dollar

 

I knew what this meant as a kid, but it never made sense to me until I did some research on it.

Per Wikipedia:

In the United States, the bit is equal to one eighth of a dollar or 12 12 cents. In the U.S., the "bit" as a designation for money dates from the colonial period, when the most common unit of currency used was the Spanish dollar, also known as "piece of eight", which was worth 8 Spanish silver reales. One eighth of a dollar or one silver real was one "bit".

With the adoption of the decimal U.S. currency in 1794, there was no a longer a U.S. coin worth 18 of a dollar but "two bits" remained in the language with the meaning of one quarter dollar, "four bits" half dollar, etc. Because there was no one-bit coin, a dime (10¢) was sometimes called a short bit and 15¢ a long bit. (The picayune, which was originally 12 real or 12 bit (6 14¢), was similarly transferred to the US 5¢-piece.)

 

Greenback (generally $1.00)

 

refers to paper currency (printed in green on one side) issued by the United States during the American Civil War.

 

buck ($1.00)

 

Fin ($5.00) also called a "Fiver" or a "snapper"

 

C, C-note, clam ($100)

 

G, Grand ($1,000)

 

Everythings "Jake" or "Square" as in a "square deal."

 

Also heard the expression "Dutch" in a similar sense, as are we dutch now (meaning even, or square).

 

I know that "slip a Mickey" was short for "Mickey Finn" but where did Mickey Finn come from?

 

"old bucket," as in "rust bucket," could refer to anything wore out.

 

"Bought the farm," as in "he bought the farm." I know what it means but what are the roots?

 

Getting a kick out of this thread :)

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My wife cooks with gas.  She grew up with electric range and wood stove for heat and used electric range for decades.  When we remodeled house and she got to choose new range, no question it was going to be gas.

I think the meaning of the expression was, and still is when used, that someone cooking with gas was using the most modern method possible and had a good idea.  As when someone has a very good idea or does something really well, he or she is "cooking with gas."

"Now you're cooking with electricity" would be an expression that would be applied to someone getting the chair.

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Puzzled about the sarcasm of the previous post. "Deutsch" is the German word for "German". Their name for their country is "Deutschland". We Americans have a long history of confusing that word for our word "Dutch". For example, I think if you took a poll, you'd find a significant number of Americans who think the word is "Dutch Grammophone", when in fact, it's "Deutsch Grammophone", meaning German, not Dutch. I think the phrase "Dutch tilt" arose from a similar misunderstanding.

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