Roaring twenties gangster and flapper parties are popular and fun. They are a chance to dress up in glamorous fashion from the 20s, relive the danger and drama of speakeasies and bootlegging, and celebrate an era of new found freedom and excess. But if you want to add even more authenticity to your next gathering; learn some slang from that fabulous decade and mix into your party conversation! Here are a few popular words or phrases from the 20s to get you started.
1. Bee's knees - Refers to a really great person, thing, idea, etc. Where as today you might say something is super cool, back then it was the bee's knees. Example party usage: Wow! Your flapper dress is the bee's knees!
2. And how - Means that you strongly agree with something. Like when someone says that your onion dip is delicious, you could reaffirm that statement with an enthusiastic "and how!"
3. Don't take any wooden nickels - A phrase used as advice not to do anything dumb. For instance, if one of your friends says they're thinking of challenging others at the party to a moonshine drinking contest, "don't take any wooden nickels" would be an appropriate response. Then be sure to translate and tell them in plain, modern English that they really should NOT do that!
4. Hooch - Another word for bootleg liquor. Even though Prohibition is no longer in effect, you can get into the spirit of your roaring twenties party when you offer your guests some hooch! The good news is you don't have to actually serve bad, home brewed beer because if you're of age it is legal to just go buy some good stuff.
5. You slay me - Something you'd say when you find something funny. Of course when you find something funny, you can just laugh to indicate that you are amused. But at a gangster party, you have the perfect excuse to follow up your laughter with the cool line, "you slay me!" No one should waste an opportunity like that!
6. Spifflicated - In other words, drunk. Have fun with the guests who've had a few too many and try and get them to say that they're spifflicated! This alone is sure to provide some interesting entertainment.
7. Juice joint - This was another name for a speakeasy. A speakeasy, of course, was an establishment that illegally sold liquor during Prohibition. When hosting a gangster party it's fun to pretend that your party is taking place in a juice joint.
8. Glad rags - This refers to dressy clothes fit for a night on the town. When you invite people to attend your roaring twenties party, make sure to tell them to have their glad rags on when they come.