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Friday, March 2, 2012

Selections from My Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang

Posted by Courtney Ferguson on Fri, Mar 2, 2012 at 2:29 PM

The slang dictionary gets all Elle Driver.
  • The slang dictionary gets all Elle Driver.

Continuing last week's Blogtown series, where I peruse my favorite book in the world, the Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Volume I, A-G by J.E. Lighter.

This week's slang is brought to you by the letter "C."

caper juice n. whiskey.
1888: "Say, fellers, let's take a leetle mo' uv the caper juice."

chi-chi n. a woman's bosom; (pl.) breasts. Also chichibangas.
1961: "The blushing process started somewhere down in that entrancing area half concealed and half disclosed by her low-necked evening gown—it began in her chichi, the crew... would have said." 1988: "Supposedly the gods were so enamored of Helen's chichibangas that they decided to have... Paris make a wax cast, whence to make goblets."

cool breeze n. Black English a shrewd, likeable, or fashionable fellow.—used in direct address.
1962: "Aw that's all right, papa cool breeze." 1992 In Living Color: "Hey, cool breeze!"

cut (one's) finger to break wind. Jocular
1899: "Somebody has cut his finger." 1909: "My hi! some cove's cut 'is finger."

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