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Friday, April 27, 2012

Selections from My Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang

Posted by Courtney Ferguson on Fri, Apr 27, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Continuing my Blogtown series, where I peruse my favorite book in the world, the Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Volume II, H-O by J.E. Lighter.

  • Buddies!

After a bit of a hiatus, this week's long-awaited slang is brought to you by the letter "H."

hailstorm n. a mint julep or similar cocktail made with crushed ice.
1832: "Recourse ought to be had to his Hail-Storms, which infallibly overcome the most sultry drought."

May your hair never slip! (used as a jocular toast).
1933: "Here's to the cowboy, and 'may his hair never slip.'"

hard-rock hotel n. a prison.
1954: "'He soon grew to hate 'the hardrock hotels and the screws,' and since these were the product of what he called the 'Christian Society' outside, his rejection of religion increased."

hootenanny n. 1. a comparatively small thing whose name is unknown or forgotten; a whatchamacallit; gadget; (rarely) an inconsequential person.
1962: "That's just the hootenanny valve on the whatchamacallit fluttering a little."


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