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Hepster Dictionary of Jive


Jive: the jargon of hipsters

Ain't coming on that tab (phrase): won't accept the proposition. Usually abbr. to "I ain't coming."

Alligator (n): jitterbug.

Apple (n): the big town, the main stem, Harlem.

Armstrongs (n): musical notes in the upper register, high trumpet notes.

Barbecue (n): the girl friend, a beauty

Barrelhouse (adj): free and easy.

Battle (n): a very homely girl, a crone.

Beat (adj): (1) tired, exhausted. Example, "You look beat" or "I feel beat." (2) lacking anything. Ex, "I am beat for my cash", "I am beat to my socks" (lacking everything).

Beat it out (v): play it hot, emphasize the rhythm.

Beat up (adj): sad, uncomplimentary, tired.

Beat up the chops (or the gums) (v): to talk, converse, be loquacious.

Beef (v): to say, to state. Example, "He beefed to me that, etc."

Belly-Fiddle (n): guitar.

Bible (n): the gospel truth. Example, "It's the bible!"

Black (n): night.

Black and tan (n): dark and light colored folks. Not colored and white folks as erroneously assumed.

Blew their wigs (adj): excited with enthusiasm, gone crazy.

Blip (n): something very good. Example, "That's a blip"; "She's a blip."

Blow the top (v): to be overcome with emotion (delight). Example, "You'll blow your top when you hear this one."

Boogie-woogie (n): harmony with accented bass.

Boot (v): to give. Example, "Boot me that glove."

Break it up (v): to win applause, to stop the show.

Bree (n): girl.

Bright (n): day.

Brightnin' (n): daybreak.

Bring down ((1) n (2) v): (1) something depressing. Example, "That's a bring down." (2) Example, "That brings me down."

Buddy ghee (n): fellow.

Bust your conk (v): apply yourself diligently, break your neck.

Canary (n): girl vocalist.

Capped (v): outdone, surpassed.

Cat (n): musician in swing band.

Chick (n): girl.

Chime (n): hour. Example, "I got in at six chimes."

Clambake (n): ad lib session, every man for himself, a jam session not in the groove.

Chirp (n): female singer.

Cogs (n): sun glasses.

Collar (v): to get, to obtain, to comprehend. Example, "I gotta collar me some food"; "Do you collar this jive?"

Come again (v): try it over, do better than you are doing, I don't understand you.

Comes on like gangbusters (or like test pilot) (v): plays, sings, or dances in a terrific manner, par excellence in any department. Sometimes abbr. to "That singer really comes on!"

Cop (v): to get, to obtain (see collar; knock).

Corny (adj): old-fashioned, stale.

Creeps out like the shadow (v): "comes on," but in smooth, suave, sophisticated manner.

Crumb crushers (n): teeth.

Cubby (n): room, flat, home.

Cups (n): sleep. Example, "I gotta catch some cups."

Cut out (v): to leave, to depart. Example, "It's time to cut out"; "I cut out from the joint in early bright."

Cut rate (n): a low, cheap person. Example, "Don't play me cut rate, Jack!"

Dicty (adj): high-class, nifty, smart.

Dig (v): (1) meet. Example, "I'll plant you now and dig you later." (2) look, see. Example, "Dig the chick on your left duke." (3) comprehend, understand. Example, "Do you dig this jive?"

Dim (n): evening.

Dime note (n): ten-dollar bill.

Doghouse (n): bass fiddle.

Domi (n): ordinary place to live in. Example, "I live in a righteous dome."

Doss (n): sleep. Example, "I'm a little beat for my doss."

Down with it (adj): through with it.

Drape (n): suit of clothes, dress, costume.

Dreamers (n): bed covers, blankets.

Dry-goods (n): same as drape.

Duke (n): hand, mitt.

Dutchess (n): girl.

Early black (n): evening

Early bright (n): morning.

Evil (adj): in ill humor, in a nasty temper.

Fall out (v): to be overcome with emotion. Example, "The cats fell out when he took that solo."

Fews and two (n): money or cash in small quantity.

Final (v): to leave, to go home. Example, "I finaled to my pad" (went to bed); "We copped a final" (went home).

Fine dinner (n): a good-looking girl.

Focus (v): to look, to see.

Foxy (v): shrewd.

Frame (n): the body.

Fraughty issue (n): a very sad message, a deplorable state of affairs.

Freeby (n): no charge, gratis. Example, "The meal was a freeby."

Frisking the whiskers (v): what the cats do when they are warming up for a swing session.

Frolic pad (n): place of entertainment, theater, nightclub.

Frompy (adj): a frompy queen is a battle or faust.

Front (n): a suit of clothes.

Fruiting (v): fickle, fooling around with no particular object.

Fry (v): to go to get hair straightened.

 
 


 
 



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