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Swing Lingo


Below are some of the terms that the real Swing Kids used. The ones that are underlined were used in the film, "Swing Kids."

A HUMMER: Exceptionally good

AINíT COMING TO THAT TAB: Wonít accept the proposition

ALLIGATOR: Jitterbug

APPLE: The big town, Harlem

BARBECUE: A girlfriend

BARRELHOUSE: Free and easy

BATTLE: A very homely girl

BEAT IT OUT: Play it hot

BEAT UP: Sad or tired

BLACK: Night

BLEW THEIR WIGS: Excited, enthusiastic

BLOW THE TOP: To be overcome with emotion and excitement

BREAK IT UP: To stop the show

BREE: A girl

BRING DOWN: Something depressed

CANARY: A female vocalist

CAPPED: Outdone, surpassed

CAT: A musician in a swing band

CLAMBAKE: A jam session

CHIRP: A female singer

COGS: Sun glasses

COLLAR: To comprehend or understand

COME AGAIN: I donít understand you. Repeat yourself.

CORNY: Old fashioned

CUBBY: Home, room

CUT OUT: to leave or depart

DICTY: High class, nifty, smart

DOWN WITH IT: Through with it

DUTCHESS: A girl

EARLY BLACK: Evening

EARLY BRIGHT: Morning

FALL OUT: To be overcome with emotion

FAUST: An ugly girl

FOXY: Shrewd

FRONT: A suit of clothes

GATE: A male person

GET IN THERE: Go to work, get busy, give it everything youíve got

GIMME SOME SKIN: Shake hands

GOT YOUR BOOTS ON: Youíre wise, you know whatís going on

GOT YOUR GLASSES ON: You donít know who youíre friends are

GREASE: To eat

GROOVY: To feel fine

HEP CAT: A guy who understands jive

HINCTY: Snooty, stuck up

I GROOVED THIS PLATTER FROM THE VERY FIRST LICK: I got the record figured out from the beginning

ICKY: A stupid person, doesnít know anything about jive

IGG: To ignore someone

JITTERBUG: A swing fan

JIVE: Harmless speech

JOINT IS JUMPING: The place is lively

KILL ME: Show me a good time

KILLER-DILLER: A great thrill

MAIN QUEEN: A sweetheart, a favorite girl friend

MASH ME A FIN: Give me $5

MELLOW: All right, everythingís fine

MURDERISTIC: Superlative

OFAY: A white person

OFF THE COB: Corny, out of date

OFF TIME JIVE: A sorry excuse, saying the wrong thing

PIGEON: A young girl

PRISS: A Crush

RANK: To lower

RIDE: To swing

SADDER THEN A MAP: Terrible

SALTY: Angry, ill tempered

SAM GOT YOU: Youíve been drafted into the army

SEND: To arouse the emotions

SOLID: Great, well, okay

SUPERMERGENTROID: Wonderful, terrific, etc.

TAKE IT SLOW: Be careful

TART: A girl

TRILLY: To leave, to depart

TWISTER TO THE SLAMMER: The key to the door

UNHEP: No wise to the jive

VINE: A suit of clothes

V-8: A chick who is independent

WRONG RIFF: The wrong thing has been said or done

YOU DON'T KNOW WHICH PLATTERS TO PICK: You don't know which records to pick

ZOOT: Over exaggerated

ZOOT SUIT: Over exaggerated clothes