Teen slang (1952): "nerd", "pashpie", "book gook", "jizzy", etc.
Douglas G. Wilson
douglas at NB.NET
Fri Aug 6 00:55:09 UTC 2004
Here is "nerd" and here are some other items, straight from St. Joe.
_Herald-Press_ (St. Joseph MI), 23 June 1952: p. 14, cols. 7-8:
To 'Clue Ya' To Be 'George' And Not A 'Nerd' Or 'Scurve'
"Hey Dad, can I borrow the bug to go to the hecklethon? I've got a date
with a pashpie who is a real wheel and not a bit pink."
The parent who replies in the affirmative is "real George and ricky-tik"
but a suggestion to stay home and study instead will most likely be "filed
under O," as that idea is "strictly for the birds."
If the patois throws you, you're definitely not in the know, because anyone
who is not a nerd (drip) knows that the bug is the family car and a
hecklethon is not a dangerous race, but merely the neighborhood movie theater.
The idea of dating a "pashpie" is really quite appealing when you know that
a pashpie is a dreamy gal. Saying she is a "wheel" means, of course, that
she is an important person. A "pink" person doesn't have a contagious
disease but, almost as bad, is stuck-up.
Of course failure to get the car will probably get a "that's the way the
ball bounces" out of one of the crowd (he means that's the way it goes.)
If the jelly-tot (young kid trying to be older than his years) does manage
to talk his parents into loaning him the car, some jealous scurve (drip,
again) is bound to come up with "Well, Jazz-a-boo for you."
To be "cool" is the desire of every teen-ager but the title of "book gook"
(book worm) is to be shunned. The teen-age sophisticate disposes of bores
with "Fly away like a bird, boy, you bother me," and instead of "I'll tell
you" the modern version is "I'll clue you."
A subtle warning to a person who is about to blow his top is: "Don't
panic," and one about to cry is told "Don't choke up." Among some groups a
"cat" is a flashy dresser or a smooth character, who puts on the dog.
"Let's rev" means let's go, and the appropriate answer is "reet" (okay).
One of the things often heard but seldom understood, even by the teeners,
is "Chop chop, let's get cutting," and a "hubcap" is a "flash in the pan."
Approval of anything from a movie star to a new song is expressed with
"pretty fine," "it's real precious" or "it's the greatest." Jizzy or jizz
are also complimentary expressions meaning "nice." Everything doesn't meet
with approval, of course, and those items which don't are neatly labeled
Harmless but effective words for expressing disappointment are "fer
shimmel" and "san o wich." Instead of saying "get him" it's "check him" and
"big time" and "dot's nice, don' fight" are both much-used expressions.
Hang around any quirt counter (soda fountain) long enough and you, too,
will learn the lingo of the teen-ager, ....
-- Doug Wilson
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