Slang from "a returned gob" (1919)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Tue Aug 23 07:35:12 UTC 2005

Found this looking for early cites for "pogey/pogy/poggy bait"...

Lima News (Ohio), June 5, 1919, p. 6/3


Another college professor has gone and started another campaign against
I'll say he'll have a peach of a time getting anywhere with his campaign.
(1) We've got all the slang we had before the war.
(2) More new slang was invented in camps and on ships.
(3) Everybody learned everybody else's own pet slang.
Why, just the other minute a returned gob was talking.
And spilled more slang in six seconds than a college professor could
analyze in a dozen years.
The steward suspected of holding out "chow" at mess time is a "belly robber."
Bread is "punk," sugar is "sand," salt is "sea dust." Butter is "axle
grease." Eggs are "gas bombs." Tapioca is "snake eyes." Salmon is
"submarine shark."
Peddlers are "bumboats."
The guy who spends too much time in his hammock is a "bunk lizard."
Canned beef is "Canned Willie."
If a gob can't recall the name of a thing he calls it a "gadget" and let's
it go at that.
Fellows who wear stiff white collars are "harbor gaskets."
Coins are called "iron men," "shekels," "washers," "clackers," "jack,"
"armor plate," "holy stones," "joy berries," "palm grease," "liberty
bait," "kopex," "mazuma."
"Poggy bait" is the pet name for candy.
When your gob friend tells you he feels "jake" you know he's feeling fine.
Yes, that college prof. has a fat chance putting the skids under slang,
hasn't he?

--Ben Zimmer

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