The Roaring Twenties Mobster Slang
The Roaring Twenties Mobster Slang

The roaring 20’s was an age where Prohibition was enforced across the US bringing radical social and political changes. The Jazz age had touched down in the aftermath of World War I and mobsters saw there was plenty of money to be made in the bootlegging of alcohol across the country, in a decade that would see an economic boom as the US entered the age of consumerism.

Technology has come on leaps and bounds with the introduction of radios, cars, and fridges for the home. Saying that, there was a massive divide between the poor and the rich and for many citizens it was a decade of hardship and poverty, which would only get worse moving into the 1930’s.

The 1920’s came to a dramatic ending with the Wall Street Crash of 1929 which resulted in the Great Depression soon after.

Here are some Roaring Twenties slang terms and there meanings:

  • Ameche – A telephone
  • Babe, Bim, Broad, Doll or Dame – A woman
  • Bangtail – Racehorse
  • Bean-shooter or Gat – A gun
  • Bearcat – A fiery woman
  • Bent – Stolen
  • Big House or Can – Jail or prison
  • Big Sleep – Death
  • Blow – Leave
  • Boiler or Bucket – A car
  • Bop, Bump or Clip – To kill
  • Bracelets – Handcuffs
  • Bulls – Plainclothes police
  • Cabbage or Scratch – Money
  • Cake-eater – A lady’s man
  • Can-opener – Safecracker
  • Chicago Overcoat – A coffin
  • Chopper Squad – Guys with machine guns
  • Copper – Policeman
  • Dewdropper – Unemployed man who spends his days sleeping
  • Dumb Dora -A stupid woman
  • Goon – Thug
  • Glomming – Stealing
  • Grifter – Con man
  • Gum-shoe – Detective
  • Finger – Identify
  • Ice – Diamonds
  • In Stir – In jail
  • Meat Wagon – Ambulance
  • Moll – A gangster’s girlfriend
  • Sheba -A woman with sex appeal
  • Packing Heat – Carrying a gun
  • Peaching – Informing
  • Shylock – A loan shark
  • Sheik – An attractive man
  • Stool-pigeon – A person who informs the police