History: Antiquated words and phrases, 1900 to 1920 — Part 1

LC Engel Bldg and property in Edmonds in 1910. (Photo courtesy Edmonds Historical Museum)

In researching various subjects in the early 1900s, I have come across a number of unique words and phrases that appeared in local newspapers, personal written and oral histories, and other accounts.

When encountering them, I have written them down and researched their meaning(s) at the time. Here are a few of them that I have come across.  I am going to give you the definition of the first two, and then let you see how many of the other 25 you know.  Note: Where it is a phrase or saying, I will denote it with “ “ marks. I will post the definitions of the remaining words/phrases in a couple of days.

Good luck!

1908 Ford Model T. (Photo courtesy Library of Congress)

Flivver: Initially the word meant a Ford model T, or an automobile with running boards. As the years went by the word came to mean a cheap car or one that had not been well taken care of.

Photo courtesy U.S. Weather Service

Gullywasher:  A sudden violent rainstorm resulting in flooding.

Here are the remaining 25:

1. Dead Soldier

2. Wesenheimer

3. Hawkshaw:

4. “Butt me”

5. “Duck soup”

6. Moll

7. Grifter

8. Glad rags

9. “Bank’s Closed”

10. Flapper:

11. “Butter and egg man”

12. Cattywampus

13. Collywobbles

14. Malarkey

15. “The cat’s meow”

16. Jitney

17. “The bee’s knees”

18. Hoosegow

19. “Shut your yap”

20. “On the take”

21. Meathook

22. “Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water”

23. Blotto

24. “On the make”

25. Juice joint

This article was researched and written by Byron Wilkes. Full credits will be provided at the end of part 2.

 — Byron Wilkes writes about local history for the My Neighborhood News Network.

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