Posted on

Historical Slang and Speech

Sharing is caring!

This page will document some interesting historical slang and speech that I come across.

Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Speech – The CCC was created in 1933 as part of FDR’s alphabet soup agencies to combat The Great Depression. It put over 300,000 men to work doing various conservation services. Women and minorities were also part of it to a lesser extent. This slang presumably focuses mostly on white men and is complied by Louise Pound a well-known female linguist from The University of Nebraska.

A few gems I like –

  • Giggle-water: Gin.
  • Put the Kife on: Steal.
  • Irish Buggy – Wheelbarrow.
  • Idiot-Stick: Shovel – presumably because any idiot can dig a hole?
  • Eighteen-holers: Laterines with 18 holes.

The CCC had an unofficial newspaper called Happy Days. This newspaper doesn’t seem to be digitized but you can learn more about the newspaper itself from this article: Heralds in New Deal America: Camp Newspapers of the Civilian Conservation Corps. And if you’re hungry you can buy a cookbook based on recipes found in the newspapers: The Civilian Conservation Corps Cookbook.