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10 Funny Vintage Slang Words People Should Start Using Again

In 1909, a British writer recorded thousands of Victorian slang words to make sure they were never forgotten. Now it's your turn to use them.

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Mutton Shunter

Definition: Policeman

Usage: “Is the President in town or something? There’s mutton shunters on every blasted corner!” If you like vintage words, you’ll also enjoy the origins of popular modern slang words.

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Gigglemug

Definition: An habitually smiling face

Usage: “These Miss America contestants are just a bunch of gigglemugs.”

These pet slang words are just as cute as the word “gigglemug.”

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Fly Rink

Definition: A polished bald head

Usage: “Be sure to wear glasses if you go outside; Grandpa’s fly rink is blinding today.” Here are 20 contemporary slang words that need to end.

10 Funny Vintage Slang Words People Should Start Using AgainAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

Juggins-Hunting

Definition: Looking for a man who will pay for liquor

Usage: “Jess forgot all her cash at home, so she’s off juggins-hunting again.” Once you’ve mastered these vintage words, don’t miss these 16 social media slang words you should know.

10 Funny Vintage Slang Words People Should Start Using AgainEverett Collection/Shutterstock

Sauce-box

Definition: The mouth

Usage: “When my kids won’t stop talking, I give them some chips just to fill their little sauce-boxes.”

These vintage Macy’s parade photos will give you a sense of history.

10 Funny Vintage Slang Words People Should Start Using AgainEverett Collection/Shutterstock

Bags o’ Mystery

Definition: A satirical term for sausages, because no man but the maker knows what is in them

Usage: “Hope there’s no intestine in these bags o’ mystery; I’m trying to cut down on intestine.” Learn the real meanings of trendy words you don’t understand.

10 Funny Vintage Slang Words People Should Start Using AgainEverett Collection/Shutterstock

Arf’arf’an’arf

Definition: A figure of speech, meaning “drunk”

Etymology: Order an “arf-an-arf” (or “half-and-half”) in a London pub and you’ll receive a malty cocktail of half black beer, half ale. Add one more ‘arf of beer to the mix and your mug suddenly runneth over; you, chum, must be arf’arf’an’arf—that is, drunk.

Usage: “Charlie ordered another Guinness? He’s already arf’arf’an’arf!” Don’t miss these other British phrases everyone in the world should know.

10 Funny Vintage Slang Words People Should Start Using AgainEverett Collection/Shutterstock

Gas Pipes

Definition: Name given to trousers when tight

Usage: “I just saw this poor hipster get his gas-pipes stuck in his unicycle spokes and totally eat curb.” For more vintage words, check out these hilariously weird slang words from the 1920s.

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Pumblechook

Definition: Human ass

Etymology: From Uncle Pumblechook, a character in Dickens’ Great Expectations described as “that basest of swindlers”; greedy, pompous and piggish.

Usage: “This fat Pumblechook at Arby’s totally cut me off in his Hummer—then he gave me a sneer in the drive-through.” We can’t stand these slang words from 2019.

10 Funny Vintage Slang Words People Should Start Using AgainEverett Collection/Shutterstock

Row-de-dow

Definition: Riot

Etymology: A play on “row” (18th century slang for “quarrel”) or “rowdy.” Also spelled, “rowdydow.”

Usage: “When the police arrived to break up the Scrabble feud it escalated into a full-on row-de-dow.” After these vintage words, find out which words you still say that make you sound old.

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For more amazing slang…

Browse James Redding Ware’s Passing English of The Victorian Era, available for free via archive.org. Next, here are 10 fancy words that make you sound smarter.