11 Old-Fashioned Slang Words We Should Bring Back

If you make a habit of hanging around older relatives — or your friend who fancies themselves a bit of a historian — then you're probably already familiar with hilarious old-fashioned slang words. These are the terms that "tickle your funny bone" and leave you pining away for days gone by.

Sure, they may sound a bit odd. But let's all go ahead and admit that old time-y words and phrase are the best. They use adorable imagery and charmingly antiquated language to perfectly convey just about every mood. I don't know about you, but I think old slang words should be brought back to present times.

Mind you, this is coming from someone who already tosses around her fair share of slang. I've been known to say "that's the bee's knees" when something is truly great, and I most definitely call songs "groovy." (I know, I'm all over the 20th century with my phraseology.) But using a few more terms definitely wouldn't hurt anybody, and it would definitely make our language 100 times betters.

Really, there's no denying the way slang can spice up a convo, get your point across with style, and maybe even add a little somethin' somethin' to your day. Would you like to create an arsenal of old-fashioned words to drop at parties, or while out on dates? Then read on for some of the very best.

1. "DAP" (Or "Dead Ass Perfect")

The next time you're really enjoying something, be sure to let everyone know you think it's DAP. "[It's] an acronym for Dead Ass Perfect and comes from the 50s jazz era when something — whether it is a riff or a trumpet solo or martini — is simply excellent," Brenda Knight, author of Women of the Beat Generation , tells Bustle. So useful, right?

Women of the Beat Generation , $20, Amazon

2. "Don't Have A Cow"

As linguistics and creative writing teacher Dr. Janet Ruth Heller tells me, this one means "don't get too upset or go ballistic." You've probably heard it before, but I think the phrase should be brought back in full force. I mean, wouldn't the world be a much better place if all bad news ended with something so adorable?

3. "Know Your Onions"

To "know your onions" is to know what's up or what's going on, according to Nico Lang on This one is out of the 20s — a decade where many a ridiculous phrase was uttered. Maybe it's time we bring some of them back?

4. "Happy Cabbage"

In keeping with the vegetable theme, I bring you "happy cabbage." This is "a sizable amount of money to be spent on self-satisfying things," said YouTube presenter John Green on You know, like your rainy day fund, or that surprise twenty dollar bill you found in your pocket. It's all happy cabbage.

5. "The Cat's Pajamas"

"The cat's pajamas" is another cute one we should bring on back ASAP. It means something is truly excellent, or as good as it gets. The phrase was first recorded in 1920 as part of the typical vocabulary of Jazz Age flappers, according to Matt Soniak on (I'm telling you, they loved their imagery back then.)

6. "Pang-Wangle"

Whenever you're having a bad day, make sure you "pang-wangle." This means to "live or go along cheerfully in spite of minor misfortunes," Green said. Super handy, right?

7. "The Bank's Closed"

Not in the mood to make out? Then simply tell your partner "the bank's closed." It means you're "not up for kissing right now," says historical fiction author Renee Rosen, in an email to Bustle. The term is so funny it may just soften the blow of your "bad" news.

8. "Twitterpated"

While this one sounds a bit tech-y with it's (unintended) nod towards social media, it actually means you're feeling a bit lovestruck — or even foolish. "The adjective was first cited in the OED in 1942," said senior editor Katie Heaney on It may be time it has a comeback, especially since it sounds oh-so-very modern.

9. "Tickety-Boo"

Tickety-Boo was first used in 1939, according to Heaney, and it means everything is correct or OK. So, you might say, "My test was tickety-boo." Or maybe something like, "My date last night was great. Everything went tickety-boo."

10. "Canceled Stamp"

As Rosen tells me, a "cancelled stamp" is a shy or introverted girl. It could also be someone who might be considered a "wallflower." While probably not meant in any sort of positive sense, I think it conjures the perfect image of someone who would much rather stay at home. (And there ain't nothing wrong with that.)

11. "Gigglemug"

A "gigglemug" is someone who has a perpetual smile, according to Green. Was there ever a more perfect term for the happy, smiley person in your life? I didn't think so.

In fact, all of these words really fit the bill for the mood they are trying to convey. So I say we bring some of them back, and get our old-fashion on with a few new slang words.

Images: Pexels (12)