Rat Pack Lexicon

Rat Pack Lexicon

In the 1960s, the legendary Rat Pack—the most “hip” and famous members being Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop—created their own language.

It was a mixture of slang and cool terms that helped make them undisputably the ‘kings of cool’ in this the heyday of Vegas.

For a huge dose of their lexicon in action, don’t miss the next broadcast of their most famous release, Ocean’s 11, a 1960 heist film centered in and around Las Vegas.

Click here to pickup a copy of Ocean’s 11 or click here for a copy of the 2001 remake (Ocean’s Eleven) starring Bernie Mac, Don Cheadle, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy García, Julia Roberts, and others.

bag a person’s particular interest; as in “singing’s my bag”

barn burner a very stylish, classy woman

beard a male friend who acts as a “cover”; usually for extramarital affairs

beetle a girl who dresses in flashy clothes

big-leaguer a resourceful man who can handle any situation

big casino death

bird the male or female genitalia; standard greeting: “How’s your bird”?

bombsville any kind of failure in life; see ville

broad affectionate term for a girl or woman with sex appeal

bum a person who is despised, most frequently linked to people in the media

bunter a man who fails in almost everything he does; the opposite of gasser

charley what the rat-packers called one another

charlies admiring word for a woman’s breasts

chick a young and invariably pretty girl

clyde a word used to cover a multitude of personal observations; e.g., “I don’t like her clyde” means “I don’t like her voice”, etc.

coo-coo! see crazy

crazy a term of admiration for a personal, place, or thing; similar to cool.

creep a man who is disliked for any reason

crumb a person it is impossible to respect

dame a generally derogatory term for a probably unattractive woman

dig a term of appreciation; e.g., “I dig that broad.”

duke tip

dying an exaggerated term to mean slightly upset; e.g. “I’m dying”

end a word to signify that someone or something is the very best; “the living end”

endsville total failure; similar to bombsville; see ville

fink a person who cannot be relied upon or trusted, especially someone in the media; a crumb

fracture to make laugh; as in “that fractures me”

gas a great situation; as in “that set was a gas”

gasoline alcohol

gasser a highly admired person; the end!

gofer someone who performs menial jobs and tasks; “go for drinks”

good night all a term of invective used to change the subject of conversation

groove a term of admiration or approval; as in “in the groove”

harvey a person who acts in a stupid or naive fashion; sometimes shortened to “Harv”

hacked angry; as in “he’s hacked off”

hello! a cry of surprise to no one in particular when a beautiful woman is seen

hunker a jack-of-all-trades; see gofer

jokes an actor’s lines in a screenplay

let’s lose charley a term used among intimates who want to get rid of a bore in their company

little hey-hey romance; a little action with a broad

locked-up as in “all locked-up,” a term for a forthcoming date or engagement, private or public

loser anyone who has made a mess of their life, drinks too much, makes the wrong enemies, etc.

mish-mash similar to loser, but refers specifically to a woman who is messed up

mothery terrific; wild and wicked

mouse usually a small, very feminine girl who invites being cuddled

nowhere a term of failure as in “he’s nowhere.”

odds used in connection with important decisions, as in “the odds aren’t right,” meaning it’s a no go

original loser a person without talent; sometimes more fully expressed as “He is the original Major Bowes Amateur Hour loser

pallie dean’s nickname for everyone, whether a lifelong friend or a bellhop

player a man who is a gambler by nature, makes friends easily, and never gives up trying

punks any undesirables, in particular criminals, gangsters, or mobsters

quin derisive term for a woman who is an easy pick-up

rain as in “I think it’s going to rain” indicating that it is time to leave a dull gathering or party

ring-a-ding a term of approval, as in “What a ring-a-ding broad!”

sam used in the same way as Charley for a person whose name has been forgotten, most often applied to females

scramsville to run off

sharp a person who dresses well and with style

ta-ta goodbye

twirl a girl who loves dancing

ville a suffix used to indicate changes in any given situation; examples: endsville, splitsville, etc.

Click here to read more about the Legendary Rat Pack.

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