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, i.e., a “Rat Pack Lexicon.”

It was a mixture of slang and cool terms that helped make them indisputably 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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