Jive: the jargon of hipsters
Ain't coming on that tab (phrase): won't accept the proposition. Usually abbr. to "I ain't coming."
Alligator (n): jitterbug.
Apple (n): the big town, the main stem, Harlem.
Armstrongs (n): musical notes in the upper register, high trumpet notes.
Barbecue (n): the girl friend, a beauty
Barrelhouse (adj): free and easy.
Battle (n): a very homely girl, a crone.
Beat (adj): (1) tired, exhausted. Example, "You look beat" or "I feel beat." (2) lacking anything. Ex, "I am beat for my cash", "I am beat to my socks" (lacking everything).
Beat it out (v): play it hot, emphasize the rhythm.
Beat up (adj): sad, uncomplimentary, tired.
Beat up the chops (or the gums) (v): to talk, converse, be loquacious.
Beef (v): to say, to state. Example, "He beefed to me that, etc."
Belly-Fiddle (n): guitar.
Bible (n): the gospel truth. Example, "It's the bible!"
Black (n): night.
Black and tan (n): dark and light colored folks. Not colored and white folks as erroneously assumed.
Blew their wigs (adj): excited with enthusiasm, gone crazy.
Blip (n): something very good. Example, "That's a blip"; "She's a blip."
Blow the top (v): to be overcome with emotion (delight). Example, "You'll blow your top when you hear this one."
Boogie-woogie (n): harmony with accented bass.
Boot (v): to give. Example, "Boot me that glove."
Break it up (v): to win applause, to stop the show.
Bree (n): girl.
Bright (n): day.
Brightnin' (n): daybreak.
Bring down ((1) n (2) v): (1) something depressing. Example, "That's a bring down." (2) Example, "That brings me down."
Buddy ghee (n): fellow.
Bust your conk (v): apply yourself diligently, break your neck.
Canary (n): girl vocalist.
Capped (v): outdone, surpassed.
Cat (n): musician in swing band.
Chick (n): girl.
Chime (n): hour. Example, "I got in at six chimes."
Clambake (n): ad lib session, every man for himself, a jam session not in the groove.
Chirp (n): female singer.
Cogs (n): sun glasses.
Collar (v): to get, to obtain, to comprehend. Example, "I gotta collar me some food"; "Do you collar this jive?"
Come again (v): try it over, do better than you are doing, I don't understand you.
Comes on like gangbusters (or like test pilot) (v): plays, sings, or dances in a terrific manner, par excellence in any department. Sometimes abbr. to "That singer really comes on!"
Cop (v): to get, to obtain (see collar; knock).
Corny (adj): old-fashioned, stale.
Creeps out like the shadow (v): "comes on," but in smooth, suave, sophisticated manner.
Crumb crushers (n): teeth.
Cubby (n): room, flat, home.
Cups (n): sleep. Example, "I gotta catch some cups."
Cut out (v): to leave, to depart. Example, "It's time to cut out"; "I cut out from the joint in early bright."
Cut rate (n): a low, cheap person. Example, "Don't play me cut rate, Jack!"
Dicty (adj): high-class, nifty, smart.
Dig (v): (1) meet. Example, "I'll plant you now and dig you later." (2) look, see. Example, "Dig the chick on your left duke." (3) comprehend, understand. Example, "Do you dig this jive?"
Dim (n): evening.
Dime note (n): ten-dollar bill.
Doghouse (n): bass fiddle.
Domi (n): ordinary place to live in. Example, "I live in a righteous dome."
Doss (n): sleep. Example, "I'm a little beat for my doss."
Down with it (adj): through with it.
Drape (n): suit of clothes, dress, costume.
Dreamers (n): bed covers, blankets.
Dry-goods (n): same as drape.
Duke (n): hand, mitt.
Dutchess (n): girl.
Early black (n): evening
Early bright (n): morning.
Evil (adj): in ill humor, in a nasty temper.
Fall out (v): to be overcome with emotion. Example, "The cats fell out when he took that solo."
Fews and two (n): money or cash in small quantity.
Final (v): to leave, to go home. Example, "I finaled to my pad" (went to bed); "We copped a final" (went home).
Fine dinner (n): a good-looking girl.
Focus (v): to look, to see.
Foxy (v): shrewd.
Frame (n): the body.
Fraughty issue (n): a very sad message, a deplorable state of affairs.
Freeby (n): no charge, gratis. Example, "The meal was a freeby."
Frisking the whiskers (v): what the cats do when they are warming up for a swing session.
Frolic pad (n): place of entertainment, theater, nightclub.
Frompy (adj): a frompy queen is a battle or faust.
Front (n): a suit of clothes.
Fruiting (v): fickle, fooling around with no particular object.
Fry (v): to go to get hair straightened.