Glossary-Story in Harlem Slang-Spunk

Glossary For
Story In Harlem Slang

Air Out:  leave, flee, stroll.

Astorperious: haughty, biggity.

Bam, Down in ‘Bam’: down South.

Bull-skating: bragging.

Collar A Nod: sleep.

Coal-Scottule Blond: black woman.

Cut: doing something well.

Diddy-Wah-Diddy:  (1) a far place, a measure of distance; (2)another suburb of Hell, built since way before Hell wasn’t no bigger than
Baltimore. The folls in Hell go there for a good time.

Dumb to the fact: “You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Frail Eel: pretty girl

Ginny Gall: a suburb of Hell, a long way off.

Granny Grunt: a mythical character to whom most questions may be referred.

I don’t deal in coal:” I don’t keep company with black women.”

Jig: Negro, a corrupted shortening of Zigaboo.

Jelly: sex.

July Jam: something very hot

Jump Salty: get angry.

Kitchen Mechanic: a domestic.

Mammy: a term of insult; never used in any other way by Negroes

Miss Anne: a white woman

My People! My People!: sad and satiric expression in the Negro language; sad when a negro comments on the backwardness of some members
of his race; at other times, used for satiric or comic effect.

Pe-ola: a very white Negro girl.

Piano: spareribs (white rib bones suggest piano keys).

Playing the Dozens: low-rating the ancestors of your opponent

Reefer: a marijuana cigarette, also a drag.

Russian: a southern Negro up North. “Rushed up here,” hence, a Russian.

Scrap-Iron: cheap liquor.

Solid: perfect.

Stanch or Stanch Out: to begin, commence, step out.

Sugar Hill: northwest sector of Harlem, near Washignton Heights; site of the newest apartment houses, mostly occupied by professional people. (The expression has been distorted in the South to mean Negro red-light district.)

The Bear: confession of poverty.

Thousand on a plate: beans.

Zigaboo: a Negro.

Zooot suit with the Reet Pleat: Harlem-style suit with padded shoulders, 43-inch trousers at the knee with cuff so small it needs a zipper to
get into, high waistline, fancy lapels, bushels of buttons, etc.

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