Sunday, January 15, 2012

Some Private Eye Slang

The crime fiction genre has some fun and colourful expressions.  
Here are a few faves:

Chicago lightning: Gunfire
Chicago overcoat
: Coffin 
Chicago typewriter: Machine gun  (Wow - Chicago offers a lot to the hardboiled lexicon!)
Flivver: A Ford automobile 
Giggle juice: Liquor
Hammer and saws: Police (rhyming slang for laws)  
Harlem sunset: Fatal injury caused by knife
Have the bees: To be rich 
Highbinder: Corrupt politician or official
Johnson brother: Criminal  
Kicking the gong around: Taking opium   
Lullaby cocktail: Drugged drink
Orphan paper: Bad cheques 
Oyster fruit: Pearls 
Portrait of Madison: Five hundred dollars
Rats and mice: Dice (more rhyming slang)
Roundheels:  A woman of easy virtue  
Soup job: To crack a safe using nitroglycerin
Sunday School picnic: What this caper isn’t turning into

Sources for above: and and