The Thin Man Question #13 - Terms of the Day

by Dashiell Hammett

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The Thin Man Question #13 - Terms of the Day

Unread postby Liz » Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:28 pm

Terms of the day (I’ll define these):

Tight – Pg. 18:
“Dorothy’s coming up. I think she’s tight.”
Definition: drunk

Teutonic – Pg. 22:
His accent was heavy, Teutonic, his hand was lean and muscular.
Definition: germanic

Pg. 67:
She looked at me and at Quinn and her face flushed. “You had to tell him.”
“the girl’s in a pet,” Quinn said cheerfully. “I got that stock for you. You ought to pick up some more and what are you drinking?”
“Old-fashioned. Your’re a swell guest—ducking out without leaving a word behind you.”


The Girl’s in a Pet – definition: the girl feels bad or is angry, sulking

Old-Fashioned –

I like the Wondrich Take, as he adds some interesting info on Prohibition:


Sadly neglected these days, the Old-Fashioned is the ur-cocktail. Originally -- in 1806, at least, which is good enough for us -- a "c**k tail" was a morning drink (ah, America!) made up of a little water, a little sugar, a lot of liquor, and a couple splashes of bitters. Freeze the water, make it with whiskey, and you have an Old-Fashioned. And a mighty fine drink it is: strong, square-jawed, with just enough civilization to keep you from hollerin' like a mountain-jack.

The now customary fruit garnish -- all those orange slices, cherries, pineapple sticks and whatnot -- is, according to Jack Townsend, former head of the Bartenders Union of New York, Local 15, A.F.L., an example of the indignities that so many American cocktails had visited upon them under Prohibition. Anything to hide the taste of the liquor. A special no-no is the common practice of muddling the fruit with the sugar before pouring in the hooch. This turns a noble drink into a sickly, sweet, gooey mess.

Finally, the great debate: rye or bourbon? North or South, East or West, Kentucky Colonel or New York Knickerbocker? Since you can make a fine-tasting drink by subjecting almost any of the manly liquors -- brandy, rum, gin, Irish whiskey (but not Scotch, which is too manly) -- to this process, it doesn't really matter. But we like rye, if we can find it, or Canadian Club, if we can't. (CC has a lot of rye in it.) Cheap bourbon's already sweet enough, and good bourbon doesn't need any help going down.

Read more:


Throw in – Pg. 124: “do you think she meant to throw in with Peppler again when he got out?”
Definition: Although I cannot find the definition, it seems to mean here, to join.

Put it to – Pg. 125:
“So you’re the party who put it to little Art Nunhei--“
Definition: murdered

Putting in with you – Pg. 132:
“You can understand how I feel about it, Nick. You’d fee the same—“
“Maybe,” I said, “but the way it stands, I’ve got no reason for putting in with you. Your Chris is no enemy of mine. I’ve got nothing to gain by helping you frame him.”

Definition: Again, I cannot find an official definition, but it appears to mean to scheme or plot with

Shadowing – Pg. 155:
“When I got to Fifty-seventh Street I suddenly got a feeling that I was being followed—you know the feeling. I couldn’t think of any reason for anybody shadowing me, but still, I’m a lawyer and there might be.”
Definition: tail or follow

Had you ever heard of any of these expressions before reading The Thin Man? It seems each generation has its own expressions and we rarely bring them back. What were some of the common expressions from your day?
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Re: The Thin Man Question #13 - Terms of the Day

Unread postby winona » Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:40 pm

Most of the expressions I have heard{older parents} Throw in-always included a With. Throw in With. Don't "Throw in with those kids" {sorry just my take}
My edit- Called my brother- He laughted out loud at some of this! Said it sounded like Dad! DB still uses some of the lingo
Last edited by winona on Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Thin Man Question #13 - Terms of the Day

Unread postby winona » Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:57 pm

Expressions from youth- Far Out- Kick in the Head-Cool. I will not mention any of the F ones
Because love has your face and body .....and your hands are tender and your mouth is sweet-and God has made no other eyes like yours. Walter Benton

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Re: The Thin Man Question #13 - Terms of the Day

Unread postby nebraska » Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:18 pm

I think I was familiar with some of these terms, from movies or from books I have read before. Public Enemies era comes to mind.

I think every time/place has its own special way of speaking. I don't always know what my granddaughter is talking about. And then, all I have to do is take part in the MT here at the Zone to be reminded English is a very fluid and versatile language. :lol:

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Re: The Thin Man Question #13 - Terms of the Day

Unread postby stroch » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:55 pm

I'm glad winona answered..for a minute I was nonplussed because I've used almost all of these expressions (except "in a pet"). DH has just made us both Old Fashioneds -- with fresh orange pulp. Put it to and putting in with ... don't forget Rochester putting it 'round.

Groovy, far out, far :censored: out (in order of approval of whatever is being discussed)
peace out, male chauvinist pig, rapsessions, consciousness raising..etc.
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Re: The Thin Man Question #13 - Terms of the Day

Unread postby winona » Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:41 pm

stroch wrote:I'm glad winona answered..for a minute I was nonplussed because I've used almost all of these expressions (except "in a pet"). DH has just made us both Old Fashioneds -- with fresh orange pulp. Put it to and putting in with ... don't forget Rochester putting it 'round.

Groovy, far out, far :censored: out (in order of approval of whatever is being discussed)
peace out, male chauvinist pig, rapsessions, consciousness raising..etc.

It's All Good! You did not like My response! OK ! I never ran across a male chauvinist pig,,Never used Groovy.....
Because love has your face and body .....and your hands are tender and your mouth is sweet-and God has made no other eyes like yours. Walter Benton

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Re: The Thin Man Question #13 - Terms of the Day

Unread postby Boo-Radley » Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:03 pm

Yes, I'd heard all these expressions before from movies and books; and from my parents. I've used "tight" myself.

Growing up we said things like,-- jive, I'm hip, cool, bad (meaning really good), and crib (meaning home)

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Re: The Thin Man Question #13 - Terms of the Day

Unread postby fansmom » Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:13 pm

I've certainly read all of those slang terms, but I don't use them often.

On the other hand, my daughter and her buddies went through a spell of saying "Huzzah!" to express enthusiasm, even though it's archaic. I said it at work yesterday (someone had passed all the sections of the CPA exam) and got grief from one of my coworkers for the rest of the afternoon. He later confessed he just wished he'd said it first.

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Re: The Thin Man Question #13 - Terms of the Day

Unread postby Buster » Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:55 pm

He later confessed he just wished he'd said it first.
:lol:
I personally think anachronistic expressions are the bee's knees.
Slang is neato, keen, fab!
I'll bet you can come up with ten synonyms for "vomiting" without breaking a sweat. My question is - how much slang do you actually use in writing?

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Re: The Thin Man Question #13 - Terms of the Day

Unread postby fansmom » Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:42 pm

Buster wrote:I'll bet you can come up with ten synonyms for "vomiting" without breaking a sweat.
And I remember a discussion in college of how many slang terms we had for "drunk," but we hardly had any for "study."

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Re: The Thin Man Question #13 - Terms of the Day

Unread postby fireflydances » Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:40 am

Shadowing, tight and Old Fashioned are the three I've heard most, but I remember lots of Brooklyn Irish stuff: holy mackerel, you could hear him coming miles away, mother of god, give him a noogy, take your licks, righto.

Now I'm trying to reach back to some of the earliest slang I remember hearing from kids a little older than me, stuff like: DA (men's hairstyle), teased hair, that's boss, you're cruising for a bruising. Maybe half of it would be intelligible now?

I have to admit, I absolutely love slang words and make a point to listen to kids talk. Sometimes slang is very narrowly used, alive in one community but unheard in another just miles away.

Nice topic. I'll be thinking of words all weekend. :-O
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Re: The Thin Man Question #13 - Terms of the Day

Unread postby Liz » Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:58 am

I totally forgot about “boss” even though I used it all the time as a tween.

These are ones I’ve used over the years (from the 60s-90s): Cool, groovy, hot, far out, dork, Delbert, freak out, flake, neat, groovy, bummed, zit, stoned, tough, fuzz, pig, bread, drag, dig, square, bad, veg, yuppie, whatever, dang it, gag me with a spoon. that's all I can think of at the moment.

As far as the list from the book, I knew all of them but Teutonic, tight & the girl’s in a pet. But the others are not expressions I’d use today.

Old Fashioned was a drink I liked back in the 70s.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Re: The Thin Man Question #13 - Terms of the Day

Unread postby Buster » Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:52 am

Now we'll all have to watch Crybaby...
...and who can forget Willie Wonka's riff that ends, "slide me some skin?"


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