In the last post, I mentioned the 40s slang term for being boy crazy: “khaki wacky.” As it turns out, that is not the only teenager-prompted phrase that comes up throughout the decade. Much like the 20s and 30s, there is an intense amount of lively, dance-oriented, and flirtatious language that arose, giving us a very bright and seemingly happy snapshot of the time.
“Doll dizzy” is the girl-crazy equivalent of “khaki wacky.” “Doll” is a remnant of 30s slang, and the alliteration is a device that works much like rhymes in slang expressions: It’s easy to pick up and fun to say. Additionally, in a similar style to the 1920s, there were a fresh batch of labels for different types of women and men. Unattractive women could be called “some of Hitler’s work” or a “void coupon,” which were clear vices of the time. Attractive women, on the other hand, could be referred to as an “able-grable,” a “blackout girl,” or a “dilly,” a shortening of delicious and delicious. Likewise, a striking man could be called a “drooly,” for much of the same reasons.
Did these new one-word labels emerge for the same reasons as they did in the 20s? Yes, to an extent. It seemed as if the youth culture was the one creating most of these slang terms, which mostly denote the physical attractiveness of the either sex. So while the 40s lack some of the mysterious secrecy that the Flapper Age held, there was still a frivolous flair in the air, especially when it came down to dancing. After all, this was the decade that prompted unfortunate souls with two left feet to earn the fatal nickname of “dead hoofer.”
On a slightly more somber note, the war did leak its way even into this adamantly youthful culture. The phrase for asking someone if he or she were in a relationship was “Are you rationed?” Quite a flirty way of asking they’re freely available. And those that were too available had their own names as well. A sexually promiscuous woman was called a “share crop,” while the male equivalent was called “active duty.”
While I’m sure that Americans during the 40s suffered fear and anxiety over World War II, food rationing, and other day-to-day troubles, original slang of the decade does not really reflect it. Perhaps the youth culture just chose to ignore their trials when they were at parties, or even better, turn hardships such as rationing into playful conversations. Perhaps, in the end, this jargon is what got them through their ordeals.
1940s slang: http://www.mars-z.org/post/224478767/1940s-slang