How Well Do You Speak Flapper? A Linguistic Quiz

I recently came across a book called Speak Flapper: Slang of the 1920s (2020) by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene. It was interesting seeing which pieces of slang I had come across in my Golden Age Detective fiction reading and naturally there was much fun to be had with the more weird and amusing terms. So it was probably inevitable that I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the highlights of this book with you in the form of a quiz.

Answer the questions below to see how well you speak 1920s lingo. Do you know your Bun Duster from your Rug Hopper?

Question 1

Which of these terms is not slang for a chaperone?

  1. Alarm Clock
  2. Fire Bell
  3. Fire Extinguisher

Question 2

At parties there are always going to be certain people you wish to avoid. Some of them are listed below. Match these undesirable partygoers to their correct definition.

a. Lallygagger

b. Lens Louise

c. Gimlet

d. Finale Hopper

  1. Someone who monopolises a conversation.
  2. Young male who turns up once the bills have been paid.
  3. Someone who is habitually boring.
  4. Young male who is well known for trying to spoon in hallways.

Question 3

Which food item refers to money?

  1. Cabbage
  2. Fish
  3. Meringue

Question 4

Which of these terms does not refer to whiskey?

a) Noodle Juice

b) Panther Sweat

c) Moonshine

Question 5

1920s slang had plenty of ways of describing people. Not all of them complimentary! Match the descriptors below to their less than positive meaning.

a. Cancelled Stamp

b. Airedale

c. Dingle Dangler

d. Flatwheeler

e. Flour Lover

  1. Woman who has too much makeup on.
  2. Plain looking man.
  3. Someone who keeps on telephoning you when you don’t want them to.
  4. Female wallflower
  5. Young man who has little money and therefore takes his dates to events which are free.

Question 6

Which of these foods would a gold digger be most interested in meeting?

a) Berries

b) Peanut

c) Egg

Question 7

Which of these terms means someone is a good dancer?

a) Floorflusher

b) Oliver Twist

c) Corn-Shredder

Question 8

Match the transport slang below to its correct meaning.

a. Cake Basket

b. Breezer

c. Dimbox

d. Flivver

  1. Convertible car
  2. Taxi
  3. Limousine
  4. Post 1928, this word referred to any car which was outdated/in poor condition.

Question 9

If you say you are going to iron one’s shoelaces, what are you going to do?

  1. Going to stay home tonight.
  2. Going to use the toilet.
  3. Going to go to bed.

Question 10

Finally, which of these means to make small talk?

  1. Souffle
  2. Powder
  3. Feathers

Answers to the quiz will go up later this month.


  1. If ‘cancelled stamp’ means what I think it means, then it’s a brilliant and hilarious choice of lingo.
    I am far less confident about my answers to the other questions.


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