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|Sinatra gave an interview in the early ’60s to Art Buchwald a Paris based columnist for the now defunct New York Herald Tribune, and offered the following interpretations: |
Broad an affectionate word for “woman”. Less uncouth, allegedly, than “dame”
Bunter “The opposite of gasser… a nowhere. He can never get to first base”
Clyde a catch-all noun. “If you want someone to pass the salt I would say, “Pass the clyde”. “I don’t like her clyde might mean I don’t like her voice”. “I have to go the clyde could mean have to go the party”.
Fink a loser. “Fink comes from a strike-breaker named Fink who killed his friend during a strike. So to me a fink is a guy who would kill his own friends”.
Gasser “Applies to a person. He’s a big-leaguer, the best. He can hit the ball right out of the park”.
Harvey “A square. Harvey, or Harv, is the typical tourist who goes into a French restaurant and says “What’s ready?”.
Other elements of Sinatraspeak, mostly identified by Arnold Shaw in his book from 1968, include:
Bag an area of interest, as in “What’s your bag”.
Big Casino dead, as in “bought the big casino in the sky”.
Big Leaguer a capable, reliable fellow who will handle all manner of things correctly.
Bird a catch-all noun, often referring to the male member.
Bombsville or Endsville disappointment, breakdown, failure.
Bum or creep or crumb a disliked person.
Charley or Sam a general form of address, as in Charley Greenface or Suntan Charley for the pale-faced Bill Miller. (Sinatra’s long time pianist)
Charlies a lady’s chest.
Chick a girl who is youthful and attractive.
Cool or Crazy an adjective of approval.
Dame a mildly derogatory term for a woman, possibly older and possibly unattractive.
Dig to approve, as in "I dig you baby”.
End a noun that shows extreme approval, as in “That chick is the end man”.
Gasoline alcohol in general, and in particular Jack Daniel’s (Sinatra’s favourite bourbon)
Hey-hey fun, often physical, as in “a little hey-hey”.
Mothery adjective of approval, often for a party.
Mouse demure female.
Player a significant fellow.
Punk a disagreeable, lower-class fellow.
Rain a noun used in phrases such as “I think it’s going to rain” to indicate displeasure with social proceedings.
Ring-a-ding an adjective showing approval
Scramsville hasty departure.
Square a Harvey.
Tomato a female who is a “ripe tomato” may be ready for seducing or marrying.
Twirl a female who likes to dance.
The above information is from "The from Rough Guide to Frank Sinatra” by Chris Ingham (The Penguin Group)
|The Jazz Man recommends ”The Rough Guide to Frank Sinatra” by Chris Ingham published by The Penguin Group. |
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