5 Old School Slang Phrases And What They Actually Mean

As a writer, it’s my job to know about words and sayings and all that jazz. If I’m being completely honest, some of the slang phrases we use today have no business being used in day-to-day speech. That doesn’t mean that it’s not lit fam. Much like the phrases that have seeped into our daily conversations via meme slang and other cultural phenomenon, there are bits and bobs from the past that I genuinely think should make a comeback. Here are a few interesting old school slang phrases from bygone eras with a bit of background as to what they actually mean. Enjoy!

Out to lunch 🍔

From the information I found online, this saying has been used since the mid-1940s to describe someone who, while standing right next to you, has entirely checked out of the conversation or is just generally inattentive. I feel like this is how some of my friends would describe me at times. I get lost in my own thoughts without even realising it and I totally zone out. I may as well be out to lunch for all the attention I’m paying them.

Example: “I tried to tell Katelyn about my trip to the Gold Coast but she was out to lunch the entire conversation.”

Full of applesauce 🍎

Though applesauce is delicious, being ‘full of applesauce’ wasn’t so much a compliment as a form of mockery in the 1920s. If someone thought you were full of it, they’d say you were ‘applesauce’ or ‘full of applesauce’. So, next time you’re tempted to tell a friend who is prone to exaggeration that he’s ‘full of shit’, you could always tell him he’s ‘full of applesauce’ instead. Keep him guessing.

Example: “Do you really believe that story Jerry told at lunch? I think he’s full of applesauce.

Zozzled 🥂

Hammered. Tanked. Wasted. Mortal. Plastered. Zozzled.

Need I say more?

Example: I got completely zozzled at Amy’s baby shower last night. I think I did a nudie run. Ugh. Why am I the way that I am? This hangover is killing me.

It’s the berries 🍓

This is one of my favourite old school slang phrases. It is said to have originated in 1908, then became popular somewhere in the 1920s and it’s the cutest thing! Basically, if you thought something was ‘the best’ it was ‘the berries’. If you’re a bogan Aussie like me, you’d be familiar with the alternative saying to this being ‘it’s the tits’ or if you’re a normal, non-bogan person you might say ‘it’s the bees knees’.

Example: I love your cat so much. She’s the berries!

Flip your wig 🤯

Ok, you’ve probably heard the term ‘wig out’, meaning to basically lose control of your emotions or freak out when you hear news that makes you excited, angry, sad, etc (especially if you’re zozzled on some kind of substance). I’m not sure if ‘wig out’ is a direct allusion to ‘flip your wig’ but they mean pretty much the same thing. Back in the day, if someone was worried that you’d ‘flip your wig’, they were worried that you’d have some kind of emotional outburst.

Example: “I need to tell Rachel that I ate her entire chocolate stash but I’m worried that she’ll flip her wig.”

Do you have any favourite old school slang phrases that you think should make a comeback? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,



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