Art before food
A website for people who know what's really important

1962 Last Good Year Cruisin Central Church Keys & Onion Peelers Over 900,000 Sold For Sale A Date with CaslonNew Year's Eve Wildcat Has a Party Song List Lipstick Bucket Bags Online Store

Church Keys & Onion Peelers

Slang compiled by Charlotte Webb
© 2003,  from the novel,  
Cruisin Central.   All rights reserved.

Phoenix, Arizona, 1962 . . .
angel hair 
n. long hairlike strands of spun fiberglass in bright colors. Used for decoration in the rear window and on the showroom floor at car shows

v. generic term for combing a strand of hair toward the scalp, instead of away from it, in order to add volume to a hair style. There are several methods of backcombing, all referred to as ratting by the uninitiated. See also french-lace, rat.

be a comedian 
phrase "What you said is not funny."

adj. shortened form of bent outa shape

bent outa shape  
adj. phrase  upset

Big Boy®  
n. a double-decker hamburger with lots of lettuce and cheese, and Thousand Island dressing instead of ketchup or mustard, sold only at Bob's Big Boy Restaurants

adj.  boss, tuff, great

n.  lotsa fun

v.  1. to leave. Like, Let's blow this town.  2. to spend. Like, Caslon blows all his money on car parts.  3. to ruin

n. whiskey with a beer chaser

n. way out in the desert, where cops are less likely to cruise

n. the diameter of the cylinders in a car engine

adj. replacing tuff and bitchen on the Coast

brain bucket  
n. safety helmet

n. a bouffant hairstyle for women, set on large rollers, and then french-laced to add volume. Jackie Kennedy wears her hair in a bubble.

v. to bother

candy apple red 
n. carmine red car paint with many layers of clearcoat metallic painted over it. It's the same color as the cinnamon candy coating on Hallowe'en apples. Cheap version is carmine paint with metallic flakes in it.

car club 
n. a club to which boys belong. Identified by matching jackets, license plate holders, a plaque in the rear window. The members get together and swap car parts.

car name 
n. a unique name that is custom-painted on the rear fenders of a car, near the tail-light. Examples: Midnite Special, Yellow Fever, Vat 69, Baby Talk

n. tires made from the same rubber as slicks, but with very shallow tread, in order to be street legal

cherry phosphate 
n. 7-Up® or plain carbonated water with cherry syrup added

adj. a car that has its roof lowered

church key 
n. a puncture-type portable can opener, for opening beer cans in the boonies

adj. boys that your mother would approve of. They usually have crewcuts and wear Ivy League clothes. The opposite of hoods

Continental kit 
n. a metal tire cover that is mounted on the back of the car

n. boys' short haircut, groomed with pomade to stand straight up from the scalp

n. a slip made of two or more layers of many yards of starched organdy or nylon net gathered at the waist, worn under a very full skirt

cruisin Central 
phrase  driving up and down Central Avenue in Phoenix after sundown

n. a haircut that looks like a duck's tail, mostly worn by hoods. The hair is combed straight back on both sides of the head, meeting in a ridge or point at the nape, so that the back of the head looks like the tail of a swimming duck.

n. the two bullet-like protrusions on the front bumper of a 1956 Cadillac, named after a Hollywood starlet whose main "talent" was her lovely figure

n. a person who's really out to lunch

v. to double-date, to take another couple along when you go out on a date

drive-in restaurant 
n. like Bob's and McDonald's, where you stay in your car and the car hop comes out and takes your order and brings your food on a tray, and you eat in your car

drive-in theater 
n. like Cinema Park, where you stay in your car and watch the movie. There are loudspeakers on poles, and you park next to a pole and hook the loudspeaker on your open car window so you can hear the movie dialogue.

n. a 7-inch, 45 rpm record with four songs on it, two on each side, literally, Extended Play. Usually has a large hole in the center. If it has a small hole, the EP is meant to be played at 331/3 rpm, and may have six songs instead of four.

federal case 
n. a big deal, like "My Mom made a federal case out of it, when I came in at 2 AM."

fire drill 
n. a cruising game, played by three or more dips, with a four-door car. At a stoplight, they all jump out, and run around the car. When the light turns green, the person who's closest to the driver's seat gets to be the driver, and everyone jumps back in the car and they peel out.

n. women's pump-style dress shoes with a ½-inch heel, what all the girls wear to school. All really boss flats have pointed toes.

flip [for]
 v. to fall in love with

v. a method of backcombing girls' hair, in which only the roots are backcombed, leaving most of the strand of hair to smoothly cover the ratting at the scalp

frenched headlights 
n. headlights with sheet metal rim extending beyond the convex surface. The frenching resembles eyelids on the headlights. Frenched headlights were standard on 1956 Fords.
Slang, Page 2

Want to buy the entire chapbook of slang for $10, postage paid? (Hand-pulled by the author, with over 300 definitions)
E-mail Rita Webb for information.

Contact Us | Legal Stuff