The 1940s slang came out of a time that was a rebound from the Great Depression yet it was a reminder of a war torn world at one end of the dissonance of the tragic Holocaust and the dawn of a new world order in 1949. It was an era that was dominated by war as well as the establishment of a new intelligence regime in the state department of the United States.
The 1940s was film noir at its peak here in the United States and the quintessential paladin of film in many other foreign countries. It was a time of picking up the pieces while forging new ground in technology, science, government intelligence tracking and popular culture. It was the end of the golden age of swing and jazz as we know it today was slowly coming to the forefront.
While Ol Blue Eyes (Frank Sinatra) ruled the airwaves and made the bobbysoxers swoon, artists like John Coltrane and Charlie “Bird” Parker were moving up the ranks to make their indelible mark on the jazz world. It is the remnants of the 1940s that remain today. Those small reminders of a legacy from a distant past have been passed down from one generation to the next. From the music, the movies, the fashion style and of course, the language – it was indeed one of the most memorable decades in American history.
The 1940s slang was something that was altogether unique to the era. It told the story of the time and embodied the spirit of the minds who made the era exactly what it was – memorable.
1940s slang is something that has not disappeared completely. After all, those of us who have relatives – grandparents, aunts and uncles, who lived through the time, are made aware of the words that conveyed the meanings of a another time and place in great American history. Below are several examples of the popular ling of the time. Look closely and you will see that not so much has changed.
Hopefully this brief list will help you to better understand 1940s slang.