Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 02:53:44 EDT
From: Bapopik
Subject: Rat Pack Lingo (long!)

These are taken from the recent books and magazines about the late Frank

1998, pg. 67, cols. 3-4:

"Talkin' the Talk" by Nancy Bilyeau
A LITTLE HEY-HEY//A good time--not necessarily sex--in the company of a woman
(otherwise known as a _broad_ or _chick_)
GASOLINE//Jack Daniel's, Sinatra's beverage of choice
GAS//A swinging time--the Pack had a _gas_ of a weekend (Syn: a _ring-a-ding_
GASSER//Person who makes a _gas_ happen
BIRD//Either the male organ ("How'd your _bird_ do last night?") or a _bird_'s
favorite pastime (In 1964's _Robin and the Seven Hoods_, Dean Martin says:
"I'm a _bird_ lover, and I don't mean pigeons")
CHARLEY//What the Rat Packers called one another
THE BIG CASINO//Death (After a doctor shows Richard Conte some ominous X-rays
in _Ocean's 11_, Conte says, "Look, Doc, give it to me straight, is it the
_Big Casino_?")
PALLY//Dean Martin's nickname for everyone, whether a lifelong friend or a
CLYDE//All-purpose noun; meaning can be negative (In _Ocean's 11_, Shirley
MacLaine calls out to a friend, "You're wasting your time with that _Clyde_,
honey, he's a lose") or innocuous ("Pass the _Clyde_")
BUNTER//A bore, an undesirable; the anti-_gasser_ (syn: _Harvey_)
ENDSVILLE//What happens to a party overpopulated by _bunters_ and _Harveys_
"I THINK IT'S GOING TO RAIN"//A Sinatra-only call to the Pack that it's time
to leave an _endsville_ happening
THE BIG G//God (In _Seven Hoods_, Sinatra says of Edward G. Robinson's
recently deceased character, "Big Jim has gone to meet _the Big G_.")
GOOD NIGHT ALL//Fair warning to drop a subject (and if it came from Sinatra,
you'd better drop it fast!)

From SINATRA: A TRIBUTE TO OL' BLUE EYES (Hit Sensations, Fanzine
International), pg. 41, cols. 1-3:

_The Rat Pack Lingo_
BABY: Used as an exclamation as well as a term of endearment.
BAG: As in "my bag," a person's particular interest.
BARN BURNER: A very stylish, classy woman.
BEETLE: A girl who dresses in flashy clothes.
BIG-LEAGUER: A resourceful man who can handle any situation.
BOMBSVILLE: Any kind of failure in life.
BROAD: Affectionate term for a girl or woman with sex appeal.
BUM: A person who is despised, most frequently linked to people in the media.
CHARLEY: A general term for anyone whose name has been forgotten.
CHICK: A young and invariably pretty girl.
CLAM-BAKE: A party of get-together.
COOL: A term of admiration for a person or place. An alternative word
meaning the same thing is crazy.
CREEP: A man who is disliked for any reason whatsoever.
CRUMB: Someone for whom it is impossible to show respect.
DAME: A generally derogatory term for a probably unattractive woman. The
word dog is also sometimes substituted.
DIG: A term of appreciation for a person or thing, as in "I dig her."
DYING: As in "I'm dying" which means "I'm slightly upset."
END: A word to signify that someone or something is the very best.
ENDSVILLE: A term to express total failure, and similar to bombsville. See
FINK: A man who cannot be relied upon, whose loyalties are suspect.
FIRST BASE: The start of something, usually applied in terms of failure when
someone has failed to reach it.
FRACTURE: As in "That fractures me," meaning "That's an amusing joke."
GAS: A great situation as in "The day was a gas."
GASOLINE: A term for alcohol, more specifically, Frank's favorite drink, Jack
Daniel's Bourbon Whisky.
GASSER: A man or woman highly admired, considered to be the best or "The
GOFER: Someone who does menial jobs or runs errands, as in "go for drinks,"
GROOVE: As in "in the groove," a term of admiration or approval.
LET'S LOSE CHARLEY: A term used among intimates who want to get rid of a bore
in their company.
LOCKED-UP: As in "All locked-up," a term for a forthcoming date or
engagement, private or public.
LOSER: Anyone who has made a mess of their life, drinks too much, makes
enemies, etc.
MISH-MASH: Similar to loser but refers specifically to a woman who is mixed
NOWHERE: A term of failure, usually applied to a person, viz "He's nowhere."
ODDS: Used in connection with important decisions, as in "The odds aren't
right," meaning not to go somehwere, accept anything or buy something.
PLAYER: Term for a man who is a gambler by nature, who makes friends easily,
and never gives up trying.
PUNKS: Any undesirable, in particular mobsters, gangsters or criminals.
RING-A-DING!: A term of approval for a beautiful girl, i.e. "What a ring-a-
ding broad!"
SCAM: To cheat at gambling, as in "Hey, what's the scam?"
SCRAMSVILLE: To run off.
SHARP: A person who dresses well and with style.
SMASHED: A word used to describe someone who is drunk.
SOLID: Definite, reliable.
SQUARE: A person of limited character, unhip.
SWING: To hang out and drink, smoke, sing, generally get real loose.
VILLE: A suffix used to indicate changes in any given situation.

HAT (1997) by Bill Zehme, pp. 34-36:

After taking English lessons from Sinatra, while making _The Pride and
the Passion_, young Sophia Loren could be heard peppering casual conversation
with the phrases: "How's your cock?" and "It was a fucking gas!" (He told her
that _cock_ and _fucking_ were innocent endearments, to be employed freely and
often. Of Loren, incidentally, Frank liked to say, "She's the mostest!")
Noel Coward, who occasionally moved amid the Sinatra group, was spotted at one
of Frank's performances happily crowing: "It's a gas! It's a gas!" Even bona
fide pally Peter Lawford tended to abuse the privileged argot: "Like, we were
getting off the boat the other day in Le Havre," he told an interviewer, "and
this French dame comes up to me and says, '_Etes-vous un Rat?_' She's asking
me, am I a Rat? I don't dig. Then I dig. She's asking me about the Rat
Pack, you dig? But there's no word in French for Rat Pack, you dig?"
_Navigational tips for the uninitiated:_ "A GAS IS A GOOD SITUATION,"
the Leader once translated for Art Buchwald, in an unprecedented act of
decoding. "An evening can be a wonderful gas. Or you can have a gas of a
weekend." Therefore, a GASSER was one who instilled such delight: "Applies to
a person. He's a big-leaguer, the best. He can hit the ball right out of the
park." (More BROADS were gassers than were guys, understandably so. Should a
gasser do something wonderful, she would be rewarded with the exclamation,
CRAZY! or maybe COO-COO! When pleased by a pally, meanwhile, Frank showed
approval by remarking, YOU CRAZY BASTARD!) On the other hands, a BUNTER would
be "the opposite of a gasser...a NOWHERE. He can never get to first base."
Likewise, there was HARVEY: "A square. Harvery, or Harv, is the typical
tourist who goes into a French restaurant and says, 'What's ready?'" CLYDE
was no better, for _clydes_ were DULLSVILLE personified, were instructed to
SCRAMSVILLE, lest they render an evening ENDSVILLE. Otherwise, _clyde_ was an
all-purpose noun employed when words, wit, or memory failed. Explained Frank:
"If I want someone to pass the salt, I say 'Pass the clyde.' 'I don't like
her clyde,' might mean, 'I don't like her voice.' 'I have to go to the clyde'
could mean 'I have to go to the party.'"
If said party cooked, which is to say, was MOTHERY, which is to say, was
wild and wicked, then all present would bear witness to a RING-A-DING-DING
time, after which couples might pair off to make a LITTLE HEY-HEY. Unless a
FINK had infiltrated the scene to queer the odds. "A _fink_ is a loser," said
Frank. "_Fink_ comes from a strikebreaker named Fink who killed his friend
during a strike. So to me a fink is a guy who would kill his own friends."
(Not exactly. Actually, "rat" and "fink" can be synonyms--ed.) (Dead
friends, by the way, bought the BIG CASINO in the sky.) Further: "If a guy
comes into a room with a broad and someone asks about his wife, the guy will
say, 'GOOD NIGHT, ALL,' which means, 'DROP IT, CHARLEY.'" Charley, in that
case, would be a fink, or CRUMB. Thus the phrase LET'S LOSE CHARLEY. But
then every pally was affectionately called Charley at one point or another,
male or female, and also SAM, but mostly Charley. (Lawford was Charley the
Seal, for his nicotine cough, or Charley Pentagon or Charley Washington,
because he married a Kennedy. Sometimes Frank simply called him Brother-in-
Lawford.) Then again, a CHICK might easily FRACTURE, or amuse, or devastate,
a man who got a load of her nice set of CHARLEYS. If that man was Sinatra,
and a date was made, then he would be ALL LOCKED UP for that night, so he
would bid his boys adieu, telling them, "TA-TA."