1920s Survival Guide: Speakeasy Protocol
Well, even if you're a doll face who knows how to pay a compliment or two, there are still a few things you should know about illegal drinking establishments. Here's your speakeasy survival guide:
- Know that there's more than one name for a speakeasy. These elusive pubs also go by the names of “bling pig” and “blind tiger,” those these names usually refer to blue-collar places. So next time you hear one of these terms, don't think the conversation's about livestock or wildlife!
- Exercise your consumer choice. There are at least 30,000 speakeasies in New York City alone.
- Study your flapper slang. Quiz: Can you define the following? Applesauce, Baloney, Bell Bottom, Berries, Big Six, Bump Off, Cheaters, Dogs, Edge, Flivver, Giggle Water, Hoofer, Iron, Mrs. Grundy, Orchid, Piker, Torpedo. If not, bury your nose in a book before you even dare set foot out of the house.
- Practice running in your dance shoes or kicking them off. If and when the coppers come, you better dash and hide.
- Pack a flask, coconut, or garden hose so you can take a little moonshine home with you.
- You need a password (or a big bribe) to get into a speakeasy. Should you find yourself passwordless, guess! “Swordfish” is the most common one. Other probabilities include “blotto,” “bug-eyed Betty,” “jalopy,” “Jake,” “jazz baby,” and “flat tire.
- Once you're finally in a speakeasy, remember to do just that--speak easy. Don't be too loud and rowdy, lest the police invade the joint.
- To maintain the reputation of a “good girl,” stick to ordering wine.
- Also avoid discussing women's rights. The Woman's Christian Temperance Union—one of the same groups that helped bring about Prohibition in the first place—also jumped onto the women's suffrage bandwagon, too. Quite frankly, some people aren't a fan of the connection. You don't want to start a fight with any of your fellow beer-chuggers.