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Vintage Vernacular: 1920s Jazz-Age Slang

Jazz Dancing

Can we all agree that it’s time to retire the term “cougar”?

Like “shiznit” and “not!” and “damn skippy” before it, “cougar” had a phenomenal run, and now that run is over.

In search of a replacement, we came upon the Jazz Age slang term “bearcat,” used throughout the 1920’s and ‘30s to fondly describe “fiery, experienced woman.” Knowing next to nothing about the animal, we turned to the zoological juggernaut Wikipedia, which revealed that, in addition to being absolutely vicious when cornered, the female bearcat (Arctictis Binturong) uses its tail to communicate via scent glands located on either side of the vulva.

Looks like we have a winner.

This got us thinking: What other slang terms could we repurpose from the 1920’s Jazz Age? It was quite a time, after all...»

Kempt Man of the Hour: John Wellington


While there was plenty of good style on display at the Emmys—and plenty of adventurous-but-classy tuxes worthy of a little notice—this week’s MOTH comes from a slightly less formal setting: the Jazz Age Lawn Party at Governor’s Island.

The Bixbyish gentleman here is one John Wellington, demonstrating a linen-soaked look that manages to work in the triple crown of newsboy cap, pocket watch and ascot without coming off as anything other than impeccable. It’s a little costumey, but he’s at a costume ball—and in the meantime he’s showing everyone in sight exactly how rumpled a pair of linen trousers should be, and what life looks like beyond slim-fit.