Sad Men

What Writers Can Learn from the Great Depression

Posts tagged jazz

6 notes

How to Talk Like a Depression-Era Jazz Musician

In 1938, the Federal Writers Project published New York Panorama, a sweeping and surreal glimpse at New York City during the Great Depression (including “Broadway Playground,” the photograph embedded above).

The book featured a long section about language in New York—exploring slang from jazz musicians around the city and defining words like “Dracula,” “long underwear boys,” “gutbucket” and “G-flat” for all us squares.

I’ve reprinted the section below, putting all the amazing slang in bold. You can also download a free eBook copy of the book.

Read more …

Filed under New York Panorama free ebooks jazz Federal Writers Project