News & Politics

An Early Village Voice Lexicon

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Clip Job: an excerpt every day from the Voice archives.

October 20, 1960, Vol. V, No. 52

Saloon Society

By Bill Manville

Mindful of the fact that Voice readers live in every state of the Republic, I have from time to time printed helpful glossaries for those unfamiliar with our local patois. Now, as a further service, I have revised, edited, brought up to date, and added to these efforts…and present herewith the new Saloon Society Dictionary – A Guide to the Way Out.

A-PART’ MENT, n. The raw material, which, by a creative act, can be made into a genuine Pad…

BALL, v. To have a good time, “THOU SHALT BALL” is the First Commandment of Saloon Society, and the other nine, too.

BEAT GEN’E-RA-TION. Chidren who come to the party tired.

BREAD, n. Money. A rumor of heaven.

CAT, n. Someone who has tried everything twice. A Prince of the Wasteland.

CHICK, n. A girl who balls. The role every woman married too long plays when she goes to a costume party.

CHIL’ DREN, n. pl. A very expensive, roundabout method of insuring that you always have someone around to bring the aspirin when you are lying in bed with a hangover.

DI-VORCE, n. The bell that announces the start of the second round.

GONE, adj. The most, the farthest out. A state which transcends the old square idea that ecstasy is physical, “out of this world.” A gone cat is “out of his mind.”

HIP, adj. The state of Understanding Everything…

KITCH’ EN, n. A room in the Pad whose function has not yet been discovered. Usually used, therefore, as an ashtray.

MAR’ RIAGE, n. A failure of nerve.

PAR’ TY, n. An entertainment which has recently been perfected. You go to it uninvited, bring your own whiskey, meet your ex-wife and her handsome new husband, and are introduced to a girl with whom you will have an unhappy love affair. You decide the next day, during a morning of aspirin and regrets, that you will give one yourself, as soon as possible.

SUC-CESS’, n. The nymphomaniacal Golden Bitch of our time. The great skill needed by her chosen victims to elude her embrace can be heard described bythem any evening, in any saloon.

TO-DAY, n. New Year’s Eve.

TO-MOR’ ROW, adj. A fiction of the sleepy bartender. There is no tomorrow.

WEEK, n. A period of 15 meals, 3 nights sleep, and one love affair.

WIFE, n. The other occupant of a leaky lifeboat.

ZE’ RO, n. The final score, Hip or Square.

[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]

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