bee’s knees

November 9, 2007


“The bee’s knees is an expression dating back to the 1920’s and used by flappers as high praise and although the idea of flappers may seem silly and old fashioned to you, at the time they were pretty much punk rock.According to Wikipedia:

The term flapper referred to a “new breed” of young women who wore short skirts, bobbed their hair, listened to what was then considered unconventional music (jazz) and flaunted their disdain for what was then considered “decent” behavior. The flappers were seen as brash for wearing excessive makeup, drinking hard liquor, treating sex in a more casual manner, smoking cigarettes, driving automobiles, and otherwise flouting conventional social and sexual norms.

Sheepers, such hussies, what with their listening to jazz and driving automobiles! What’s next, a job, blue nail polish?

Anyway, in between swigging hooch out of flasks in speakeasies, doing the Charleston and puffing off cigarettes, the folks of the roaring twenties were not only complimenting each other with “bee’s knees” and “cat’s pajama’s”, but you might also hear some lesser known flapper slang.

You might hear “elephant’s adenoids, bullfrog’s beard, gnat’s elbows, and monkey’s eyebrows.I have to tell you, it’s going to take quite a bit of restraint not to sketch up some of those phrases. This might be getting a little out of hand.