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.


6 Responses to “bee’s knees”

  1. Alexis Says:

    I love this theme!!! You should definitely keep it up!

    I’ve always adored the phrase ‘the bees knees’. In fact, I’m going to start using it more… that and wearing hats! And with its roots, my affinity makes sense. If ever there was a rebellious hussy, it’s me. (I know you can relate!)


  2. Hello – first, your drawings are absolutely amazing. I’m so glad that you found me so I could find you! You are on permanent inspiration link, for sure – and I love that someone other than me has taken on a one-drawing-per-day project. How is it going for you so far?

    It’s interesting that I am just finding the time to comment now (I first checked in a couple of days ago), as I did a trial run at a cookie company a couple of years ago – it was great fun and got very busy but was far too much work as side business. The website, however, is still up, and it’s relevant to this post:


  3. artseafartsea Says:


  4. […] term was coined by the sports writer and cartoonist at the time, Thomas A. Dorgan and along with “Bees Knees”, “Cat’s Meow” and “Cat’s Whiskers” meant “the height of […]

  5. nadia Says:

    ohhh increibleee!!!! so beautiful!!!

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