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Can You Figure Out What These 19th-Century American Slangisms Mean?

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English millionaire financier Barney Barnato (1852 - 1897) circa 1890. Barnato, born Barnett Isaacs, made his fortune through his interests in diamond and gold mining in South Africa. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
(Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The American language is a fickle thing. What’s deemed normal conversational English at one point in history might go out of style in the next. NPR’s Linton Weeks put together a list of 12 lost slang phrases from the 1800s that have fallen to the lingual wayside. We’ve included each phrase in a sentence below. Try to guess what each phrase means.

“Too high for his nut”: That woman is way out of his league; you could say he’s getting a little too high for his nut.

“Bottom fact”: The bottom fact is that somebody other than Barack Obama is going to be elected president in November.

“To be Chicagoed”: Some believe that Donald Trump could be Chicagoed by Hillary Clinton in a general election.

“See the elephant”: In New York City, to truly see the elephant, one must tour all five boroughs.

“How came you so”: On the weekends in a college town, it’s not unusual to see students a little bit how came you so, on the way home to their dorms.

“Lally-cooler”: Bernie Sanders’ campaign has been a real lally-cooler so far.

“Shinning around”: If you’ve ever been to Times Square, you’ll know that it’s a lot of tourists shinning around every which way.

“Shoddyocracy”: Those guys who sell fake Louis Vuitton bags on the sidewalk are card-carrying members of the Shoddyocracy.

“Some pumpkins”: One could argue that the Kardashians are some pumpkins these days due to the success of their reality show.

“Like Thompson’s colt”: That guy just sunk a double-eagle and now he’s working on his short game over there? That’s like Thompson’s colt, if you ask me!

“Tell a thumper”: Bernie Madoff told a thumper to the majority of his clients.

“Wake snakes”: That little boy went on a wake snakes spree with that pink marker and rightfully, got punished by his mother for it.

Still not sure? Click here for the answers.