Slim Gaillard's Vout dictionary: jazz hipster argot from the 30s

Sean O sez, "Slim Gaillard was a jazz musician/vocalist popular during the late-30s/early-50s. He popularized a 'Hipster's Argot' called 'Vout' which is present in lots of his recordings. These scans are from a promotional leaflet that compile the various words of Slim's dialect. So don't be a bringer-down and get mell-o-roonie, gate." That's strictly solid jack, let me lay a couple gas-meters on you. A babadiy be a babidy ba a babbidy boobie.

If you haven't heard Slim Gaillard's music (as heard in Jack Kerouac's On the Road, no less), go get some and have your lid flipped Vout-O-Reenee Dictionary (Thanks, Sean O!)


  1. Slim Gaillard is great. One of my favorite Slim Gaillard facts is that he was one of the first to do multi-track recording. There are several recordings where is is playing all of the parts.

    Check out the track “Potato Chips” and you won’t be sad.

  2. Hmm. I tracked down a few of his tunes on YouTube and .. well, I guess I don’t get the appeal. I tried really hard to like it, I did, but.. and the nonsense words kind of bothered me, I felt like I was being sung to by 3 year olds.

  3. Anyone interested in this post might also be interested in book called Straight from the Fridge, Dad: A Dictionary of Hipster Slang by Max Decharne.

  4. You really gotta check out his stuff with Slam Stewart. Slim and Slam are the best. Some of my favorites: Opera in Vout, Look-a-there, 8 9 & 10, Jump Session, Flat Foot Floogie. Oh and for some solid Slim & Slam video action, be sure to check out the hellzapoppin’ clip on youtube (

  5. Isn’t he the guy they based the character Rembrandt from Sliders from? I don’t know anything about Slim Gaillard but an old roommate always said they were mimicking Slim when we caught Sliders on the tv.

  6. Slim is definitely an acquired taste. My grandmother, for whatever reason, used to sing “Flat Foot Floogie” all the time. Captain Kangaroo did a bit with that song, too. So, yeah, my childhood was a bit off-center, I guess.

    Seeing this post reminded me that the Radio menu in iTunes used to include an all-Slim Galliard channel. I think it was under the Jazz list. A quick check today reveals the Slim station is now gone.

  7. Cee-ment mix-er, put-ti, put-ti! I’ve emailed the guy with my thanks and a query about pages 2 and 3. If I find out anything, I’ll pass it along. (Insert obligatory use of Vout here.)

  8. I love Slim Gaillard – we used to dance to him in our swing dancing classes. It’s the sort of thing I listen to when I need cheering up, it always works! And yeah, I’m partial to the Potato Chips number :-)

  9. I heard back from the owner. He’s keeping a couple of pages back to have a bit of control over where the thing goes. Seems reasonable enough; we can be glad for what we got.

  10. He’s got a couple of tracks on the “Absolute Beginners” soundtrack LP – you know that ’80s musical with David Bowie.
    One track was called “Selling Out” and it was good.

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