Ol’ Cab Calloway, apocryphally born in the back of a taxi on Christmas Day, the heppest cat in any town he found himself in. He didn’t just give us Minnie the Moocher, but also a lingustic treasure trove, one which we regularly plunder to this day. Compiling the latest slang from the jazz scene first in 1938 and then again in a revised edition in 1944, The Hepster’s Dictionary: Language of Jive is a fascinating piece of work, split between phrases that have passed into common usage and strange quirks of vocabulary that didn’t quite make it through to the post-war period. So boot yourself a lamp at these solids. They’re dicty.
Facts Amazing! In 1986, Calloway appeared at WrestleMania 2 as a guest judge for a boxing match between Rowdy Roddy Piper and Mr. T.