Slang From Hemingway

10 Questions

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Slang Quizzes & Trivia

Do you speak Hemingway? The writer uses a considerable amount of slang in his letters, some popular, some he invented. Take a look at some his lines and see if you can figure out what he meant!


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 
    Hemingway wrote to William B. Smith, Jr. that "The low down on this Library business is that it wd. be a pipe for you." Pipe means...
    • A. 

      Challenging

    • B. 

      Boring

    • C. 

      Unattainable

    • D. 

      Easy

  • 2. 
    Hemingway told Howell G. Jenkins "when a male’s had the luck Bill’s had to take for years it’s a wonder he isnt a Bolo." A Bolo is slang for...
    • A. 

      A divorcé

    • B. 

      A member of the Soviet Union's Communist Party

    • C. 

      A criminal convicted of first-degree murder

    • D. 

      An individual who has received a lobotomy

  • 3. 
    Hemingway boasted he could complete a task with "comparative ease aside from freezage of the manuals." Freezage of the manuals is slang for...
    • A. 

      Cold hands

    • B. 

      Writer's block

    • C. 

      Memory loss

    • D. 

      An angry friend

  • 4. 
    If a friend of Hemingway's is "appearing in the Bughouse," he is...
    • A. 

      Performing in the West End

    • B. 

      In a mental asylum

    • C. 

      Starring in a film

    • D. 

      At a local bar

  • 5. 
    "Maybe he’s got some lack of acid in the gut, and a zist is giving him jest traces of the acid." The zist is...
    • A. 

      Indigestion

    • B. 

      A poison

    • C. 

      A doctor

    • D. 

      A cancerous growth

  • 6. 
    When Hemingway tells Ernest Walsh "It certainly will be a darb when it comes out," darb means...
    • A. 

      Tasty

    • B. 

      That's just a typo. He meant dark.

    • C. 

      Excellent

    • D. 

      Droll

  • 7. 
    On October 11, 1923, Hemingway sends this cable to Sylvia Beach: "SEVEN POUND BOY THREE HOURS ALL JAKE." Jake means...
    • A. 

      Excellent

    • B. 

      Chaos

    • C. 

      It's the name of his new baby

    • D. 

      Finished

  • 8. 
    When Hemingway writes about the quality of the "rainstein fishing," he is referring to...
    • A. 

      Deep-sea fishing

    • B. 

      Chasing women

    • C. 

      Trout fishing

    • D. 

      Summer storms

  • 9. 
    Hemingway tells Henry Strater that "Larry is battling in Allemagne...He is popular among the Boche who no doubt see in him the true Nordic type." The Boche are...
    • A. 

      Allied soldiers

    • B. 

      Spanish peasants

    • C. 

      The Parisian bourgeois

    • D. 

      Germans

  • 10. 
    Writing to Ezra Pound about a man named Stucky, Hemingway reports that "George has two stories about him. One that he is greatest, best, finest etc. Would do anything for him. Other story that he is no good, four flusher." A four flusher is...
    • A. 

      A pretender

    • B. 

      A gambler

    • C. 

      A thief

    • D. 

      A womanizer