The Great Depression

The party that was the twenties crashed along with the stock market in 1929. Coolidge Prosperity turned into the Hoover Depression.

From Easy Street to Hooverville

During the Great Depression, many Americans became unemployed, lost their homes, and were forced to live in Hoovervilles. These shantytowns appeared in many United States cities during the 1930s and were named after President Herbert Hoover who they blamed for the depression.

Check Out More Hooverisms Here

New Deal

The New Deal was President Franklin D. Roosevelt's legislative agenda for rescuing the United States from the Great Depression. His recovery package of administrations was chock full of abbreviations:

Try Some New Deal Alphabet Soup

The Dust Bowl

During the 1930's, large dust storms ravaged the Great Plains. This area was labeled the "Dust Bowl" and the time period was called the "Dirty Thirties".

Kick Up Some Dust Bowl Slang


Many people forced off the farm heard about work hundreds of miles away ... or even half a continent away. Often the only way they could get there was by hopping on freight trains, illegally. More than two million men and perhaps 8,000 women became hoboes during the Great Depression.

Take a Trip to Hobohemia

The Driving Vacation

After the government implemented a highway numbering system in 1925, Americans took to the road like never before. Travel was easier and tourism boards hopped at the chance to advertise their state's wares.

Hit the Road with the Motor Gypsies

The Radio

For those too young, too old, or too broke to go out dancing, the wireless was a popular form of entertainment. The Thirties was The Golden Age of Radio, with a variety of programming throughout the day.

By the end of the decade, at least 80% of Americans owned radio sets. Radio buffs, with the assistance of fan magazines, bulked up on the inner workings and the slang of this new medium.

Listen in on Radio Slang