Miller's Crossing Home Page

Some might think the Coen brothers incorporated just about every term ever used
in the 1920's into their script for Miller's Crossing.
Below is a list of terms, definitions, and examples used in the movie.

    Chisel: To cheat, or a cheater (chiseler);
      Caspar: "That's why we gotta go to this question of character, determine just who exactly is chiseling in on my fix."

    Dangle: To leave;
      Mayor: "We can dangle, Leo, if you'd prefer."

    Drift: To say, "Let it drift", meaning "Forget about it" or to ignore;
      Dane: "What the hell is that supposed to mean?"
      Leo: "Let it drift. All it means is alot of people know."

    Flop: Sleep, or stay;
      Tom: "Where does he flop?"
      O'Doole: "The Terminal Hotel on Bay Street..."

    Flunky: Someone who will never be the boss;
      Tom: "'Lo Frankie, it's Tom, how's the flunky business?"

    High Hat: The 'brush-off', to disrespect;
      Caspar: "I'm sick of taking the strap from you, Leo. I'm sick a marchin' down to this goddamn office to kiss your Irish ass and I'M SICK OF THE HIGH HAT!"

    Poop: To kill;
      Leo: "Caspar pooped Rug..."

    Potatoe Eater: Offensive term for someone of Irish descent;
      The Dane: (referring to Tom) "What's that potatoe eater up to?"

    Sheeny: Offensive term for someone of the Jewish descent;
      Caspar: "The sheeny knows I like sure things. He's selling the information I fixed the fight."

    Shmatteh: Yiddish for "rag, anything worthless";
      Caspar (to Tom): "I know you knew protecting the Shmatte was a dumb idea."

    Twist: A girl;
      Dane (to Verna): "You're Leo's twist, right?"

    What're you chewing over?: To say, 'What are you thinking about?';
      Verna: "What're you chewing over?"
      Tom: "Dream I had once..."

    What's the rumpus?: To say 'What's up?', 'How are you?';
      Mink: "'Lo Tom. What's the rumpus?"

    Yegg: General term for a thug/gangster;
      Caspar (to Tom): "You got references? You been to college? We only take yeggs what's been to college."

Deleted Scenes Tommy Gun Scene: Shot by Shot
Classic Lines Glossary
Washington Post review / poster Trivia
Production Notes Full Script

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