Need some help with circa 1960 US slang

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Editor .
Joined: 09.10.2018
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Trying to translate the King himself, I stumbled upon this mysterious line :

I heard that you were cookin', baby
Way on the other side of town

I wonder what "cooking" means in this context?
"scheming" like in "cooking up something", or has the girl just become a cook for some reason? Regular smile

Moderator of Romance Languages
Joined: 31.03.2012

Hmm, could it mean:

I heard you've been up to something, baby
on the other side of town.

Like when someone's got something "cookin'", they're up to something or planning something.

Editor .
Joined: 09.10.2018

Ok, so that's like "cooking up something", right?

Moderator of Romance Languages
Joined: 31.03.2012

I didn't see that part in your entry ""scheming" like in "cooking up something"", yeah she's scheming.

Editor .
Joined: 09.10.2018

Right, sounds good to me. Thanks, Helen.

Super Member
Joined: 07.01.2019

In this context, it means that the person is "up to something," so it's similar to scheming.

But in other contexts, "What's cooking?" is another way of saying "What's happening/what's up?"

Editor .
Joined: 09.10.2018

Thanks for the extra explanation.

Senior Member
Joined: 04.09.2011

cooking like a wife cooks and takes care of mans need Wink smile on the other side of town as in being someones girlfriend from a time when misogyny was okay and the place oof women was in bed or the kitchen... thats why sex on kitchen table became a thing im sure lol

Editor .
Joined: 09.10.2018

An amusing theory Regular smile

Joined: 21.10.2012


As stated before, to "be cooking" or "to have something cooking" (or "brewing") usually means to have a plan or a scheme- not neccesarily negative- in motion.

As for the... other theory, I won´t even bother to dignify it by taking it seriously enough to comment.

Joined: 15.02.2019

As said before, to "be cooking" or "to have some thing cooking" (or "brewing") normally manner to have a plan or a scheme- now not neccesarily terrible- in movement.

As for the... different idea, I received´t even bother to dignify it via taking it seriously sufficient to remark.

Joined: 31.08.2018

Since you're discussing the phrase, here is one way it is used, although not the same as the 60s song.

Bing Crosby is talking to Louis Armstrong. "Well, I'm a busy man Louis. I got a lotta big deals cookin'. I was probably tied up at the studio."

Super Member
Joined: 21.10.2018

Speaking of English slang you may have already figured this one out but with the line "And now you're cuttin' out on me" the term "cuttin' out" or "cutting out" is a verb that means "to leave" or "to depart"

Some people call it jive talk which was VERY popular when the Elvis song that you were translating came out. My proof:

Joined: 07.02.2019

Full disclosure: I was an American teenager in the 1960s and so ...

"I heard that you were cookin', baby
Way on the other side of town."

This means that Elvis's girl was cheating on him. The implication of "cookin'" is that she's doing something "romantic" with another guy. In 1960, this was most likely PG- or R-rated (rather than X-rated as it might be interpreted today).

"And now you're cuttin' out on me"

The implication is cruel: Elvis's gal dumped him for another guy!

As an aside, the most common secondary use of the word "cutting" is very mundane and not really slang at this point in time. It refers to ducking out the door. School kids often get in trouble for "cutting school" or "cutting class." And "cutting your job" to go to the beach for the day can get you fired.

Editor .
Joined: 09.10.2018

Thanks so much, James. Nothing like a first-hand account.

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