The Moon Is a Harsh MistressIn Heinlein’s The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, a computer mechanic says this to a dame who’s just cracked wise: “Don’t jump salty, beautiful. Name a gift. Then speak my name. If it’s bread-and-honey, I own a hive.

I googled “jump salty,” my new favorite expression, and found references dating back to 1938 black street slang. But how to incorporate it into my own argot?

Paired with nouns of direct address like “pops” or “junior” or “bright eyes,” maybe … “Don’t jump salty, doll face” … “Don’t jump salty, padre” … stuff like that.

None of which would sound remotely believable coming from me. Not without an unfiltered cigarette dangling from my lips and a highball in my hand.