LORELAI: Hey, am I too far from the curb?
RORY: Oh, you’re within five feet.
LORELAI: Close enough for jazz.
Close enough for jazz is American slang meaning “near enough, good enough”. It comes from musician’s slang meaning that a particular tuning, for example, would be “good enough (to play) jazz”. It is of course an immensely annoying phrase for jazz musicians.
RORY: You know what I love most about Harvard?
LORELAI: No, what?
RORY: They don’t sell giant foam fingers.
LORELAI: No, they’ve got class out the wazoo.
Outsized hands cut out of foam are sports paraphernalia worn on the hand to show support for a particular team. They have been in use since the late 1970s.
The wazoo is American slang for “the anus”. To have a particular attribute “out of the wazoo” means to have it in abundance or to excess.
LORELAI: Are we allowed to be hearing this [lecture]?
RORY: I don’t know.
LORELAI: They wouldn’t charge you a hundred bucks or something just for listening to part of a class?
RORY: I don’t think Harvard would nickel and dime people like that.
To “nickel and dime” is an Americanism meaning to fleece a customer by charging small amounts of money for various extra services which greatly increase the overall price. Rory is presumably being ironic by saying that a hundred dollar charge would be “nickel and dime” stuff.
LORELAI: They just force someone on you?
RORY: It’s all part of the socialising experience.
LORELAI: What if it’s a lemon?
RORY: Then I’m stuck with a lemon.
LORELAI: Hare Krishna banging a tambourine all night?
RORY: Then I have to get earplugs.
LORELAI: Serial murderer?
RORY: Then I sleep with a gat strapped to my ankle.
In American slang, a lemon is a worthless person or object. It dates from the early 20th century, and was originally criminal slang meaning “loser, simpleton” – perhaps with the idea that they were people that the criminal could “suck the juice from”.
In American slang, a gat is a gun. It is short for Gatling gun, the early machine gun invented by Richard Gatling for use during the American Civil War. The criminal slang was especially prevalent during the Prohibition era of the 1920s.
It is perhaps apt that Rory and Lorelai use criminal slang while trespassing.
In a later season, Rory does indeed get a college room mate forced upon her unexpectedly.
STUDENT: Okay. So I’ll see you in class. And maybe at that Phi Kap party tonight?
STUDENT: Cool. Bye.
Ginchy is dated teen slang meaning “cool, neat, sexy”. The word was popularised by “Kookie” Kookson, played by Edd Byrnes, in the hit private detective television series 77 Sunset Strip, which aired from 1958 to 1964. Kookie, who was a wisecracking, hair-combing hipster and assistant to the detectives, is an obvious forerunner to the character of Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli on Happy Days.
The word ginchy is 1930s slang related to ginch, meaning an attractive woman.
LORELAI: I’m fine. Everything’s fine. I figured once I got the shoes to match the dress, the rest was just gravy.
Slang meaning that anything extra is just a bonus.
MICHEL: This is a felony, you know, corrupting a minor. We’ll all end up in the pokey [for trying to get Rory into a nightclub].
RORY (imitating Michel’s pronunciation): He’s right. We’re all going to the pooky.
LORELAI: Sweetie, don’t say “pooky”. It’s creepy.
Pokey is American slang for “gaol”, dating to the early 20th century. It’s a variant of pogey, 19th century British slang for a poorhouse.