20 Slang Terms From the 1960s No One Uses Anymore
Can you dig it?
Ah, the '60s. It was a decade that gave us JFK, Vietnam, the Beatles, and hippies. It also gave us some of the best slang of the 20th century. Can you dig it? If your knowledge of '60s slang is limited to what you remember from Austin Powers movies, it's time to give yourself a refresher course in the grooviest, most outta sight slang from that bygone era of bell bottoms and mop-tops. And as long as you're feeling nostalgic for the past, check out these 25 Things That Were Considered Scandalous 100 Years Ago But Are Totally Normal Now.
In 1960s slang, if something is far out or "out of sight," it's meant as a compliment. You approve of it. But only in the figurative sense. It's not literally outside your field of vision or defying gravity. And for more on outdated slang, check out the words from the 50s no one uses anymore.
Example: "Have you listened to the new Beatles record? It is far out, baby!"
When things aren't going your way and you're a little sad about it, that's a bummer. It comes from the phrase "bum rap," which means to be treated unfairly. A bummer is never deserved.
Example: "She cancelled our date again. What a bummer."
Applicable to either a man or woman, in '60s slang "foxy" denotes an undeniable sex appeal. Why are foxes sexier than, say, coyotes or wolves? Why not "Hey baby, you're looking wolfy?" We have no idea. Foxy may not be a go-to compliment today, but don't worry: Here are 30 Things Women Always Want to Hear.
Example: "You are one foxy lady. Can I have your number?"
Gimme some skin
Don't get any crazy ideas. If someone asks you to give them some skin, they're merely asking you to shake hands.
Example: "Good to see you again! Gimme some skin!"
What's your bag?
We're not talking about luggage. In '60s slang, your bag symbolizes your problems, the mysterious annoyance that's making you so obviously upset.
Example: "Dude, you don't have to yell at me! What's your bag?"
Your rear end, or posterior. This piece of '60s slang originated from the TV show Laugh-In, back when television was still the most influential media in the world.
Example: "You bet your sweet bippy I'm interested."
Can you dig it?
Don't worry, nobody's asking you to grab a shovel and dig a hole. Digging something means you understand what's being said.
Example: "I get the last piece of pizza. Can you dig it?"
It may sound like a pet name for your grandma, but old lady is actually a term of endearment for your girlfriend or wife. And if you want to show your old lady how much you care, check out these 30 Ways to Be a (Much) Better Husband.
Example: "Nah, can't hit the clubs tonight. My old lady is waiting for me at home."
When Jimi Hendrix declared in the song "If 6 Was 9" that he was "gonna wave my freak flag high," he created a whole new way of announcing that you're the weirdest one in the room.
Example: "Oh, it's going to get wild tonight. I'm going to let me freak flag fly."
If you've opted to spend your day taking it easy and relaxing, then you are officially hanging loose. If you haven't had a hang-loose day in way too long, here are 30 Easy Ways to Fight Stress.
Example: "I was going to go to the office today, but I think I'll just hang loose instead."
Why policemen were called the Fuzz during the 60s is anybody's guess. Could it be the military style crew cuts that cops preferred during that decade? Possibly, but we may never know.
Example: "You better put that away unless you want to get busted by the fuzz."
Lay it on me
It may sound like an invitation to be used as a human mattress, but the "it" being laid on you is actually more conversational than physical. "Lay it on me" is a hippie slang way of saying, "Tell me what's on your mind."
Example: "Do I want to hear your thoughts the Cold War? Lay it on me!"
If you've been hogging all the good stuff and not giving anybody else a turn, you're bogarting it. This piece of '60s slang was inspired by actor Humphrey Bogart's tendency to let a cigarette dangle in his mouth for way longer than was necessary.
Example: "Don't bogart all the popcorn, let the rest of us get a chance."
It's a gas
The Rolling Stones probably weren't talking about 19th century nitrous oxide parties—the slang's origin—when they sang about "a gas gas gas" in their hit song "Jumpin' Jack Flash." During the 60s, a gas was any activity likely to inspire laughter.
Example: "You gotta make it to my party tonight. It's gonna be a gas."
This is the Animal House-era reference to the act of putting Kleenexes in one's bra.
Example: "You won't catch me ever wearing foam domes!"
Yes, it's a shorthand for marijuana. And for more about marijuana and its health effects, here's everything you need to know about what it does to your body.
Example: "You want to smoke some grass before the show?"
It has nothing to do with somebody's weight. This kind of heavy is all about emotional weight. The Beatles "She's So Heavy" was meant as a compliment, not as a suggestion to start dieting. If you're worried about the other kind of heavy, here's the Secret to Avoiding Winter Weight Gain.
For some reason, this was a slang term for people being intimate in a parked car. Who knew?
Example: "The cops nearly busted all of the submarine races at Lookout Point last night."
Money. Cash. Dinero. The green stuff. You gotta have some on you at all times. Don't believe us? Here's Why Real Men Carry Cash.
Example: "I need a job, man. I'm almost out of bread."
When you're done and ready to get out of there, it's time to split. Not in a literal sense, of course. Your body isn't being ripped in half. We hope not, anyway.
Example: "Wish I could stick around, fellas, but I gotta split."
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