20 Slang Terms From the 1970s No One Uses Anymore
Drop that lava lamp and those bellbottoms by the door.
The seventies get a bad rap. When people talk about the decade, they focus on all the embarrassing stuff like Pet Rocks, Watergate, shag carpeting, and disco music. Sure, there was a lot about the 70s that was cringe-worthy. But it also had some of the most colorful, over the top slang of the 20th century. And if you don’t believe us, well baby, you can just keep on truckin.
Put on your best polyester suit, crank up the Bee Gees on your 8-track player, and revisit some of the best worst slang of the Me Decade. On the other side of this spectrum, take a look at 40 Words People Over 40 Won’t Understand.
Catch you on the flip-side
The other side of today is tomorrow, so to catch you on the flip side means to see you again tomorrow. Yeah, we know, it doesn’t make sense to us either. And for more great out-dated slang, check out the terms from the 1950s that seem hilariously dated now.
Example: “I got to run, but I’ll catch you on the flip side.”
Do me a solid
A solid is a favor because, um… favors aren’t liquid? When you do someone a solid, you’re helping them out in a big way.
Example: “Would you do me a solid and give me a ride to the airport?”
To dance, but to do so in an especially enthusiastic way. Ideally, while being accompanied by disco music.
Example: “That ABBA song makes me want to boogie down.”
When something is presented, and then quietly taken away. A taunting word for a jovial denial.
Example: “Oh, you want a piece of gum? Sure, here you go. (pulls it away.) Psyche!”
If you find a woman’s body especially attractive, you might say she was built like a brick house. As in: Well put together, proportionally perfect. If you want a brickhouse body, find out What Celebrities with Perfect Bodies Do Every Day.
Example: “That girl is so fine, she’s a brick house.”
Stop dipping in my Kool-Aid
When somebody is up in your business and they won’t leave you alone, just tell them to stop dipping in your Kool-Aid. Your Kool-Aid, in this equation, is your business, and the dipper is the person who won’t leave you alone.
Example: “I told you I don’t want to talk about my divorce. Stop dipping in my Kool-Aid.”
What a fry
If someone is acting unusual or wacky, you could accuse them of being a fry. Were French fries especially kooky during the 70s? It appears so.
Example: “Did you hear that Steve went streaking last weekend? What a fry!”
An authority figure. It could mean the police, the government, or even your parents. Anyone with the power to take your fun away. And speaking of the Man, here are 20 U.S. Government Secrets They Don’t Want You to Know.
Example: “I wish I was doing better, but the Man is keeping me down.”
He’s not just a lovable dorky character in Meatballs. Being a spaz is a state of awkward, spastic, bumbling energy. If you’re spazzing out, you have lost all control of your limbs and anything approaching rational thinking.
Example: “Whoa, I think you’ve had too much coffee. Don’t be such a spaz!”
You’re not ordering a side dish at a barbecue place. Rather, it’s expression of approval.
Example: “Sure, I’d love to see a movie tonight. That’d be cool beans.”
10-4, good buddy
When you’re talking to somebody on a CB radio and you want them to know you’ve heard what they just said. During the 70s, an actual CB radio was not required to use this slang. It wasn’t just truckers who wanted to talk like truckers.
Example: “10-4, good buddy. I hear you loud and clear.”
Take a chill pill
No such drug existed. The “chill pill” mentioned here is entirely figurative. However you do it, you need to caaaaalm down! If you need to chill, try this 24-Hour Guide to Stress Relief.
Example: “Hey, hey, take a chill pill, dude. You’re going to get us all killed!”
Sit on it
This insult from Fonzie on Happy Days pretended the slang’s origins were in the 50s. But actually, “sit on it”—a nicer way of saying “shut up”—didn’t catch on until the 70s.
Example: “I’ve had about enough from you. Sit on it!”
If someone isn’t all there, and their attention span is the equivalent of somebody floating through space, staring at nothing in particular, then they definitely qualify as a space cadet.
Example: “Take a look at that space cadet. He’s in his own little world.”
Out to lunch
Again, not a slang term to be taken literally. There’s no eating involved. Instead, it connotes confusion. Whatever they’re trying to understand makes no sense to them. They must’ve been out to lunch when it was explained.
Example: “I have no idea what any of that means. I’m out to lunch.”
You want to call something bogus, but you don’t have time or energy to pronounce the “gus” part. It’s like Millennial speak, but with more chest hair.
Example: “He blew you off again? That’s bogue.”
When you want the whole truth and nothing but the truth, you ask for the skinny. Because, well, apparently the truth had a high metabolism in the 70s. If you’re trying to shed some pounds, check out the Single Greatest Way to Lose Weight at Work.
Example: “Yes I want to know who she was with last night. Give me the skinny!”
Lay a gasser
Yes, more slang for that.
Example: “You might want to leave the room. I just laid a gasser.”
To the max!
When something is taken to the extreme, and it couldn’t possibly be more wild or crazy, you have reached the maximum level of awesomeness.
Example: “We’re gonna have some fun tonight to the max!”
Meant as an insult to disco dancers. Calling them Stella means you think they’re arrogant and full of themselves. Unless their name really is Stella, then your insult is just a friendly hello.
Example: “Naw, don’t invite her to the party. She’s a total Stella.”
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