Learn the Lingo

by | July 13, 2020 | General | 1 comment

I ran across a list of slang terms from the 1960’s that don’t get used very often these days. You remember the ‘60’s, don’t you? It was in all the papers. For the historically challenged among us, that was the era of hippies, long hair, tie-dyed t-shirts, anti-war protests, casual drug usage, and the sexual revolution. Remember the slogan “Make love, not war”? See how many of these you were guilty of saying, and how many still apply today.

Far out – This doesn’t mean you took a wrong turn and wound up in Teaneck, New Jersey by mistake. It means you approve, as in “Far out, man!”

Bummer/Bummed Out – Although this could apply to a homeless guy asking for spare change, it really refers to being sad, like “I got my latest royalty check and was really bummed out.” Also heard as “Man, that’s a bummer!”

Foxy – An undeniable sex appeal. It’s also been used as Foxy Lady and Stone Fox. Why are foxes considered sexy, instead of coyotes or wolves? I guess “Wolfy lady” doesn’t have the same ring. A word of caution: if you call a woman by either of those names today, you may find yourself listed alongside Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby.

Gimme some skin – This refers to a handshake, not a Plastic Surgeon’s order to his Nurse.

What’s your bag? – This one confused me, because I’ve heard it used in reference to one’s occupation or skill, as in “That’s my bag.” The original meaning was “What’s your problem?”

Bippy – All the times I watched “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in,” where the word originated, I had no idea that bippy meant posterior. Now the phrase “You bet your sweet bippy” takes on a whole new meaning.

Can you dig it? – Yeah, man, I understand you perfectly. Now let me get back to this hole I dug so I can finish diggin’ it.

Old lady – A term of endearment for one’s wife or girlfriend, and not to be confused with “My old man.” For the current consequences of using this term, reference “Foxy” above.

Freak flag – I had never heard of this one, but Jimi Hendrix coined it to mean “The weirdest person in the room.” I.e., “I’m flyin’ my freak flag tonight!”

Hang loose – Relax and chill, dude!

Fuzz – The police. No one seems sure why hippies chose to refer to law enforcement officers as Fuzz, but it still gets used.

Lay it on me – No, this isn’t an invitation to be a human mattress. It means “Tell me what’s on your mind.”

Bogart – To hoard all of the grass and not share your joint with the rest of the party. Inspired by Humphrey Bogart’s habit of letting a cigarette dangle from his lips. There was a song lyric that said “Don’t Bogart that joint, my friend, save some for me.”

It’s a gas – Anything guaranteed to make you laugh or feel good. Also used to describe the menu at Taco Bell.

Foam domes – The act of stuffing one’s bra with Kleenex. Refer to the movie “Animal House” for an example.

Grass – Still used as an acronym for marijuana, along with reefer, joint and hashish.

Heavy – Today this could be an ad for Weight Watchers, but it referred to emotional weight. “That’s some heavy stuff, dude!”

Submarine races – Describing two people being intimate in a parked car in the dark, as in “Let’s go to the shore and watch the submarine races.”

Bread – Money. Cash. Greenbacks. Fundage.

Split – As in “I’m outta here, man!”

Surprisingly absent from the list were groovy, cool, Doobie, and get it on. I wonder how people 50 years from now will regard our current slang usage? I can see it now—a couple of philosophers reading old tweets and pontificating on the meaning of things like bling, Po-po, PNP, ROFLMAO, Five-O, 4-1-1, and “Where all da freaks at?”

Tim Smith

Tim Smith is an award-winning bestselling author. His books range from romantic mystery/thriller to contemporary erotic romance. He is also a freelance photographer. When he isn't pursuing those two careers he can often be found in The Florida Keys, indulging his passion for parasailing between research and seeking out the perfect Pina Colada.

1 Comment

  1. Lisabet Sarai

    Hey, Tim!

    Quite a few of these are still in my vocabulary. And I can’t identify half of the “current” slang terms at the end of your post!

    I never heard “submarine races”, though.

    And I think “foxy” has survived the ravages of time, at least in erotica.

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