Saturday, January 16, 2016

70's Slang Words/Phrases

When I think of the 70's, I think of the greatest rock and roll music ever. It is now included in a music genre that is known today as 'classic rock.' Besides being the best decade for rock and roll, the 70's also held its own in terms of slang words and/or phrases.

I grew up in the 60's and 70's. For sure, the best slang words/phrases came from the 60's...

"Can you dig it?"
"Far Out!"
"Right On!"
"Outta sight!"
"Heavy man!"
"Hey Man!"
"What a drag!"

...and many of those terms carried on into the 70's.

"Groovy," a favorite word for anything fun, cool, or interesting. “Far out!”, “Outta sight!” and "Right on" were phrases you could use to respond to something that was beyond groovy.

While those words/phrases covered a lot of ground, it certainly didn't end there in the 70's. The hippest smooth talkers of the 70's had a lingo all their own -- all our own. Like the African-American jazz musicians of the day, we were “cool cats, baby!” Hahaha.

"Can you dig it?"
"Right on, man!"

The 70's were my teenage years. Many slang terms came from TV shows and movies:

"Looking Good" (Chico and the Man)
"Dy-no-mite!" (J.J. on Good Times)
"Up Your Nose With A Rubber Hose!" (Welcome Back, Kotter)
“Well Excuuuuse me!” (Saturday Night Live/Steve Martin)
“May the force be with you” (Star Wars, 1977)

The 70's CB radio craze gave us...
"10-4, Good Buddy" and "What's your 20?"

Slang sarcasm replies were the rage in the 70's...

"Your Mother," which became "Your Mama," which became "Joe Mama."

Other slang sarcasm replies were:
"Buzz off!"
"Smooth move, Ex Lax!"
"Take a chill pill!
or, "Chill out!"
and one that I used quite often

..."NO DUH!"

Greetings and taking your leave in the 70's were never as simple as hello and goodbye. You greeted someone with "What it is?" or "What's up blood?" or "Slap me some skin" or "Gimme some skin, man!" or "Gimme me five, man!" or "What it is!" or "What's happenin' man?" or "What's up, dude?"

On your way out the door you might say “Peace out” or "Catch You On The Flip-side!" or "Check You Later!" or "I'm Audie!" or "Let's Boogie!" or "Let's book it!" or "Pardy, Hardy!" or "Rock On!"

If you liked something, you said "Cool" or "Stellular" or "Tubular!" or "That's wicked" or "Cool Beans" or "Dude!" or "Tough" or my favorite


Speaking of 'Dude,' the opposite was 'Dudette.' We also called her "Foxy Mama!"

If you liked something, you said: "Outta Sight!" or "Neato!" or "Killer," which meant "COOL!"

Invitations ended with, "Be there or be square!"

"Bad" meant "very good," as in "The new Foghat album is BAD!"

Everything ended with the word 'City.'

"Keep On Truckin'" meant "Move that lunch line along!"

In the latter half of the 70s, disco ruled the clubs and launched some famous slang into the popular vocabulary. If someone you know started to dance, you gave them encouragement with a hearty, "Get Down" or "Boogie!" or "Let It All Hang Out!" or “Shake your groove thing or, thang.”

One of the biggest songs that came out of the 70's is "Play That Funky Music" by Wild Cherry (1976). While the term “Funky” evolved out of the music scene, it came to mean something cool and different, rather than its original musical connotation.

Marijuana users said "Hey man, don't "Bogart" that joint," which meant don't hog it, pass it along. Marijuana users always had their "Stash," which was their personal supply of contraband.

Speaking of...if I were real hungry, I would 'scarf' down an entire bag of chips.

To be cool or hip in the 50's and 60's meant you were "the Bomb." To be 'otherwise' but to think you might be cool in the 70's meant you were a "Jive Turkey."

Speaking of jive, the term “Jive Talking” encompassed the entire subset of slang, but within the jive vocabulary, it meant you were spouting nonsense or speaking in a way that was difficult to understand (Airplane, 1980).

A favorite slang term in the hallways at my high school was "Sike." It was said if someone faked you put (pulled your leg) in some way.

A Scandinavian origin for the word 'Slang' suggests the same root as that of 'Sling,' which means "to throw" and notes that 'Slang' is a thrown language, a quick, honest way to make your point.

When he was in elementary school, my oldest son one day described something as being "tight." Although I didn't understand it, he was using a slang word for 'cool.' While slang words/phrases change with time, I am hoping that many of the words/phrases I used in the 60's and 70's will at least hang around for a while longer. I am doing my part to keep them going.

Well, it's time to "split the scene." "Y'all keep it real!


  1. Don't forget "Try It You'll Like It."

  2. "Heavy" and "Solid" (sometimes spoofed as a near pun, "Salad")


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