1960s Slang

Welcome to 1960s Slang

The Sixties like any other decade had its own unique problems, concerns and good times. And like any other decade it had its own lingo and cultural slang.

Social unrest, an unpopular war, civil rights abuses, growing drug usage and a general distrust of Government provided plenty to draw from for 1960s slang lingo.

Most of what you’ll read here is unique to the sixties, some however are words or phrases that were popular in the past but took on new meanings in this decade.

Please take your time and meander through these lists letting your memory try to picture where you where or how you might have used some of these 1960s slang words …

A – C

Want to know how we talked in the Sixties, Read On ……

A

Acid the drug LSD (courtesy of Cheri Jones)
 Afro a natural hairstyle for African Americans
All Show and No Go someone or something that’s pretty but has no substance
Alright an enthusiastic yes or agreement with something
Amped or Amped up maximum of something, also refers to state of mind
Ape or Ape-shxx crazy or out of control
Are we having fun yet? taken literally (comes from a 60’s cartoon character, Zippy the Pinhead)
Around the Bend to be crazy or strange
Ate it to be damaged or wounded

B

Babe cute girl or any girl
Back off an order given to stop a confrontation or undesired action
Bad good or very good, great
Badass someone who is tough, to be feared
Bad scene unpleasant place or event
Bad Trip unpleasant experience (not necessarily drugs)
Bag (verb) to steal or get when it doesn’t belong to you
Bag (noun) someone’s deal, could be their hobby or job
Baggies loose oversized shorts or swim trunks (worn by surfers)
Bail to leave a place
Ball to have coitus (intercourse)
Bang (same as above)
Beats Me I don’t know, not knowing something
Beef a fight, complaint or grudge
Bell Bottoms copying a navel pant, popular style of 60’s pant (courtesy of Cheri Jones)
Blacklight a light that accentuated psychedelic posters (courtesy of Cheri Jones)
Bent crazy or out of it
Berries the best, terrific or oppositely to tease, be mean (thanks to Ken Johnson)
Big Brother symbolized anyone in authority specially government
Bitchin really good or fun (courtesy of Ron Sieber)
Black a term for African Americans which replaced the word Negro
Blast good or great (same as bitchin but more family friendly)
Blitzed drunk, high or generally out of it
Blow Your Mind to be amazed by something
Bogart to hog something, to not pass something along
Book to leave a place
Boss best of, groovy (courtesy of: Frances England)
Bought It to die, or be killed (courtesy of Steven Allen)
Bread money
Brew beer only (not hard liquor)
Bug (verb) to bother or annoy
Broad an un-polite term for a woman (courtesy of Ethan Stopczynski)
Bug (noun) a Volkswagen Beetle
Bug Out to leave, quickly (courtesy of Frances England)
Bummer a downer or bad time, depressing, anything that is bad, a person, place or thing
Burn rubber to accelerate hard and fast and leave tire tracks
Busted arrested or caught also broke, no money

C

Cancer Sticks cigarettes (courtesy of Paige Fruit)
Candyass someone who is a wimp or afraid to do something
Cannabis the plant that marijuana is from
Catch 22 from a book title of same name, meant circular logic (thank you Cheri Jones)
Cats refers to people (courtesy of Mackenzie)
Cherry something that is near perfect or in great condition also a virgin
Chick the most common word for a female, usually a young female
Chicken (noun) someone who’s afraid
Chicken (verb) a game of bluff, sometimes played with cars
Chill or Chill Out calm down, relax, stop what you’re doing
Chinese Fire Drill fun at a stoplight, everybody gets out of the car and switches sides
Cool good, absolutely anything good (the most used word in the 60’s language, every sentence would have several “cool’s” and yes it was originally a 50s thing)
Cooties an imaginary germ that uncool people can have (courtesy of Lucien Laventure)
Cop a Feel to get to 2nd base or higher with a girl, sometimes inappropriately
Copasetic no problem or you didn’t get caught
Crash go to sleep or pass out
Crash Pad a place to sleep and feel safe
Crock a lie or a load of lies
Cruising driving by a place numerous times looking for fun, “cruising the strip”

NEXT: Slang D-H
Think of one I missed? Email it to me and I’ll credit the addition to you! (Please mention if you think it would fit better in 1960s Slang or 1950s Slang)

Michael Rich :