Can You Translate These Slang Words From the '80s?


By: Robin Tyler

6 Min Quiz

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Bro, like can you dig where I am coming from on this slang quiz? We bet you'll be totally bad at it!

If you were an '80s kid then your love of neon, Madonna, tie-dye and aerobics are only matched by your love of '80s slang. And how you want it to replace modern slang, which let's be honest, can go eat our shorts. Lit? More like Loser with a capital L!

Don't have a cow though, dude, this gnarly quiz will get you in that '80s mood all over again! A time when men could have perms, women could wear shoulder pads and where the slang was as gnarly as it got. Chee'uh! Am I right? Whether you are a geek, a nerd, a zeek or had a bod, you are going to TOTALLY remember all these slang terms from the 1980's. Right?

Word! This dope quiz is totally tubular. So let's see just how much about the 1980's, and the unique slang it offered, you remember. Some slang will be very obvious, while other words and terms will push your knowledge of the cultural zeitgeist to its limits. No sweat dudette! You got this! Good luck!

If you were totally "bad" in the '80s you were ______?

When cool just wouldn't cut it anymore, the '80s produced a new term. And that term was "bad". Yes, if you were bad, you were the coolest of the cool. Even Michael Jackson called one of his albums "Bad". And it was really good!


What does "take a chill pill" mean?

This staple of '80s slang was used when you just wanted someone to calm down. Like telling your hysterical friend that her crush would phone her at some point. "Denise, take a chill pill. He will phone you after football practice!"


"Totally" became an instant favorite in the 1980s. What meaning did it have?

"Dude, your surfboard is like totally awesome." When you needed to emphasise just how cool or lame something was, you could add a 'totally' before your choice of words. It's a total bummer that this answer is finished!


If your friend said something was looking "choice", it meant?

"Choice", in most cases, was meant as a sign of approval. For example, "that hairstyle is looking choice today". It could also be used to express envy as well. "Your Camaro is choice, dude... you are so lucky."


When your friend said "gag me with a spoon" they mean what exactly?

Let's be honest, "gag me with a spoon" sounds terrible. And what it meant was disapproval. "You're wearing THAT shirt? Gag me with a spoon."


The word "phat" meant what in the 1980's?

Something that was "phat" was certainly cool or awesome. No, this has nothing to do with your weight at all. And how would it be used? Well, like this. "Those new jeans of yours are phat."


"Let's bounce" meant what exactly?

Any cool cats from the 1980s knew what it meant to "bounce". Yes, it had nothing to do with smoking and everything to do with leaving. "Let's bounce this sad party" meant you were leaving.


If you were labeled a "zeek" you were what exactly?

Yes, if you were a "zeek" then you were a geek with some sex appeal. And that made you attractive to those outside the geek circle. "That Martin, he is such a zeek, do you have his phone number?" is an example of how the word would be used.


Those said to have a "bod" were known for their?

Without a doubt, the fitness craze of the 1980's, which saw gyms become popular, led to a lot of "bods". And this was simply a person with a muscular or toned physique.


What does "chee'uh" mean?

To pronounce "chee'uh" pretend to say cheetah without the T. A popular phrase from the movie "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventures", it can be used as an exclamation of approval or excitement. "We going to the concert tonight?" "Chee'uh!"


"Bag your face" is something teenagers might say to each other in the 1980s. What does it mean?

Another way to call someone ugly was to tell them to "bag their face," as if they were so hideous they needed to wear a bag on their head.


When someone used "gnarly" to describe something, they meant it was _______?

To a surfer, "gnarly" means dangerous or difficult to do. To an '80s kid, "gnarly" was simply cool or awesome. For example, "Your He Man action figure is gnarly, dude."


"Don't have a cow, man" means?

And we have Bart Simpson to thank for this late '80s classic. "Having a cow" generally meant for someone not to get upset or lose their cool.


The term "duh" closely matches which word below?

"Maybe I shouldn't have worn a Giants shirt to an Eagles game?" And the logical reply from someone to this would be, "Duh!"


In the 1980s, when you were looking for "grindage", you wanted what?

Pauly Shore, it seems, gave us the word "grindage". And what does it mean. Well, simply put, helping yourself to some food and eating it like there is no tomorrow.


If something was "totally tubular" it was _______?

Simply put, something "totally tubular" was remarkable, incredible, off the hook! And how would it be used in a sentence? Like this! "Dude, that movie was totally tubular, especially that car chase!"


What does "that's grody" mean?

Something that is gross was often describe as "grody" in the 1980s. We're not talking normally gross, we're talking extremely gross here. "When he barfed up his pizza, it was grody to the max!"


A true classic from the 1980's, what does "word" mean?

Used as punctuation, "word" is normally used as a term of agreement. "This party will be off the hook." "Word."


If someone asked you, "What's your damage?" What do they mean?

"Why did you eat my pop tart, what's your damage?" Essentially, it means, "What's your problem?" Or, "Why did you do what you did?" Some classic slang from the 1980s, that's for sure.


"Barf me out" shows that you are ______?

When "gag me with a spoon" doesn't cover it, 80's slang users would turn to "barf me out'. This meant you were totally put off by the situation. It may be used in the following way, "Why is he wearing black to the school dance? That barfs me out."


When someone says they were "amped", they were?

Anyone who was "amped" was extremely excited. Someone might say, "Can't wait to see Michael Jackson tonight, I am sooooooo amped!"


What does the '80s slang term "bitchin'" mean?

People in the '80s loved to use terms and turn their meaning around. So "bitchin'" does not mean moaning, but it actually means something is incredible. As in "Cyndi Lauper's new hairdo is bitchin'."


When accused of been a "bogart", what were you doing?

No, you weren't acting if you were a "bogart". Instead, you were accussed of been selfish and hogging something to yourself. For instance, "Dude, don't bogart all that popcorn, pass some my way."


If you "dis" someone in the '80s, what are you doing?

You know what "dis" means right? Don't "dis" me by not knowing! Everybody knows! It's just short for disrespect. As in "Don't dis me, yo!"


A friend who asked for a "freddy" wanted what?

In short a "freddy" was a beer. Isn't it easy to just to say beer? Well, I hope those "freddys" were cold at least.


School consisted of various groups. Who were the "jocks"?

Dead easy, right. Everyone knows who the "jocks" are. Football team members are always the "jocks" and other athletic people as well. Definitely the opposite of the "geeks".


Mom bought you new "kicks". What did she get you?

And still today, shoes are known as "kicks". It did originate in the 1980's though. And it is the perfect slang word in many ways, don't you think?


"Later days" means?

Someone who said "later days" was leaving. It was essentially them saying goodbye. Many people just shortened it to "later" or "laters", however. As in "See you later."


A friend labelled a "narc" was a ______

If someone was labelled a "narc" they were a sell out. For example, perhaps they told the teacher that it was you who took her apple. "Dude, don't be a narc!"


That dude's "Pac Man" means what exactly?

You can see the correlation, right? Pac Man ate all the dots, cherries, bananas and ghosts so a "Pac Man" is someone that just eats anything but still remains hungry all the time!


When something was "righteous" it was?

"Totally righteous, dude!" It's not difficult to see what this means. "Righteous", simply put, is awesome, brilliant, amazing or any such word!


How "sick" is the new kid means?

Anything that was "sick" was amazing. You could have "sick" shoes, parents, pets, sports gear. You name it and it could be "sick", just as long as you thought it was. You could never be "sick" sick, however.


A "space cadet" is someone who?

If your friend was a "space cadet" in the 1980s, they sort of just floated along with the group. These people were oblivous to most things, stuck in their own little worlds.


When walking into a room, if someone said "Sup" to you, what were they saying?

"Sup bro?" Essential, what's happening buddy? This was a classic slang term from the 1980's that many still use today! Only the good ones live on for decades!


If you asked your friend to go skate but he wanted to "veg" what was he going to do?

Another classic that remains in use today, to "veg" means that someone is going to chill and relax. No, it has nothing to do with eating or peeling vegetables!


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