Slang enters our language ever yday. Some terms, such as "kiss up" forever enter our language. Others, such as "groovy," are forever cemented in time as a relic of when flower power reigned and the U.S. struggled in the quagmire that was the Vietnam War.
At this time, almost half of the U.S. population was 18 years old. Color TV was new. Black and white TV was on its way out. Ninety-five percent of U.S. households had at least one TV . The British Invasion kicked off with the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show.
This decade was also a time of great cultural upheaval. President John F. Kennedy was shot in Dallas. The Civil Rights Movement was still working hard for equal rights. By the end of the decade, hippies just wanted to celebrate peace and love at Woodstock.
The youth of the 1960s had a significant impact on the language used. Even though a word may have been coined significantly earlier, it stay may have gained wide use in this era. Since the U.S. population was so young, odds are if teens were using a word, it probably caught on.
Now, let's go back to a time when the Fab Four had mop-tops and everybody hung loose. Will you be able to keep up with this 1960s slang? Find out if you remember the 1960s or if this reads like gibberish to you!
The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English traces the phrase to 1966. However, The Oxford English Dictionary believes the first printed reference was in the Denton Record Chronicle, a Texas newspaper.
"Go ape" can have good or bad connotations. Someone can "go ape" over something they love, such as a band or a restaurant.
Bug didn't get the meaning "to bother" until the 1950s at the earliest. However, the word was used to mean a computer malfunction in the 1940s
The expression "chrome dome" dates to 1962. It was also used to describe a type of helmet used in Vietnam that protected U.S. soldiers from the sun.
You can also "crash a party," which means to invite yourself. If you want to sleep at someone else's house, you may "crash at their place."
The exact history of the word zilch is not known. However, the Oxford English Dictionary believes the word was first published in a 1966 collection of slang at the University of South Dakota.
While unglued literally means to separate two things, the figurative meaning can be traced back to the 1920s.
PR man Tony Barrow coined the term "Fab Four" for the Beatles. He used it in a press release and it stuck.
While the origin of "dibs" is not clear, the word is believed to have originated in the United States. The word may be a contraction of dibstone, which was a jack as in the children's game.
The current meaning of bummer comes from the 1960s. However, in the 1980s, a "bummer" was a "loafer" or someone who was good-for-nothing. The second meaning may come from the German word "bummler," which shares the "loafer" definition.
In the 1950s and the 1960s, "Chinese fire drill" became associated with car culture. It could mean a game that takes place at a red light or an accident that causes a scene of confusion.
"Catch some rays" may have its origins in surf culture. In the 1960s, surf culture was based out of Southern California.
The origin of the word "cherry" in slang is unknown. While the word used to mean "new," its meaning has shifted over time to mean someone's virginity.
In 1966, "blitzed" gained this meaning. Prior to the 1960s, being blitzed would mean that you were under attack.
The first published account of "boss" meaning "cool" or "good" comes from a 1916 Issue of Dialect Notes. The word gained popularity in the 1960s. One example is "Boss Hoss," by The Sonics, which came out in 1965.
A boneyard is a place where cars and other vehicles are broken up for scrap. It is also slang for a cemetery.
In the late 1960s, "to Bogart" entered stoner slang. It comes from Humphrey Bogart, who was frequently seen smoking a cigarette in his movies.
The first known use of "grungy" was in 1965. It is believed that the word may be a portmanteau of grubby and dingy.
"Hang loose" came from 1960s surfer culture. It is also associated with a Hawaiian hand signal known as the shaka.
"Scarf" acquired its current meaning around 1960s. The Random House Unabridged Dictionary notes that it is a variant of the word scoff.
Ripoff was originally used as a verb as in "to rip off" someone. Sometime in the late 1960s, it became used as a noun.
Right has colloquially meant "very" or "extremely for a long time. However, "right-on" didn't enter American English until the late '60s.
The phrase "sock it to me" was frequently heard on "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In." In 1968, Richard Nixon appeared on the show and said the iconic line.
Timothy Leary popularized the phrase "Turn on, tune in, drop out." He named his spoken word album after it.
"The man" can be used in multiple ways. If "the man is keeping you down," you're feeling oppressed. If you're "sticking it to the man," you're fighting against authority.
While no one knows for sure where "skuzzbucket" came from, the Random House Unabridged Dictionary published that the word entered English sometime around 1965. It may come from the word "scuzzy."
The phrase was first recorded between 1965 and 1970. It was coined to imply that television is foolish and watched by foolish people.
"Groovy" evolved from jazz slang, where it meant "performing well." In the 1940s, the word shifted to mean "wonderful."
In the early 1960s, grody entered teen slang. It may be an alteration of "grotesque."
Freaking out may be good or bad. You can freak out because you're excited or because you're fearful.
Originally, riding shotgun meant to protect something while in transit. Sometime in the mid-1900s, it came to mean anyone riding in the front passenger seat.
Sponge has had the meaning "to live in a parasitic manner" since the 1670s. Originally, the person who was being taken advantage of was called the sponge, since they were "being squeezed."
In 1914, jam first acquired the slang meaning "to be in a tight spot." In the late-1920s, jam became associated with "jam session," which is an improvised performance by a band.
Someone who receives a five-finger discount may also have sticky fingers. Both deal with stealing, typically of small items.
In the '60s, a man who is decked out may be dressed in a suit similar to the ones The Beatles wore. A woman decked out may have worn an outfit inspired by Jackie Kennedy.