The 1970s was a cool era. After all, they invented (what seems like) a hundred different ways to say "cool." It was also the disco era; hello John Travolta. Wartime was over, people were relieved, and a major shift took place.
Cool 1970s Slang
You'll find that we still use a lot of this decade's lingo today. Language that goes underground for awhile tends to spring back up again. It's a bit of a cultural phenomenon and one that's probably interesting for anthropologists to consider. What follows is a list of some cool 1970s slang from the disco era.
'70s Slang for Places
Let's start with some of the most important lingo - how to get in and out of places with ease:
- Crib: Apartment or home
- I gotta skitty: I have to hurry
- Keep on steppin': Keep it moving; get out of here
- Later days: Goodbye
- Let's blow this taco stand: Let's get out of here
- Let's blow up the cheese: Let's leave
- Peace, love, and granola: A way to say goodbye
- Peace out, home fry: Goodbye
- What's your 20?: Where are you?
'70s Slang for Things
Next, we have a short list of expressions to describe various items from the 1970s. Raise your hand if you still refer to your clothes as "threads."
- Dig: As in, "Can you dig it?" when you want to know if someone understands
- Fab: Short for fabulous
- Good vibes: Positive energy
- Here's the skinny: Here's the story
- The lowdown: The truth; the story
- Rip off: Something of lesser value than was expected
- Shaggin' wagon: A van from the era that was tricked out with a bed in the back
- Threads: Clothes
'70s Slang for Experiences
There was a lot going on in the '70s. Needless to say, there were hundreds of different ways to describe the happenings of your life in this era. Let's take a look at some of the most popular expressions:
- Aww sooky sooky: Aww yeah, baby
- Bad: Good; nice
- Bomb: Hip; cool
- Bummer: Too bad
- Chillaxin': Chilling and relaxing
- Chillin' at the pad: Hanging out at home
- Colder than a deuce: No real meaning; used to add emphasis to anything (e.g., "It's colder than a deuce in here.")
- Confab: Have a conversation
- Copacetic: Alright
- Down with: Cool with
- Fake me out: Trick me
- Far out man: Very cool
- Flat leaver: Ditch someone to hang out with someone cooler
- Flower power: Choosing peace over war
- Freaks me out: Frightens or surprises me
- Freaky deaky: Very strange
- Funky: Cool
- Gig: Work or a job
- Gimme some skin: Low five
- Going around: Dating
- Good lookin': Thanks for looking out for me
- Groovy: Cool
- Hertz donut: The infliction of pain, as in, "Hurts, don't it?"
- Jeepers creepers: Oh my gosh
- Keep on truckin: Don't stop now; keep doing what you're doing
- Make groceries: Go food shopping
- To the max: Take it to the max, or all the way
- Nifty: Cool
- Off the hook: Very cool
- Out of sight: Very cool
- Radical: Cool
- Right on: Used to agree with someone or something
- Shrimp farming: Neat; cool
- Sound as a pound: All's well
- Stellar: Cool; awesome
- Stoked: Excited
- That was the joint: An event or party that was awesome
'70s Slang for People
And, of course, what would the world be without people - good, bad, or otherwise? Here's a list of cool 1970s lingo to describe people and how to interact with them:
- Are you decent?: Are you dressed?
- Are you jivin' yet?: Are you more relaxed, less serious now?
- Boogy: Dance
- Book it: To quickly run away
- Buggin' out: Freaking out
- Bugged out: Freaked out
- Casanova: A ladies' man
- Catch my drift: Understand my meaning
- Check ya later: See or talk to you later
- Cheesier: Used if you were a kid sucking up to grownups
- Chill: Relax
- Close the shades: Shut up
- Closet disco queen: Afraid to dance out at the clubs, but not home alone
- Crawford ran: A physically fit man
- Do you copy?: Do you understand?
- Don't be a bunny: Don't be stupid
- Don't be such a spaz: A klutz; silly
- Dork: Nerd
- Dorky: Nerdish
- Dream on: You'd say this to someone who's being unrealistic
- Dude: A guy; a generic term when speaking to people
- The flip side: As in, "Catch you on the flip side," or, "See you later."
- Fool that you are: Dork
- Foxy mama: A hot lady
- Hairy eyeball: Someone's sneering at you
- Hey, sunshine: Hey, beautiful
- Hey, what's crackin'?: How are you? What is happening?
- I am out to lunch: I'm confused
- I'll call you out: I'm going to fight you.
- In your face: Take that!
- Laker: Someone rude or even cruel
- Let's get our groove on: Let's dance
- The man: Any authority, corporation, police, or government
- Mind your potatoes: Mind your own business
- Psyche: To trick someone
- Putz: Klutzy or dorky person
- Say, brotha: Hey, what's up?
- Sit on it: Shut up
- Smooth play, Shakespeare: Someone did something really stupid
- Snaps: My bad
- Square biz: In agreement with
- Stone fox: A woman who's really hot
- Stop dipping in my Kool-Aid: Stay out of my business
- Ten-four, good buddy: I understand
- To go bananas: To go crazy
- Tripping: Crazy
- Up your nose with a rubber hose: I'm really mad at you
- Wally wally, blood and dolly: You're crazy about someone (in an unhealthy way)
- What a goof: A silly person
- What a grueler: An annoying person who tends to stress other people out
- What a nightmare: Something's very wrong
- What it is: What's up?
- You ain't just a woofin': You aren't just agreeing with me, are you?
- You wanna fight? Then fight these tears: Don't even try to fight me
- Youngblood: A young man; boy
For more, check out this list of cool words from the '70s. That'll give you the skinny on some other popular expressions that originated during this radical decade.
1970s and Today
Interesting, right? We still say a lot of these expressions today. Another popular decade that still carries on is the 1960s. We've got you covered there, too. Enjoy this list of 1960s slang, like when you're riding shotgun as your buddy is laying rubber.
Better yet, do the likes of Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, and other hair bands of the '80s live on in your heart today? Then, be sure to get down with this long list of 1980s slang. Are you bad to the bone with some funky fresh gear?