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.
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.
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?
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
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
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
Gig: Work or a job
Gimme some skin: Low five
Going around: Dating
Good lookin': Thanks for looking out for me
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
Off the hook: Very cool
Out of sight: Very cool
Right on: Used to agree with someone or something
Shrimp farming: Neat; cool
Sound as a pound: All's well
Stellar: Cool; awesome
That was the joint: An event or party that was awesome
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?
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
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
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
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
Zipperhead: Guys with short hair
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.
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?