June 1, 2012

The Uses of Sixties Slang


Long ago when the Web was the Net and Social Media was Usenet, I spent some years at a watering hole called The Well. From my own personal collection of lists made in those years, I came across this small selection of Sixties slang in the context it was used that I think I made around 1989.

Additions and corrections gratefully accepted.


Posted by Vanderleun at June 1, 2012 11:25 PM
Bookmark and Share



"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

You mean to tell me those phrases are no longer in use?


Posted by: ahem at November 2, 2009 7:29 AM

Ahem, Fiddlesticks! Why, of course all the hep cats still rap this way, like all the time! Gadzooks, have you lost your mind?

Posted by: Dan D at November 2, 2009 7:44 AM

Bitchin' list.

Posted by: Gagdad Bob at November 2, 2009 8:11 AM


I can't believe you missed this one.

What's odd is that I never used it in the 60's, but use it now. usually ironically, I'll admit.

Posted by: Charlie (Colorado) at November 2, 2009 8:53 AM

Like totally sweet grokage.

Posted by: monkeyfan at November 2, 2009 9:11 AM


umm... I still use most of those.

Posted by: pdwalker at November 2, 2009 9:11 AM

Far out!

Posted by: Gagdad Bob at November 2, 2009 9:32 AM

Attention all ye under the age of 40. There WAS slang before the internet ...

Posted by: Askmom at November 2, 2009 9:41 AM

'Klicks' is spelled with a 'K'.
Short for kilometers. Learned that at the SE Asia
war games. (Second place finalist.)

Posted by: ed in texas at November 2, 2009 12:05 PM

American Digest is such a happening place it blows my mind.

Posted by: Sara (Pal2Pal) at November 2, 2009 12:12 PM

Diddy-Bop - We were diddy-bopping across that paddy when the gooks popped up and we wasted them.

Frag - That louie better watch it or he'll get fragged.

Posted by: ColoradoRight at November 2, 2009 1:34 PM

GIVING HEAD:"Not only that she gives great head."

Or as one temporarily unattached guy with a penchant for phone sex told me one time:

"That gal gives the best phone in town."

Posted by: Sara (Pal2Pal) at November 2, 2009 2:24 PM

My political leanings were bummed out back when they tended to hang a looie, mostly because I was just another ding-a-ling looking for foxy chicks who give good head. (I feel like one of those Czech brothers on SNL after typing that.) I find that hanging a roscoe (in a political sense) leaves me much less uptight and more together. That's mainly because my head is less firmly impacted up my rear end these days. Ah, youth.

Thanks for this one, Gerard.

Posted by: mezzrow at November 2, 2009 4:07 PM

I am righteously trippin' on this scene. Like windowpane, and colitas, man- totally cosmic...


Posted by: jwm at November 2, 2009 6:15 PM

Back in those days -- and that whole decade is pretty hazy -- I was kind of fond of "far out" and then I got to reading Stephan Crane's "Maggie: Girl Of The Streets" which was written in the 1890s and discovered that it was street slang back then. Out of sight, man; it almost blew my mind.

Posted by: Ted Joy at November 2, 2009 9:15 PM


When did that one come into play?

Posted by: pdwalker at November 3, 2009 1:25 AM

Right on!

Or, ironically, "Right Arm," while holding aloft one's fist as a gesture of solidarity with something or other...

Posted by: Rob De Witt at November 3, 2009 11:20 AM

The top cartoon brings to mind the catch phrase used by my group on an almost daily basis:

"What's it all mean, Mr. Natural?"

"Don't mean shit, kid."

Posted by: bud at November 3, 2009 2:35 PM

Whoa, man. You got some folks of these Eff-Emm types here seein' trails. Better cheese it before the heat gets wind of what's going on here.

Flower Power, man. It's funkadelic.

Posted by: Joan of Argghh! at November 3, 2009 4:08 PM

Similar to the ironic "Right Arm," was "Farm Out."

Posted by: Carolyn at November 8, 2009 4:59 PM

Gimme some skin, man!
meaning: Let´s shake hands.

Posted by: A.K. at June 1, 2012 11:54 PM

Strawman is a real cumshaw artist. He can get you whatever you need.

Posted by: Sara at June 2, 2012 12:32 AM

That's a righteous list, mah main man! Soliiiiid...

Posted by: BillT at June 2, 2012 12:57 AM

Right on!

Pronounced "Rat own" -- one time I glimmed this jive turkey tryin' to be a bro shuckin' this blood by addin' "Right on" to everything he said, ya dig?

Posted by: BillT at June 2, 2012 1:15 AM

"square", "squaresville"

That's totally squaresville, man. Let's piss off the squares, man!

Posted by: Callmelennie at June 2, 2012 6:39 AM

And before usenet we had BBS, at 300 bits early on, but finally climbing to a blazing 56k in later years. The good BBS were out of town, and I had some long distance bills that would make today's cell phone bills look like pocket change.

Posted by: BillH at June 2, 2012 7:28 AM

There was the aforementioned "righteous" which largely referred to anything unrighteous such as drug use, rutting and the Keystone Kommie Kids known as the Vanguard of the Revolution. (a**holes like Ayers and Dohrn and Mark Rudd)

Nam slang-

"bought the farm"- died
"ruined his whole day"- died
"10000 mile stare"- the fruit of combat fatigue

Posted by: bill at June 2, 2012 8:05 AM

What about 'snarf'? As in Snarf Comix?

Posted by: ace at June 2, 2012 8:44 AM

Cool it, man....the "FUZZ" (Police) are all over the place.

Posted by: Andrew at June 2, 2012 9:54 AM

One popularized by Robert Crumb himself

Keep on Truckin'

Posted by: Callmelennie at June 2, 2012 10:44 AM


Posted by: Rocky at June 2, 2012 10:45 AM

I miss The WELL. And David Hawkins, and Boooter, and Tom Mandel, and HLR, and untitled. And MES, in a way.

Posted by: Larry Sheldon at June 2, 2012 11:21 AM

Maintain! (As in, Oh, man, that's my history teacher... stay cool, man, maintain!)

What a gas!

My 21-year-old nephew heard Jumpin' Jack Flash (It's a Gas, Gas, Gas) and asked me what it means for something to be a gas.

I told him it meant that the thing in question was far out. Blank stare.

I think I settled for "sort of like cool."

Posted by: at June 2, 2012 1:37 PM

Choom is not on the list. Why not?

Posted by: Fat Man at June 2, 2012 2:04 PM

"The Heat" -- SoCal slang for cops. Heard in the Buffalo Springfield song, "For What It's Worth":

What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singin' songs and carryin' signs
Mostly sayin, "Hooray for our side!"

Posted by: Skorpion at June 2, 2012 7:03 PM

Who's Scott McKenzie?

Posted by: Jewel at June 3, 2012 8:24 AM

I remember this stuff as a kid (born 1966) and it is so funny to read all of this again.

23-skidoo, oh-you-kid!

Posted by: Mikey NTH at June 3, 2012 2:32 PM

Off The Pigs! and put 'em on that Death Star grill!

Bought the farm--as early as WWI for flyboys.
1000 yard stare--WWII or earlier.

Right On was also pronounce "ride on".

Mr. Natural knows the meaning of Diddy-wa-Diddy.

Truckin' goes back to the '30s-'40s big bands.

In the 1923 movie "Greed", one of the characters wears a button on his lapel that says "Oh You Kid".

Sorry, dudes, for harshing your mellow.

Posted by: Sam L. at June 3, 2012 6:24 PM

Hope will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no hope.

(apologies to Gil Shelton)

Posted by: Rich Fader at June 4, 2012 3:42 PM