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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 terms in context it was used that I think I made around 1989.

Additions and corrections gratefully accepted.

  • ACED:“We aced him out!”
  • AX:“He blows a bad ax.”
  • BAAAD:“Hey, I checked out yer old lady today.She’s baaad,man.”
  • BARF:“You barf after the peyote milkshakes, bro, but, hey, it’s beautiful.”
  • BALLSY:“She is one ballsy chick.”
  • BALLING:“So we smoked some righteous reefer and spent the afternoon balling our brains out.”
  • BLOW YOUR COOL:“What ever you do, don’t blow your cool.”
  • BLEW HIM AWAY:“The pigs just blew him away with their shotguns.”
  • BOONDOCKS:“Let’s make it to this pad I scammed out in the boondocks.”
  • BREAD:“Dope will get you through times without bread better than bread will get you through times without dope.”
  • BRING DOWN: “No, oh no!, don’t bring me down. No, no, no, no, no…”
  • BUMMER:“Bummmmmmmmmer!”
  • BUBBLEGUM MUSIC:“Scott McKenzie, my ass! He’s the king of teenyboppers and bubblegum music.”
  • CATCH SOME RAYS:“You’ve caught enuf zzz’s, let’s hit the beach and catch some rays.”
  • CLICK:“That town’s about 50 clicks back in the boondocks.”
  • COPE:“I’ve got no dope and cannot cope.”
  • CRASH:“I just wanna flash before I crash.”
  • CRASH PAD:“Flash runs a shooting parlor and crash pad for teenyboppers in the Haight.”
  • DINKS:“When I was in Nam we used to waste dinks just to pass the time.”
  • DING A LING:“He’s a star-class ding-a-ling.”
  • DO YOUR THING:“I do my thing and you do your thing and if by chance they meet, hey, it’s yabyum.”

  • DOWNER:“Life’s such a downer let’s do some downers.”
  • DROPOUT:“Just another weekend dropout.”
  • DUDE:“Now that is one cool dude.”
  • FAB:“Strickly fab, dad.”
  • FAT CITY:“If the pig doesn’t twig to the fifty keys behind the seat, we’ll be in fat city tonight.”
  • FLOWER POWER:“Flower power is not healthy for Pentagons and other corporate things.”
  • FLAKY:“Very flaky freak out going down here.”
  • FLAKE OFF:“I told that pig to flake off.”
  • FLAK:“Of course, that pig made me take a lot of flak for that remark.”
  • FOXY:“Now that is the most foxy chick this dude has ever enorbed.”
  • FREAKED OUT:“She’s so foxy, I’m totally freaked out.”
  • GIVING HEAD:“Not only that she gives great head.”
  • GO-GO:“When not going to a go-go, mind you.”
  • GROUPIE:“Whatever happened to those groupies, the Plaster Casters?”
  • GRUNTS:“Just a bunch of grunts at Khe Sahn. How come we don’t get no Plaster Casters out here?”
  • GURU:“I’m Timmy. Your guru for tonight. Fly me.”
  • HACK IT:“I tried a straight job down at the post office but I couldn’t hack it.”
  • HANG A LOOIE:“If you hang a looie at the next light, we’ll lose them.”
  • HAPPENING: “Let’s check out the demonstration and see what’s happening.”
  • HIP CAPITALIST:“Yeah? Well, if Wenner wasn’t a hip capitalist he’d turn the Stone over to the people.”
  • HUNG UP:“I’m really hung up about money.”
  • HUSTLE:“Are you on some kind of hustle or what.”
  • INTO:“I’m Charlie and I’m into helter skelter.”
  • MATCHBOX:“I’m sittin’ here a wonderin’ if a matchbox’ll hold my clothes.”
  • MELLOW:“Let’s smoke some joints, skin pop some speed, drop three ludes, do a few lines,have some Cribari and get mellow.”
  • MINDBENDING:“You know, this draft notice is real mindbending.”
  • NARCS:“He’s either a narc or with the Hare Krishna’s.”
  • NO WAY:“Like NO WAY.”
  • NOW:“The time is exactly now.”
  • OFF THE WALL:“Nixon’s freaking and Kissinger’s off the wall.”
  • PEACENIK:“Yep, neither of ’em are real peaceniks, ya know.”
  • PITS:“This is just the pits.”
  • PURE CRYSTAL:“You bet its pure crystal. I made it myself. Would I fake you out?”
  • RIPOFF:“We’re brothers, man, you don’t rip off a brother.
  • RIGHT ON!:“Your argument for a Marxian interpretation of Baskin and Robbins is right on.”
  • ROADIE:“So this roadie had tee-shirts made up that said, No head — No Backstage Pass….and it worked.”
  • SCORE:“Hey, bros, I just made the scene. Know where I can score a lid?”
  • TEENYBOPPER:“Teenyboppers are real overrated man. I know.”
  • THE MAN:“Split, it’s the man.”
  • TOKE:“Well,lets have one last toke then, we’ll need it.”
  • UNDERGROUND:“He’s in the underground.”
  • UNREAL:“It was so great it was unreal.”
  • UNCOOL:Very uncool to blow away people just because you don’t like short hair.”
  • UPTIGHT:“I’m very uptight around guns in the hands of heads, Fred.”
  • UP AGAINST THE WALL: See “Mc5” not McD.
  • VIBES:“Hey, bad vibes.”
  • WASTED:“So wasted.”

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Quent October 2, 2020, 1:31 PM

    50 years later and Mr. Natural is still my god.

  • jwm October 2, 2020, 1:44 PM

    That was some righteous weed. -or- I got burned for a lid, what a righteous drag.
    It’s gettin’ late. I gotta’ jet.

    Split. (see jet)
    This a bad scene, let’s split and go somewhere else.

    Where it’s at.
    War is a downer. Peace is where it’s at.


  • gwbnyc October 2, 2020, 1:53 PM

    “I’ll piss in your shoes
    And shit in your hat
    And spray all your walls
    With essence of cat”


  • ghostsniper October 2, 2020, 2:24 PM

    bounce=roll=jam=book=get the fuk outta here
    Free-wheelin’ Franklin

  • TeeRoy Jenkins October 2, 2020, 3:01 PM

    The FFFBs were a favorite form of entertainment back then. I spent good money on those comics at the “head” shop.

  • Punditarian October 2, 2020, 4:07 PM

    “Barf” is an interesting word – from the Germanic “werfen” – to throw, as in the Yiddish expression, “card the f**ken ball” – do you think it came into American English from German or from Yiddish?

  • Christopher October 2, 2020, 4:44 PM

    Not my bag, man.

  • Callmelennie October 2, 2020, 4:49 PM

    Whats the bird’s eye lowdown on this caper?

    Hip Nick Danger teference

  • Callmelennie October 2, 2020, 4:55 PM


    Not simply “man”, but “man” with strategic, short vowel elongation ……. You got a problem, man? What’s your problem, ma-a-a-a-a-a-an??

  • PA Cat October 2, 2020, 5:04 PM

    Then there’s “Keep on Truckin’,” the ’60s hippie slogan that its inventor regretted ever coining:

  • Auntie Analogue October 2, 2020, 5:19 PM

    B: Black Beauties: high-dosage speed in black capsules

    B: Bogart: to monopolize a joint or bowl of weed

    B: Boogie: as in “Let’s boogie”: move on; move out; get going; &c., an alternative to “split”; also “to move fast,” as in “Cop turned on the red lights and you shoulda seen that pig boogie, man!”

    C: Cosmic: profound; as in, “That book/movie/poem/light show/song is cosmic, man.”

    C: Cotton mouth: parched mouth following dope smoking

    D: Dig: As in, “I can dig it, man,” and in “Can you dig it, man!”

    E: “‘Ere . . . . ” : spoken tersely from a strenuously held-in lungful of weed as you elbow the next toker you want to pass the joint to

    F: “Far out!” “Far out, man!”

    F: Film container: 35mm film container, used to be made of aluminum with a screw-top cap – a ubiquitous stash holder

    F: Fire: match, cigarette lighter – any ignition source to fire up a doobie, as in, “You got fire?”

    F: Freak: opposite of a straight (person); mankind being divided, of course, into straights and freaks.

    F: “Fuckin-A! Fuckin-A, man!”

    H: “Hang a looie”: the opposite is “Hang a Ralphie.” The “Ralphie” comes from hearing “looie” as “Louie,” as in “Louie-Louie, me gotta go . . . .”

    H: Heavy: Substantial, having impact; serious, grave, or depressing. As in “Heavy darts” to describe a devastating remark or put-down.

    H: Hip: to be aware, as in, “I’m hip, dude,” or in, “She’s hip to his games.”

    H: Holding: to have weed, or some other drug, as in “Let’s go see Strawberry, she’s holding, man.” Or, “Are you holding, dude?”

    L: “Later”: farewell, good-bye; shortened from “See you later” to just “Later.” Often said as, “Later, man,” or “Later, dude.”

    M: Munchies: hunger felt after smoking weed, or the grub ingested to gratify that hunger

    O: Out of it: Not “on the bus,” or so stoned or drunk that nothing fazes whomever is “out of it.”

    P: Pinner: exceedingly thin joint, often rolled & proffered by a miserly dude, or by one who’s nearly down to seeds and stems

    P: Plastic: artificial, and thus very uncool

    P: “Put-down”: insult, or the departure from a relationship: dumping your rider

    R: Reds: downers, barbiturates & such

    R: Roach: tiny stub of an almost completely consumed joint, necessitating the application of a roach clip or compelling the risk of burned thumb & middle finger

    R: Runner: when your joint burns up just one side and makes it nigh impossible to get any smoke from it; runners were often daubed with saliva to stop the run in an attempt to restore even burning

    S: Seeds and stems: to be out of weed: “Sorry, I’m seeds and stems, man,”

    S: sinse: often pronounced “sense,” short for sinsemilla

    T: Taste: precautionary sampling of dope prior to purchase: “Can I get a taste, man?”

    T: Trippy: entertaining, delightful, mesmerizing, &c.

    V: Visine: the stoner driver’s police-stop insurance policy in a dropper-vial, as if cops can’t recognize the unique reek of dope smoke on clothing, in hair, &c.

    W: Whites: speed in pill form, each tablet debossed with a white cross

    Y: Yellowjackets: fairly strong dosage of speed in yellow capsules

    Z: Zonked: tripping, or very, very stoned, or what have you – even drunk – “Got zonked on a coupla jugs of Boone’s Farm Apple.”

  • MIKE GUENTHER October 2, 2020, 6:24 PM

    Jonesing, as in… Man, I’m Jonseing for some weed right now.

  • jwm October 2, 2020, 6:34 PM

    Auntie Analog:
    one minor correction: Yellowjackets were barbiturates. (Nembutal, I think) I fell into a rose bush after eating three of the damn things. Didn’t find out about it until about five hours later. Whites were benzedrine.



  • Snakepit Kansas October 2, 2020, 6:59 PM

    I’m only slightly younger than a bunch in this crowd but I remember how cool I thought bell bottom jeans and shaggy haircuts were in the early 70s. I still use much of the above listed terminology regularly in my vocabulary. I have introduced my two monkeys (they are half-Asian.. is that comment rasssist?) to the word “barf”. This whole read gave me a good way-back memory, all the while chuckling. THANKS ALL!!!

  • H October 2, 2020, 8:08 PM

    “50 clicks”

    Ha. You learn stuff in the Army you can use yer whole life long.

    For them of you what were never paid to land navigate for a living, a “click” = one thousand meters.

  • TrangBang68 October 2, 2020, 8:54 PM

    Reds were seconals, yellowjackets were nembutal, Tuinals were red and blue
    Around 1970 you get reds three for a dollar on Venice Beach, white crosses 8 or 10 for a dollar, a gallon of Red Mountain wine for about 1.69.

  • Vanderleun October 2, 2020, 9:13 PM

    I read all the groovy new old words and especially those of our resident Hippy Linguist Auntie Analogue and I think,

  • Joe Redfield October 2, 2020, 10:05 PM

    Speaking of Mr. Natural, am I the only one who has noticed that Calilfornia Governor Napoleon Newsome bears a striking resemblance to Flaky Foont? Same needle nose, same pencil neck, same greasy mullet…

  • jwm October 2, 2020, 10:24 PM

    TrangBang 68
    Yep! and a hit of acid still ran from three to five bucks. But we were in Orange county, and went to Laguna, instead of Venice.
    High school memories.
    Every time someone had reds for sale (we called them RD’s for red devils) it was guaranteed that someone would crash out at his desk, be expelled, and off to continuation before lunch. Fall of ’68 I was in Mrs. Busee’s second period English class and coming on hard to a hit of green barrel acid. One of the other apprentice hippies in class did three reds that morning, and passed out a couple seats behind me. Guess who got picked to help get the kid up to the nurse’s office? One of the vice principals kept asking me If I knew what he took, and I just played dumb until I could get out of there. That was a genuine bummer. I ditched the rest of my classes after that.


  • JoeDaddy October 3, 2020, 3:46 AM

    ” C’mon man.” – Hidin’ Biden

  • Armchair Sinner October 3, 2020, 5:39 AM

    J. Redfield, Newsom always struck me more as Notorious Norbert the Narc.


  • Dr. Mabuse October 3, 2020, 7:47 AM

    Yup yup yup – I know almost all of those, mostly from my high school days. We also used “to skip out” when cutting classes. I don’t think I ever heard “Hang a louie” though. “Hang a U-ie” (U-turn), but not the other.

  • Sam L. October 3, 2020, 8:39 AM

    Yeah, I know those. I remember them, cuz I didn’t smoke.

  • James ONeil October 3, 2020, 12:18 PM

    Hey man, wanna buy a nickle bag?

  • Harry October 3, 2020, 2:13 PM

    Reds; I never took them, but there were high school episodes involving other students.
    One guy came into gym class on reds. The gym teacher made him get dressed anyway. We were playing basketball that day and as stoned boy wandered slowly up and down the floor repeating, “thrrrroooowww . . . . . mmmeeeee . . . . . theeeeee . . . . . baaaaaaalllll . . . . ” we were all telling him, “No, you’re on THEIR team.”
    Somebody finally threw him the ball. It hit him in the chest, and as it bounced off he tried to wrap his arms around it, kind of like a three year old would do.
    Even the gym teacher laughed.

  • pbird October 3, 2020, 3:42 PM


    I have been harboring that cartoon for over 20 years. lol