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It's Time to Bring Back This Awesome Slang

It's Time to Bring Back This Awesome Slang

By Melissa Albert

Though we were happy to kiss "What's the dillio?" and "Gettin jiggy wit it!" goodbye, a lot of non-terrible slang has been lost over the years. Surely we're not the only ones who long for the days when you could say "He was one cool cat" without everyone in the area wanting to give you a wedgie. Starting with the 1950s, the decade that marked the beginning of cool as we know it (proof: it's the decade that coined the word "hipster"), we give you your bitchin' new vocabulary:

1950s:

Beat the gravel. You never just leave, you always beat it. When you beat it fast, you beat the gravel.

You're cruisin' for a bruisin'! This works best when yelled menacingly out the window of your hot rod, which you're planning to race for pinks later that night. But it also works from a bicycle seat. The key is, you've got to delivery it from a getaway vehicle, in case your target doesn't appreciate period-perfect conversation.

He's the most! In reference to your crush. Most effective if gushed to your best friend into a real, live rotary phone.

1960s:

Gear. Who doesn't love the Monkees? Now you can sound like them! Henceforth, "That bird is gear!" is how you compliment a lady.

Bogart: "Don't bogart those cheese fries!" you say to your friend. While they're scratching their head trying to figure out what Humphrey Bogart has to do with it, you're quietly bogarting (hogging) the remaining fries.

1970s:

The Man. The Man is what brings you down. The Man is the establishment! Best of all, calling your parents "The Man" will probably give them flashbacks to their youthful days of being cool and anti-Man, which might work in your favor. Alternatively, they'll have flashbacks to the hippie burnouts they went to school with, and will promptly send you to military school.

What it is. This basically means "What's up." Though it might be difficult to pull off if you're not Wooderson, it'll be so worth it and sexy-nonchalant when you do.

Catch You on the Flip Side. Sooo cool, so Fonzie ("That's so Fonzie" is another thing we're trying to make happen).

1980s:

What's your damage? Immortalized by the fabulously dark and twisted movie Heathers, "What's your damage?" is the perfect blend of scathing and bizarre. It'll make your friend go "What?," while simultaneously going, "This person is very cool."

Homeslice. Let's all start calling our best friends homeslice again! It's adorable. (But NOT adorbs, a 2000s slang term we want to see die a fiery death.)

Be excellent to each other. More a movie quote than straight slang, these are still words to live by.

1990s:

Schwing! This expression of approval, originally aimed toward such 90s hotties as Claudia Schiffer and Heather Locklear, can be easily adapted to today's standards of sexy. Ryan Gosling? Schwing! Emma Stone? Schwing! Benedict Cumberbatch? Eh...we don't totally get that one, but we hear we're in the minority.

Salty. i.e., cranky. Lady yelling at you to get off her lawn=salty. Not sure why, but it always makes us smile.

Which of these will you be spreading like wildfire? We plan on making "cruisin' for a bruisin'" the next big thing.

Topics: Life
Tags: slang, words, funny things, english language

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About the Author
Melissa Albert

Melissa Albert reads books, worries about other people’s dogs (they look thirsty), and eats horrible candy for fun and profit. When not wearing her extremely tasteful Sparkitor hat, she’s an editor for the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. You can find her on Twitter @mimi_albert, or in the hot pretzel section of your local cafeteria.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.