Every generation has words or phrases that distinguish it from previous generations, and Baby Boomers are no different. The Michael Myers Austin Powers movies that were a send-up of ‘60s-era spy flicks was a reminder of how far removed we are from the slang of that bygone era.
Certain styles from the children of the ‘60s, such as tie-dye shirts and bell-bottom jeans may endure (or come back), but the argot of Boomers sounds as dated today as the slang from the Depression and the 1940s that their parents spoke. (For another look back, here’s a list of 15 popular toys when Baby Boomers were kids.)
Much of the jargon of ‘60s youth was influenced by the use of drugs, rock ‘n’ roll lyrics, the hippie lifestyle, and protests against the Vietnam War.
Some of these words and phrases date back long before even the oldest Baby Boomers were born. “Bread” was a term for money as early as the 1930s (and incidentally bread’s pre-baked form, “dough,” has been applied to money since the Civil War era). “Trippin’” (spelled with a final “g”) was first recorded with its current meaning of being under the influence of drugs in the 1920s. (Here are 10 words that don’t mean what you think they do.)
Blow one’s mind
> Meaning: Amaze, strongly affect
> Meaning: Hog a marijuana joint
> Meaning: Leaving in haste, going very fast
> Meaning: Excellent
> Meaning: Money
> Meaning: A marijuana cigarette
> Meaning: Excellent, awesome; a phrase of approval
> Meaning: A hippie, especially one wearing flowers in their hair
> Meaning: The peace-and-love ideology of flower children (see above), especially by anti-war protesters during Vietnam War era
> Meaning: Police
> Meaning: Getting high on drugs, getting very drunk
Gimme some skin
> Meaning: Shake my hand
> Meaning: Relax, live in the moment
> Meaning: Enjoyable, out of sight
> Meaning: Disgusting, revolting, filthy
> Meaning: Excellent, awesome; a phrase of approval (see “far out,” above)
> Meaning: An inhibition, problem, source of difficulty
> Meaning: Mentally stimulating experience (as with LSD), ego trip, something confusing or deceiving
> Meaning: Serious, meaningful, of great import
Keep on truckin’
> Meaning: Don’t be discouraged, keep going
Lay it on me
> Meaning: Tell me what’s on your mind, give me something
Making the scene
> Meaning: Showing up for an event or party
> Meaning: An authority figure, a policeman, the government
> Meaning: Laid back, less agitated or aggressive, often after smoking marijuana
> Meaning: Hunger or imagine hunger, often after smoking marijuana
Out of sight
> Meaning: Great, cool; a term of approval
> Meaning: Leave fast and usually loudly, as in a car
> Meaning: Outsmart, deceive/excited, mentally ready
> Meaning: I strongly agree, good for you
> Meaning: Disgusting person
> Meaning: Distracted; not fully conscious of one’s surroundings
> Meaning: Under the influence of usually LSD or some other psychedelic
> Meaning: Anxious, nervous, rigidly conservative
> Meaning: Beyond explanation, very unusual
What’s your bag?
> Meaning: What are you interested in? What’s your problem?
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