Quiz: Baby Boomers: Can You Complete These Common Phrases From Your Generation?: HowStuffWorks
Baby Boomers: Can You Complete These Common Phrases From Your Generation?
6 Min Quiz
Isn't he just the most? Certain groups of baby boomers might have described him as the bee's...
The whole silly animal slang thing dates back to the '20s and '30s, when phrases like "the cat's pajamas" and "the monkey's eyebrows" were common. The bee's knees lived on for several more decades, and meant someone or something who was really admirable, good-lucking or exciting.
Ready to run? It's time to bug ...
"Bug out" is an old-school phrase that means it's time to get out of here. It may come from the concept of emergency kits or "bug-out bags" used by soldiers in the Korean War.
If you're all dressed up, you're chrome ...
Chrome-plated obviously refers to shiny trim on a car, but the phrase was also used as slang in the mid-20th century. It meant "dolled up" or "dressed to the nines."
Worried that trouble might be brewing? It's time to beat ...
Beat feet is a classic phrase that means "Let's scram!" It can be used in casual situations when you're trying to get the gang out the door, or in the heat of the moment -- say, if someone were chasing you.
Which of these is a classic car prank?
The Chinese fire drill dates back to the Boomer generation. In this silly road prank, everyone in a car gets out and runs around the vehicle while it's stopped at a light, sliding back inside just before the light turns green -- hopefully.
Finish this phrase, which refers to energy or enthusiasm -- get up and ...
The phrase get up and go refers to pep, spark or energy. A classic 1930s poem included a reference to "his get up and go got up and went," which made both variations of this phrase a common slang term a few decades later.
If your best friend stole your girl, you might be hacked ...
Hacked off is a classic slang phrase meaning really, really mad. It's the equivalent of being P.O'ed today.
Finish this phrase, which describes something that's a blast or a laugh -- It's a ...
"What a gas!" or "It's a gas" basically means something along the lines of "Isn't this just so incredibly fun?" Their are rumors that the phrase began with nitrous-fueled parties back in the '30s (that's laughing gas).
Want to get rid of an annoying little sibling? Tell them to "Climb it, ..."
"Climb it Tarzan" is a classic '50s and '60s phrase meaning "Bug off" or "Get lost." It's a reference to Tarzan, king of the jungle, who first appeared in a 1912 magazine serial.
Get caught shoplifting? You committed a five-finger...
The concept of the five-finger discount dates back to the mid-20th century. It's as illegal and immoral now as it was then.
If you messed with the school bully, you were ...
Someone cruisin' for a bruisin' was looking for trouble, and might end up making unwanted contact with a nearby fist if he wasn't careful.
Which of these is a '50s and '60s phrase that meant, "Ain't she lovely?"
Ring a ding ding was a common exclamation to express the sentiment, "Boy, he or she is smoking hot!" Frank Sinatra even used the phrase as the title for his 1961 album.
If something is extreme -- either good or bad -- it's the living ...
"The living end" likely originated in the '60s, and was a common slang term for many years. It can be used to express admiration or distaste -- as in, someone is the ultimate or extreme in either a good or bad way.
You can catch a movie at the passion ...
Making out in cars was a really big deal for Baby Boomer teens -- just like it is for teens today, but the Baby Boomers had better names for this activity. They visited the drive-in, known as the passion pit, or went to the beach to watch the "submarine races."
If you want someone to relax a little, tell them to cool their ...
The phrase "Cool your jets" first appeared around the 1940s and '50s. It's a slang term meaning, "Slow down," or "Calm yourself."
Found the perfect guy or girl? Ask them to go ...
Going steady has been used to describe boyfriend-girlfriend pairings since at least the start of the 20th century. Today, the concept of going steady has largely been replaced by a more casual approach, as in, "We're just talking."
Finish this '60s slang -- Sock it ...
"Sock it to me" is classic '60s speak for "Give it to me," or "Lay it one me." It made waves in the '60s as Goldie Hawn's trademark phrase on "Laugh-In."
Trying to find out what's bugging a friend? Ask him -- what's your ...
The phrase "What's your bag, man?" is classic slang from the '60s and '70s. It roughly means, "What's your problem?," but could also mean "What's your deal?" as in, what are you into, or what do you do.
Finish this Boomer phrase -- Don't flip your ...
"Don't flip your wig" has been used to tell someone not to overreact for decades, but no one is really sure where the phrase comes from.
Greeting an old buddy? Tell them this -- Gimme some ...
"Gimme some skin" is a way of greeting someone, and means either give me a handshake, high-five or knuckle-bump. It dates back to the Jazz Age, but was still widely used when the Baby Boomers were coming of age.
Finish this encouraging phrase -- Keep on ...
"Keep on truckin'" has been used as an encouraging phrase for decades. It was the title of a hit song from the '30s, and a TV series from the '70s, so the phrase was obviously quiet common throughout the decades when Boomers were growing up.
Seeking a new love match? You are on the ...
"On the make" is used to refer to someone who's actively seeking a little romance. It's roughly equivalent to "On the prowl."
If someone is totally groovy, you might refer to them as a real gone ...
"Real gone cat" likely originated with the Beatniks in the '50s. It was used through the '70s to refer to someone who was groovy or neat-o.
Want to greet someone in a relaxed way? Tell them to hang ...
The phrase "Hang loose" likely originated with Hawaiian surf culture, and quickly spread to the mainland in the '60s and '70s. Telling someone to hang loose is a way to tell them to relax, or simply a friendly greeting.
A young Baby Boomer might have called his or her favorite album outta ...
"Outta sight!" is a slang phrase that was common with hippie culture. It means something is amazing, awesome, incredible or exciting.
Want a friend to confess their deepest secrets? Tell them to lay it ...
"Lay it on me" can have different meanings depending on tone. It can mean, "Confess your secrets," "Tell me what's on your mind," or "Give me the info I'm looking for."
Wondering if a buddy understands what you mean? You could say, "Can you ...
"Can you dig it?" or simply "Dig it?" was huge in the '70s. It means "You know what I'm saying?" or "You got me?"
If you want to express admiration, you might say "Far ...
"Far out" was a totally groovy Jazz Age phrase borrowed by Boomers in the '70s. This phrase was so mainstream you may have heard it on "The Brady Bunch."
Trying to get someone to stop going off on a tangent? You might tell them, "Meanwhile ...
In an obvious play on the classic cowboy movie -- and the placards used in silent films -- "Meanwhile, back at the ranch" was a way of saying "You're blabbering; just stick to the story."
If you need a favor, you might say "Do me a ...
"Do me a solid" is a common phrase meaning, "Can you do me a favor?" You may remember that it was used on a 1991 episode of "Seinfeld," which had a largely Baby Boomer cast.
The Baby Boomers came of age from the late '50s through the '70s -- a time when pop culture was exploding in the U.S., and teens were eager to carve out an identity distinctly different from the generation that came before them. Take out quiz to see if you can complete these common Baby Boomer phrases.
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