Can You Identify All of These High School Slang Words From the ’70s?

By: Sameena Mughal

If you were going to the "crib," where were you headed?

Your friends could check you out at the crib after school or on a Friday night. Your crib is the place where, hopefully, you sleep like a baby. It's the place you're most comfortable and where the heart is, too!

You never want to answer to "The Man." Who or what is it?

The word Man capitalized has a stern feel to it, doesn't it? Who wants to deal with The Man, anyway? Whether it's school or the police, stay on the straight and narrow, young bloods!

If you were "booking," what were you doing?

When you flip through a book, the pages fly, as should you in certain situations. When you see The Man, be ready to do this! If you have to book, you better hope your feet don't fail you!

"Get down!" On what, exactly?

Listen to Kool and the Gang! When you're on the dance floor, if you're feeling the beat and letting it move you, that's what you're doing. Let yourself get on down and feel the groove!

"Keep on truckin." Do you know that one?

The Grateful Dead's song said it all. What a long, strange trip life can be! Like a truck that just keeps plowing ahead, no matter what happens, keep moving forward. Listen to Jerry Garcia!

The party of the year is happening and you need to "be there or be square." What exactly will happen if you're not there?

All the cool kids and anybody who's anybody will be at this particular shinding or happening event. You want to be in with the "in" crowd and not be a square. Don't be shy! Get your boogie down!

What's up "blood"? Who are you talking to?

With some of your friends, you were close like blood, so that's what some of your homies called you! In the '70s, they didn't just use tame words like pal or buddy. Whatever they said had flash!

Can you dig it? For what exactly are you supposed to be digging?

All the cool cats had their ways of talking. You had to keep up with their flow! When you dig, you have to get deep. When you understand something that's deep, you're the bees' knees!

That beat was so "outta sight!" What kind of beat was it?

Outta sight! Excitement is in the air! When things are just groovy, fine, fantastic, peachy keen, life is good! Like Stevie Wonder said, "Everything is alright, uptight, out of sight!"

I have to go. Let me "catch you on the flip side." Let me do what?

"Parting is such sweet sorrow." When you have to leave, you have to leave. But I can always get back with you another day, like tomorrow. "Tomorrow. Tomorrow. I love ya ... tomorrow!"

This quiz is over. "PSYCHE!" Do you know what "psyche" means?

JK. Just kidding! Some people love a good prank or joke! When someone is not serious and just pulling your leg, they psyched you out. We all have that one friend who loves to be tricky!

"Stop dipping in my Kool-Aid." What do you need to stop doing?

OH, YEAH! Your friends won't be saying that if you're being nosy. Just like people take their Kool-Aid seriously, they also take their personal business the same way. Stay out of it!

Not sure what's going on? Let me give you the "skinny." What am I giving you?

When you're out of the loop, you need to know what's going on. You need the info! When someone gives you the "skinny," they give you the "real deal." Hey, know you can handle the truth!

You need a "gig" to pay your bills. Can you tell us what a "gig" is?

Jazz musicians called their shows engagements. That got shortened to gigs. Since jazz musicians are the coolest, the regular folk called their jobs gigs. Gig sounds so much cooler than job, anyway!

Hope whatever you do, it's a "gas." What does "gas" mean here?

When something is cool and fun, it's the best. It's a gas. When something is a "gas," you're having a blast. Make sure that wherever you go, "it's a gas, gas, gas!"

If you bump into someone, apologize, and they say, "It's casual." What does that mean?

Don't be a drag and bring everyone down, man! Be laid-back, calm, easygoing. Let everything roll like the river. Just be casual!

I've got a "jones" for the beach. What do I have?

When you have a jones, you have an itch for something. Nothing easy breezy about it! You want it, and you want it now! When you jones, you don't think about anything else! You're all in!

Everybody's leaving. "Let's blow this taco stand." What does that mean?

You're out somewhere, and you are bored. It's not happening! It's not cool. You want to go! You want to get gone! That’s when you look around and say, “Let’s blow this taco stand!”

Nobody likes a "narc." Do you know what that is?

Narc is actually short for narcotics officer. Think "21 Jump Street!" A narc is someone who blends in with the crowd, then informs the authorities of bad things people do. Tattletales are never popular, are they?

The sky is blue. "No duh!" What does that mean?

If you drive 75 in a 25 mph zone, you could get pulled over and get a speeding ticket. That won't be fun for you, not to mention expensive. So slow down! Duh! Thanks, Captain Obvious.

Filet mignon is "primo." What's "primo?"

When something is supreme, sublime, stupendous, it's primo. When something is really rockin', it's primo. Nothing but "primo" for me!

You need "bread" if you want to hang out on the weekend. What do you need?

Moolah, cashola, dough, bread. It all means the same thing. Cold, hard cash! Money makes the world go round and round! Just like you need bread to survive, you got to have the cash, too!

A friend hasn't seen you in a while. Are you "copacetic"? What are they asking you?

What is one of the first things you say to someone when you see them? "How are you?" If they're alright, they're good. They're hunky dory, copacetic, alright. Everybody's good to go!

That concert was "dope!" Can you tell us what "dope" means?

When you're in with the cool kids, you know what's groovin', rockin', or hip. You definitely know what's dope! When you know, you know! You're not a dope if you know what's dope!

If he told me from the "get-go," he didn't know, I wouldn't have wasted my time. What's "get-go"?

You can avoid a lot of nonsense if people tell you what's what at the get-go, if they tell you at the start. But some people are unclear from the get-go! Things become a problem from the get-go!

When you step on gum, you feel "grody." How do you feel?

Grody doesn't even sound like a nice word, does it? It's like icky, creepy, or gross. Not even remotely cool. Grody really is grody, dude. Ugh! Who wants to feel grody or grossed out?

When someone asks you what your dreams are, that can be "heavy." Can you tell us what "heavy" means?

When things get serious, that's when it all goes down. You actually have to slow down because things can get heavy. When something's heavy, it's deep. You may want to sit down. Whoa!

I don't know anything about rocket science. When it comes to that I'm "out to lunch." What am I?

Hello, McFly! When you're out to lunch, you're out of it Your head’s not in the game. You’re in la la land. You just don't know what's happening. Good luck with that when that happens!

If you said something someone didn't believe in the '70s, they might call you a "jive turkey." What are you?

When you were full of it or just plain not telling the truth, other people knew it. They had no problems calling you out! If somebody thought you were a Jive turkey, you weren't jiving!

If someone walked by you and told you they liked your "kicks," what were they complimenting?

It's all about the shoes. When you had the right gear, you had all the right moves! Your kicks came in the room before you and announced your presence! The best kicks for the coolest kids!

When a conversation was going well, someone might have said, "right on!" What does "right on" mean?

You know when you're having a conversation with someone, and you're in tune with them? You flow and you vibe. When you're right, they'll tell you! When you're right, you're right on!

"Say what?" What's that phrase saying?

Sometimes, you just can't believe what you're hearing. You have to take a minute, step back, and make sure you heard what you think you just heard. Then comes: Are you serious? Say what?

When somebody knows how to play the game, they're "slick." Do you know what "slick" is?

Someone who's a charmer knows how to be slick. They know how to hustle. They know how to play the game. You can schmooze with the best of them! You have to be slick and have some moves in life!

When you scored tickets to Black Sabbath, you were "stoked!" What were you?

Sometimes, you're so excited that you just want to jump and down. You're pumped! Being the cool person you are, you keep it cool. Instead, you stoked! Better to be stoked than struck!

"Star Wars" was "the joint" when it came to movies. Can you tell us what "the joint" means?

Sometimes, some things are so cool, they are off the charts. It is the thing that everybody wants. It's what's on trend, right here, right now! When you have "the joint," you have what's "it!"

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About This Quiz

The '70s had a lot going on. The era of disco and hot pants left its mark on culture. The hippie movement of the '60s carried over into fashion, and bell-bottoms and flower prints were still the rage. Classics of music, film, and television were born during this time.

Bands like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin rose as the Beatles parted ways. The early years of hip-hop began with "Rapper's Delight" and DJs like Afrika Bambaataa. "The Godfather," "Rocky," and "Grease" became major blockbusters. Modern shows like "All in the Family," "Soap," and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" all changed television and made their contributions to culture.

Everything together affected language and the way the cool kids talked in school. Unforgettable movie lines like "May the force be with you," and "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse" made their way into everyday conversation. The DJs' language became the language of people in the clubs, then turned into the language on the street. When Jimi Hendrix sang about a "Foxy Lady," the suburban high schooler used the word, "foxy" to talk about his neighborhood crush. Funk spawned words like "funky," and "funkadelic," and it was all cool. 

Test your '70s lingo and see how far back and far out you can go! Have fun!

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