Quiz: Can You Pass This Difficult ’70s Slang Test?: HowStuffWorks
Can You Pass This Difficult ’70s Slang Test?
By: Brian Whitney
6 Min Quiz
Where are you if you're hanging at your "crib"?
When you were young, chances are you spent pretty much all of your time hanging out in your crib. In slang terms, a "crib" is someone's house or apartment, where they spend all their time.
If someone is acting like a "spaz," how are they acting?
The slang word, "spaz," is a take on "spastic." Since spastic means to lose physical or emotional control, you know that if you're acting like a so-called spaz, it isn't a good thing. Today, this word is considered an ableist slur, a discrimination against people with disabilities.
What does the phrase, "Can you dig it?" mean?
If you "dig" something, it means you're getting into it, digging away so to speak. So if someone asks you if you can dig something, they just want to know if you get it or understand it.
Sometimes hippies in the '70s were hassled by "the man." Who messed with them?
When someone is "the man," they're always someone is some type of authority. It's the type of thing where you might feel you were trying to get ahead in life, but "the man" is always holding you down.
Bike couriers in the '70s were often "booking" it down the street. What were they doing?
Some say this slang term comes from people studying hard and hitting the books, others suggest it comes from the '70s slang term, "boogie." Either way, it means someone doing something fast.
In '70s slang, if something is"bangin'," what is it?
"Bangin' has a couple of meanings and both of them are good. It could refer to someone's body, saying that it's attractive, or it could also mean that something, like a party, is really exciting.
If you tried to do something "to the max," how are you doing it?
Some of these phrases are more confusing than others. Doing something to "the max" just means that you're giving it your maximum effort. The slang term is just a cooler version of "the best."
In the '70s people often said "psych." What were they saying?
If you are having some mental issues, you might go to a psychologist, which is the point of this slang term. If someone says "psych" to you, they're getting into your mind, or at least trying to.
Would you be happy if someone called you an "airhead"?
If someone says you're an "airhead," what is being implied is that your head is full of air. As you might imagine, this wasn't considered a compliment when it came to slang in the '70s.
If someone is "ace" at skee ball. How good are they?
An ace is the very best card in the deck that one can get in a variety of games. This expression means the same thing. Something that is "ace" is really good or the very best there is.
Someone is having a bad time at a party and they're "Audi 5000." What are they doing?
People were really into their cars in the '70s. An Audi 5000 was thought of as a really fast car so, what was being said when someone was "Audi 5000" was that they were leaving fast.
When it comes to '70s slang if someone "blew off" a class, what did they do?
The act of blowing something off means to ignore it, not pay it any attention, or not attend something. You might have had a date with someone but if you didn't go, "you blew off" the date.
If a car is totally "sick," what does that mean?
This is the kind of slang expression that confuses some people. Just like something "bad" can be really good, something that is "sick" can be really awesome. If you're confused it's OK.
Can you tell us why someone might ask what the "skinny" is about something?
When someone asks you what the "skinny" is, they're asking you to get right to the point. Skinny is the opposite of fat, which means that you're going to cut the fat and get right to it.
Your best friend's Chevy Nova is "the bomb." What is it?
While the word "bomb" isn't always one that is cool, in '70s slang it is. The word first became known in this manner in U.K. theater in the '50s when a play that was "the bomb" did very well.
Many people watched the"Boob Tube" back then. What were they doing?
It might be hard to imagine, but in the '70s, there was no Internet and no smartphones so, television was incredibly popular. Watching the "Boob Tube" was slang for watching television.
You're totally out of "bread." What don't you have?
Back in the old days, life was pretty simple and one needed actual bread to survive. In the '70s, as well as today, "bread" became a term that was used for money, which you also need to survive.
Some music in the '70s was totally "far out." What did it sound like?
The slang words, "far out," have been said since the days of jazz, but hippies in the '60s said it a lot too. By the '70s, the phrase was being used not just by hippies, but by all sorts of cultural groups.
If a new band is really "boss," what is it?
Whether you like your boss or whether you don't, there is no doubt that he or she has power. If something was "boss," it was outstanding.
You just made a shot in basketball and yelled, "In your face!" What are you doing?
When you say "In your face" to someone, you're definitely taunting them and being aggressive. Think of a game of basketball when someone is guarding you closely, but you score anyway.
If one were to encounter a "Smokey" in the '70s what would they see?
There were a lot of popular movies back then, like "Convoy" or "Smokey and the Bandit," that used a lot of trucker slang that became common. In trucker slang, "Smokey" is a police officer.
In '70s slang, someone might be said to look really "buff." How do they look?
If you want your car to look newer and cleaner, or you want your floors to shine, you might choose to buff them. The word "buff," in slang, means something that looks good. It can also refer to someone who has well-defined muscles.
If a person is thought to be a "brick house," what might they be?
The term "brick house" refers to someone who is built really well. This comes from when the Big Bad Wolf tried to blow down the house that one of the three little pigs made with brick. He couldn't.
Popular people in the '70s knew many "cats." What does that mean?
This slang term was another that began with jazz musicians when they started calling people they liked "cool cats." This one makes sense because, come on, cats are totally cool!
What are you doing when you "chillax" after a busy day.
To be "chill" is to be cool in a way that shows you aren't worked up at all, and we all know what the word "relax" means. This slang term means you're relaxing in a super cool way.
If someone is curious about whether things are "copasetic" with their friend, what are they worrying about?
Many people say this term was coined by comedian Steve Martin who came to fame in the '70s. The word means that everything is cool and safe and there's nothing to worry about.
If you encountered the "fuzz" on the highway, who did you see?
This word was used a lot in the '70s to describe the police. It was especially used by hippies. The origin appears to be from the police in England who wear hats with a bit of a fuzzy look to them.
If a worker begins a "gig" on Monday, what are they starting?
This is yet another slang term that started with jazz musicians who used the term "gig" as a shortened version of "engagement." It was used often during the '70s for any obligation, such as a job, one had to fulfill.
In the '70s, if someone was kind of "freaky deaky," what were they?
Some of the slang in the '70s was pretty simple. This phrase "freaky deaky" is just rhyming slang, using one word that means something with another that means nothing but rhymes, just for fun.
If a student took a test and it was "gravy," what was it?
If you're having a nice turkey dinner, it's good all on its own, but it's even better if you pour some gravy on it. In slang "terms," gravy is something that is good and also a bit extra special.
You just bought a new stereo system but it seems to be "bunk." What is it?
Since the 1800s, "Bunk" has been used to mean something is nonsense or doesn't work. But, as far as slang goes, it wasn't until the '70s that this word became popular.
You just skied on a slope that was "gnarly." What did you think of it?
"Gnarly" comes from "gnarl," which means "knotted and rugged." This is a tough one because it can mean something that is really awesome or something that is really bad.
If a person were to "Bogart" something, how were they acting?
This slang term is named for the actor, Humphrey Bogart. If you were sharing a pizza but kept most of the pieces to yourself, someone might say, "Hey, man, don't Bogart that pizza."
Your friend is a little bummed, but you tell him to "keep on truckin'." What are you saying?
This is a phrase of encouragement meaning that someone should keep doing what they're doing. It originally is a phrase from the 1930s' song, "Trucking My Blues Away" by Blind Boy Fuller.
At a party, one person gives another a "hairy eyeball." What are they doing?
It's hard to tell exactly where this slang term came from, but one thing is for sure, it isn't positive. If someone is giving you a "hairy eyeball," it means they're glaring at you.
Can you dig it? How well do you remember the '70s? You might be down with Roller Skating and the Bay City Rollers. You might even have some awesome feathered hair, but are you up on '70s slang?
Every decade has its slang, but was there ever a time that there was slang that was such a perfect combination of cool and ridiculous as the '70s? In this decade, you could chillax and hang out at your crib or you could just tell your roomie that you were going to catch him on the flip side and head on out for a bangin' time. Although if you decide to book it down the street in your car on the way home, then you would have to make sure you didn't bump into Smokey.
If you have a pretty good idea of what we're talking about, then you're probably going to do ace on this quiz. But if you don't, then the whole thing was probably bunk anyway. Take this quiz and prove to us what an expert you are in '70s slang. May the force be with you. If you do well on the quiz, you get a Hertz Donut, and that's no jive.
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