The times they were a-groovin’

I’d like to share a dirty little secret: I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 60s and 70s, and never once heard anyone seriously use the word “groovy.” Maybe New York hipsters said it in 1965, or Angelenos in 1960, or beatniks in 1955. I don’t know anything about those people. But the only people I ever heard say “groovy” in the 60s were on TV, and by the 70s, no one would be caught dead.

What brings this up is that I’ve been going through a lot of papers lately, organizing my house. It’s all very well to get furniture rearranged and clothes donated to the Salvation Army, but eventually those mountains of old papers demand attention. Does posterity need Kid A’s kindergarten report cards, or Kid B’s vaccination record, or my tax returns from 2001? It’s boring work, but I love getting rid of stuff. Finding stuff is kind of fun too.

Anyway, last year I read something on the site that was full of current slang, which of course left me in the dust. So I was going to write a review with as much 60s and 70s slang in it as possible. Not so much because I objected to the slang in the original story as for simple revenge. (Sometimes the oldest motivations are still the best, right, Reader Zero?)

I never got around to writing the review; it would have taken hours. But I made a list of 60s/70s slang, some of it things said in real life, others more TV-ish, like “groovy.” Here it is:

Far out!
Bad acid, man.
This is where it’s at.
This is freaking me out.
What a rip-off.
What a trip.
No way.
Funkadelic!
Let it all hang out.
That’s nowhere, man.
That chick really knows where it’s at.
Nice threads.
Cool hangout.
Nice pad.
Peace out.
Catch my drift?
Can you dig it?
This is so zen.
That’s bunk, man.
That’s really choice.
Lay some skin on me, man.
Don’t lay a heavy trip on me.
That’s not my bag.
I’m hip to the groove.
We had a love-in/be-in/[fill in the blank]-in.
She’s a Jesus freak/peace freak/[fill in the blank] freak.
tough
tubular
mellow/mellow out
tokin’
fab
uptight
gnarly
That’s grody to the max.
Outasight!
Stay cool, bro.
No sweat.
That’s such a cop-out.
Heavy!
Neato!
Cherry!
Boss!
Viva la raza!
Stop jivin’/talkin’ jive.
I scarfed up that chow.
Watch out for the fuzz.
Got any bread, man?
That’s how I get my kicks.
He’s a real cool cat.
Gag me with a spoon!
We’re makin’ the scene.
Keep on truckin’.

These ones from Laugh-in, but people actually used them for a while:
You bet your sweet bippie.
Would you like a piece of my Walnetto?
Sock it to me!

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