Far out! The best slang from the 1960s

The colourful lingo of the 60s was unforgettable. Source: Getty.

While the vibrant decade of the 1960s introduced the world to plenty of memorable celebrities, fashion trends and political movements, it also had some fairly colourful lingo to match. While some of the terms coined around that time are still being used today, many of them died off early on so why not take a trip down memory lane to remember all of the ridiculous terms we used so often.

Back in the ’60s having a good time meant you were having a gas and if you were sitting at home alone you might be a square. It was a bummer if your parents didn’t let you go out cruising with someone you were macking on with but, don’t sweat it, you’re probably going steady anyway!

While some classic terms just don’t make any sense (like why you need to call shotgun to sit in the front seat of a car) others were a bit more self-explanatory. If you asked friends to gimme some skin they’d respond with a handshake or a high-five and if you wanted to go outside you were going to catch some rays.

Rhyming was all the hype with plenty of ’60s slang. If you were bald you had a chrome dome, if you were a bra stuffer you had foam domes, if your car had a big back seat you had a shag wag and if you used the back seat for any funny business you might be doing hanky panky.

One of the biggest influences on how people spoke at the time was pop culture. For instance if someone was telling a story and rambling on the listener might say “meanwhile, back at the ranch” to get them back on track. The term was pulled from TV shows in the Western era like Bonanza and Rawhide that would use the line to change from scene to scene.

The famous Humphrey Bogart even left his mark on the decade when his last name became used as a synonym for being selfish with something good and not sharing it around. It was originally inspired by Bogart’s tendency to leave his cigarette dangling in his mouth for much longer than necessary.

Insulting people in the ’60s was definitely more fun when you could say they were thicker than a $5 malt, call them a sponge or even a candyass. But complimenting was less straight forward. Pretty women could be called a fox, fine, righteous, sex pot or tuff – none of which really made any sense. Men could be hunks, cats or studs but steer clear from the tough guys or worse, the bozos.

Whether you’re hanging loose or wigging out, it’s safe to say the 1960s definitely had some of the best lingo to date!

What’s your favourite term from the 60s?

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