15 Slang Terms From the '70s That Nobody Says Anymore

posted by Debbie McFadden - 

1. CATCH YOU ON THE FLIP-SIDE

The other side of today is tomorrow, so to catch you on the flip side means to see you again tomorrow. Yeah, we know, it doesn’t make sense to us either. 

Example: “I got to run, but I’ll catch you on the flip side.”

2. DO ME A SOLID

A solid is a favor because, um… favors aren’t liquid? When you do someone a solid, you’re helping them out in a big way.

Example: “Would you do me a solid and give me a ride to the airport?”

3. BOOGIE DOWN

To dance, but to do so in an especially enthusiastic way. Ideally, while being accompanied by disco music.

Example: “That ABBA song makes me want to boogie down.”

4. PSYCHE!

When something is presented, and then quietly taken away. A taunting word for a jovial denial.

Example: “Oh, you want a piece of gum? Sure, here you go. (pulls it away.) Psyche!”

5. BRICK HOUSE

If you find a woman’s body especially attractive, you might say she was built like a brick house. As in: Well put together, proportionally perfect. 

Example: “That girl is so fine, she’s a brick house.”

6. THE MAN

An authority figure. It could mean the police, the government, or even your parents. Anyone with the power to take your fun away. 

Example: “I wish I was doing better, but the Man is keeping me down.”

7. SPAZ

He’s not just a lovable dorky character in Meatballs. Being a spaz is a state of awkward, spastic, bumbling energy. If you’re spazzing out, you have lost all control of your limbs and anything approaching rational thinking.

Example: “Whoa, I think you’ve had too much coffee. Don’t be such a spaz!”

8. COOL BEANS

You’re not ordering a side dish at a barbecue place. Rather, it’s expression of approval.

Example: “Sure, I’d love to see a movie tonight. That’d be cool beans.”

9. 10-4, GOOD BUDDY

When you’re talking to somebody on a CB radio and you want them to know you’ve heard what they just said. During the 70s, an actual CB radio was not required to use this slang. It wasn’t just truckers who wanted to talk like truckers.

Example: “10-4, good buddy. I hear you loud and clear.”

10. TAKE A CHILL PILL

No such drug existed. The “chill pill” mentioned here is entirely figurative. However you do it, you need to caaaaalm down! 

Example: “Hey, hey, take a chill pill, dude. You’re going to get us all killed!”

11. SIT ON IT

This insult from Fonzie on Happy Days pretended the slang’s origins were in the 50s. But actually, “sit on it”—a nicer way of saying “shut up”—didn’t catch on until the 70s.

Example: “I’ve had about enough from you. Sit on it!”

12. SPACE CADET

If someone isn’t all there, and their attention span is the equivalent of somebody floating through space, staring at nothing in particular, then they definitely qualify as a space cadet.

Example: “Take a look at that space cadet. He’s in his own little world.”

13. OUT TO LUNCH

Again, not a slang term to be taken literally. There’s no eating involved. Instead, it connotes confusion. Whatever they’re trying to understand makes no sense to them. They must’ve been out to lunch when it was explained.

Example: “I have no idea what any of that means. I’m out to lunch.”

14. SKINNY

When you want the whole truth and nothing but the truth, you ask for the skinny. Because, well, apparently the truth had a high metabolism in the 70s.

Example: “Yes I want to know who she was with last night. Give me the skinny!”

15. TO THE MAX!

When something is taken to the extreme, and it couldn’t possibly be more wild or crazy, you have reached the maximum level of awesomeness.

Example: “We’re gonna have some fun tonight to the max!”


Debbie McFadden

Debbie McFadden

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