Tuesday, 13 December 2016

60s Slang

In the 60s, small talk, conventional etiquette, and formal manners were abolished. (Among a small subset of humanity. And they came back pretty quickly in the 70s.) The aim was to be laid back at all times, as if you were stoned, which you probably were. If you tried to talk about anything serious you might be told “Heaveeee!!!!” “It was quite a heavy scene” might mean that people were taking hard drugs. If you wanted to leave a gathering because you were bored, shy or embarrassed, or there was nobody there you wanted to talk to, you could say you were quitting the scene because the vibes were bad. Depressing events were a downer or bummer. Fortunately you could “get into” practically anything, from spiders to origami to particle physics, and make it “your thing”. If you were baffled or bored by any of the above, you could say “It’s not my bag”.  “Into” and “my place” were just coming in. Spacey for spaced out and airhead came later. But nobody ever said “Yeah, man!”

bad trip
bad vibes
do your/your own thing
Don’t come unglued!
Dragsville, Squaresville etc
drop acid
far out
generation gap
go crazy apeshit
go through changes
hacked off
Hang in there!
heavy scene, lighten up
Heavy, man!
hooked on
If you’re looking for a pad to crash...
It was a blast.
It was unreal!
It’s not my bag.
laid back
Let it all hang out.
Let’s split.
living in sin, shacking up
my place, your place
No sweat.
Quit buggin’ me.
scene, bad scene
something else
the fuzz
threads, gear
Turn on, tune in, drop out.
Wanna score some acid?
Want a toke?
What do you do for bread?
where you’re at, where it's at
where you’re coming from

I researched the slang for My Novel, a 60s-set young adult paranormal romance called Witch Way Now? (And I remembered a lot of it.)

More 60s here, and links to the rest.


  1. I can remember being confused by 'let's split' which meant 'let's leave together'. I thought it meant 'we are going to separate' ie split up and go in different directions. Quite a difference...