Cool 1970s Slang: Words and Sayings From the Disco Era (2024)

The 1970s was a cool era. After all, they invented (what seems like) a hundred different ways to say "cool." It was also the disco era; hello John Travolta. Wartime was over, people were relieved, and a major shift took place. You'll find that we still use a lot of this decade's lingo today. Language that goes underground for a while tends to spring back up again. Explore a list of some cool 1970s slang from the days of disco.

Cool 1970s Slang: Words and Sayings From the Disco Era (1) retro girl 1970s slang example


70s Slang for Places: Coming and Going

The best place to start is with some of the most important lingo of the disco era. Check out a selection of words to describe places, as well as what to say to enter or exit places with ease.

  • crib - apartment or home; place of residence
  • I gotta skitty - I have to hurry and leave
  • keep on steppin' - keep it moving; get out of here
  • later days - goodbye; farewell
  • my man, my man - hello, friend; general greeting for a male friend
  • pad - where someone lives
  • peace, love, and granola - goodbye and positive wishes
  • peace out - heading out; I'm leaving
  • say, brotha' - friendly greeting for a male friend
  • shaggin' wagon - '70s era van tricked out with a bed in the back
  • what's crackin' - general greeting, like asking someone what's going on
  • what it is - hey, hi; asking what's up

Ways to Say Cool in 1970s Slang

The term "cool" was a popular slang word in the '70s, but there was also a lot of other slang terminology for that particular word. During the disco era, there were just as many ways to describe something as being cool are there were ways to be cool.

  • bomb - cool in a hip or awesome way
  • far out - very cool in a weird way
  • funky - cool in an eccentric way
  • groovy - cool in a hip way
  • nifty - cool in a neat way
  • off the hook - very cool to the extreme
  • out of sight - very cool in an impressive way
  • radical - cool in an awesome way
  • slammin' - awesomely cool
  • stellar - cool in an incredible or awesome way

70s Slang for Things

Next, consider a list of expressions that name or describe various things from the 1970s. Some of these slang terms have stuck around. Raise your hand if you still refer to your clothes as threads.

  • bad - good; great
  • fab - short for fabulous
  • freaky deaky - odd; something that's very strange
  • good vibes - positive energy
  • hairy eyeball - a nasty stare
  • the lowdown - the truth; an overview of facts
  • the man - law enforcement or establishment authority figures
  • the skinny - the whole truth; the real story
  • threads - clothes; apparel
Cool 1970s Slang: Words and Sayings From the Disco Era (2)


70s Slang for People

Of course, what would the world be without people — good, bad or otherwise? Here's a list of cool 1970s lingo to describe all kinds of people.

  • brick house - attractive, curvy female
  • casanova - a ladies' man
  • closet disco queen - one who dances at home where no one can see but not in public
  • dork - nerd
  • dorky - nerdish
  • dude - a guy; a generic term when speaking to people
  • foxy mama - a sexy lady
  • goof - a silly person
  • jive turkey - one who tries (unsuccessfully) to be cool
  • putz - klutzy or dorky person
  • space cadet - airhead, goofy person
  • spaz - klutzy person; someone who is acting silly
  • stone fox - a woman who's really hot
  • youngblood - a young man; boy

70s Slang to Describe Experiences

There was a lot going on in the 70s. Needless to say, there were hundreds of different ways to describe the happenings of your life in this era. Let's take a look at some of the most popular expressions.

  • bummer - too bad
  • copacetic - alright; no problem
  • down with - okay with
  • fake me out - trick me
  • flat leaver - ditch someone to hang out with someone cooler
  • gimme some skin - low five
  • hertz donut - informal contraction of "hurts, don't it?"
  • jeepers creepers - oh my gosh
  • rip off - lesser value than expected; poor quality; waste of money
  • sound as a pound - all is well; everything's fine
  • that was the joint - an event or party that was awesome
  • to the max - take something to the extreme

70s Slang for Activities

The vernacular of the 1970s also included quite a few slang words to describe activities that people might commonly engage in.

  • boogie - dance
  • boogie down - to dance very enthusiastically
  • book it - to quickly run away
  • chill - relax
  • chillin' at the pad - hanging out at home
  • chillaxin' - chilling and relaxing
  • confab - have a conversation; to discuss
  • do me a solid - help me; do a favor
  • get your groove on - to dance
  • gig - temporary work or a job
  • going around - dating
  • jive-talking - foolish chatter; saying things that aren't true that don't really expect anyone to believe
  • make groceries - go food shopping
  • take a chill pill - calm down


1970s Slang for Actions and Reactions

There are also quite a few 70s slang terms that describe what people might do or say, as well as how they might react to what others do.

  • bogart - to be greedy; keeping something for yourself that's meant to be shared
  • dream on - response to someone who's being unrealistic
  • buggin' out - freaking out
  • bugged out - freaked out
  • freak out - become frightened; be bothered by something
  • out to lunch - confused; clueless
  • call you out - point out problems with what someone is saying
  • in your face - take that!
  • psych - to trick someone
  • right on - yes; I agree
  • snaps - my bad
  • stoked - excited; thrilled
  • square biz - we're in agreement
  • go bananas - go crazy
  • trippin' - acting crazy
Cool 1970s Slang: Words and Sayings From the Disco Era (3)


1970s Slang Phrases and Expressions

Not all 70's slang fits neatly into a category. The disco era is known for many other groovy slang sayings and expressions.

  • You decent? - asking if someone is dressed
  • You jivin' yet? - asking if someone is enjoying themselves
  • aww sooky sooky - yeah, baby
  • Can you dig it? - asking someone if they understand or agree
  • Catch my drift? - asking if someone understands your meaning
  • catch you on the flip side - see you later
  • check ya later - see or talk to you later
  • close the shades - shut up
  • Do you copy? - asking if a person understands your meaning
  • don't be a bunny - don't be stupid
  • flower power - choosing peace over war
  • hey, sunshine - hey, beautiful
  • keep on truckin' - don't stop now; keep doing what you're doing
  • mind your potatoes - mind your own business
  • stop dipping in my Kool-Aid - stay out of my business
  • ten-four, good buddy - I understand, friend
  • up your nose with a rubber hose - an expression of anger or irritation
  • wally wally, blood and dolly - being wild about a person in a way that makes you blind to their faults
  • what a nightmare - something is very wrong or difficult
  • What's your 20? - tell me where you are
  • you ain't just a woofin' - asking if someone really means what they're saying

Beyond the 1970s to Today

A lot of these expressions are still used today. Another popular decade with its own terminology that still carries on is the 1960s. Enjoy this list of 1960s slang and reminisce or fantasize about riding shotgun as your buddy is laying rubber. Better yet, do the likes of Aerosmith, Bon Jovi and other hair bands of the 80s live on in your heart today? Then, be sure to get down with this long list of 1980s slang. Are you bad to the bone with some funky fresh gear? Enjoy learning to speak slang of the past and today.

Mary Gormandy White

Staff Writer

Cool 1970s Slang: Words and Sayings From the Disco Era (2024)


Cool 1970s Slang: Words and Sayings From the Disco Era? ›

The disco era is known for many other groovy slang sayings and expressions.
  • You decent? - asking if someone is dressed.
  • You jivin' yet? - ...
  • aww sooky sooky - yeah, baby.
  • Can you dig it? - ...
  • Catch my drift? - ...
  • catch you on the flip side - see you later.
  • check ya later - see or talk to you later.
  • close the shades - shut up.

Is Groovy a 70s word? ›

Groovy (or, less commonly, groovie or groovey) is a slang colloquialism popular during the 1950s, '60s and '70s. It is roughly synonymous with words such as "excellent", "fashionable", or "amazing", depending on context.

What was the most popular slang in 1972? ›

Check out the rest of the list to see the most popular slang term the year you were born.
  • 1970: Dorky.
  • 1971: Deadheads.
  • 1972: Guilt Trip.
  • 1973: Carbo.
  • 1974: Motorhead.
  • 1975: Detox.
  • 1976: Hardball.
  • 1977: Brewski.
Apr 11, 2019

How did the 70s say cool? ›

There are many, many ways to express the word “cool,” but “hip” was the all-time favorite term during this groovy decade. If you were cool, then you were hip. Being hip often meant cool car, cool clothes, cool vibe.

What are some retro words? ›

  • antique,
  • old-fashioned,
  • old-school,
  • old-time,
  • old-timey,
  • old-world,
  • oldfangled,
  • quaint,

What is disco slang for? ›

interjection. yes; "bingo". Popularized by the 1994 film Pulp Fiction.

What was trending in the 70s? ›

The 1970s began with a continuation of the hippie look from the 1960s, giving a distinct ethnic flavor. Popular early 1970s fashions for women included Tie dye shirts, Mexican 'peasant' blouses, folk-embroidered Hungarian blouses, ponchos, capes, and military surplus clothing.

What was the most popular slang word in 1977? ›

1977: Brewski

This term for beer first came about in 1977 and was popular enough to become the biggest slang term of that year.

What are some 1940s slang words? ›

1940s Slang
  • ace - a person with a high level of expertise.
  • anchor clanker - a sailor.
  • broad - a woman.
  • chicken - a person who is a coward.
  • chrome dome - a bald man.
  • cold fish - boring person; someone who isn't very responsive.
  • cookie - a girl who is cute.
  • crack up - to burst out laughing.

What are the most popular slang words? ›

Fire - Hot, trendy, amazing, or on point (formerly "straight fire") GOAT - "Greatest of All Time" Go Off - A phrase said to encourage someone to continue, usually when they're ranting about something (can also be sarcastic, as in, "but go off, I guess") Gucci - Good, cool, or going well.

What are some slang phrases? ›

Popular American slang phrases
Slang phraseEnglish meaning
No big dealNot a problem
No sweatNot a problem
Show upGo to, do better than someone
Have a crush (on someone)Like someone, want to ask someone out on a date
50 more rows
Feb 24, 2022

What is oldschool slang? ›

Old school means something close to old-fashioned, but it's a term with more pride behind it. If someone says, “I'm old school,” they're saying they do it like it used to be done, which they believe was a better way. In mob movies, the old school usually thinks they're better than the younger criminals.

What is the original word of disco? ›

The term "disco" is shorthand for the word discothèque, a French word for "library of phonograph records" derived from "bibliothèque". The word "discothèque" had the same meaning in English in the 1950s.

How do you talk like the 70s? ›

Ways to Say Cool in 1970s Slang
  1. bomb - cool in a hip or awesome way.
  2. far out - very cool in a weird way.
  3. funky - cool in an eccentric way.
  4. groovy - cool in a hip way.
  5. nifty - cool in a neat way.
  6. off the hook - very cool to the extreme.
  7. out of sight - very cool in an impressive way.
  8. radical - cool in an awesome way.

What was the hippie motto? ›

Hippies advocated nonviolence and love, a popular phrase being “Make love, not war,” for which they were sometimes called “flower children.” They promoted openness and tolerance as alternatives to the restrictions and regimentation they saw in middle-class society.

What is hippie lingo? ›

Hippie/Hippy: A member of the counterculture: a free-spirited, unconventional person. Hog: To take over so that someone else cannot use. Hunk: Good looking guy. In the groove: A person who is part of the in-crowd.

What are 5 slang words used from the 50's? ›

Corny 1950s Slang Terms

A few examples originating in the 1950s could include “cruisin' for a bruisin',” “knuckle sandwich,” “Daddy-O,” “burn rubber,” “party pooper,” “ankle biter,” “get bent,” “cool cat,” and “got it made in the shade.”

What was the most popular slang in 1962? ›

Here's What Slang Word Was Popular The Year You Were Born!
  • 1960, "dullsville"
  • 1961, "bratty"
  • 1962, "drop-dead gorgeous"
  • 1963, "Mickey Mouse," which meant goofing off at work.
Apr 18, 2017

What was iconic in the 70s? ›

The 1970s were a time of social change, disco anthems, and many, many firsts. Iconic Hollywood films like "Star Wars," "Saturday Night Fever," and "The Godfather" were all released during the decade, while legends like Mother Teresa and Harvey Milk received national attention for their activism.

What is 1970s best known for? ›

The 1970s are famous for bell-bottoms and the rise of disco, but it was also an era of economic struggle, cultural change and technological innovation.

What was big in the 70s? ›

The 1970s are remembered as an era when the women's rights, gay rights and environmental movements competed with the Watergate scandal, the energy crisis and the ongoing Vietnam War for the world's attention.

How do you say famous in slang? ›

  1. big cheese.
  2. big enchilada.
  3. big kahuna.
  4. big name.
  5. celebrity.
  6. dignitary.
  7. famous person.
  8. heavyweight.

What is Gen Z slang? ›

1. no cap. You've likely seen cap and no cap used on social media, but these terms actually pre-date social media and Gen Z by several decades. In Black slang, to cap about something means “to brag, exaggerate, or lie” about it. This meaning dates all the way back to at least the early 1900s.

What are some 1930s slang words? ›

1930s Drug and Alcohol Slang Terminology
  • booze - whiskey.
  • cadillac - an ounce of cocaine or heroin.
  • giggle juice - whiskey.
  • hooch - whiskey.
  • jive - marijuana.
  • muggles - marijuana.
  • weed - marijuana.

How do you talk like 1940s? ›

Why Do People In Old Movies Talk Weird? - YouTube

What was the most used word in 1940? ›

This Is the Most Popular Slang Word the Year You Were Born
  • 1940: Whammy.
  • 1941: Yeehaw.
  • 1942: Zooty.
  • 1943: Duh.
  • 1944: Swabbie.
  • 1945: Honcho.
  • 1946: Sack out.
  • 1947: Party pooper.

What are some hippie sayings? ›

Hippie Sayings

"Don't bogart that joint, man." "Turn on, tune in, and drop out." "Let your freak flag fly." Those long-haired tree-huggers sure had a unique way of talking.

What are some hippie words? ›

The Best Of 1960s Slang
  • Groovy. Meaning: cool. ...
  • Far out/Outta sight. Meaning: another substitute for cool; strange or bizarre.
  • Dig it. Meaning: to understand or agree with something. ...
  • (It's) a gas. Meaning: fun, fine. ...
  • Mellow. Meaning: Relaxed or laid-back. ...
  • Bummer. Meaning: a disappointing situation. ...
  • Slug bug.
Sep 14, 2021

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