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December 11, 2016

Getting Hip to the Jive: 34 Beatnik Slang Words and Phrases We Should All Start Using

You jack and jills ready to get hip to the jive man? Well, because we are going to explore the the slang language that was used by those cool groovy cats known as Beatniks, otherwise known as the Beat Generation.

Throughout our culture you may have heard this language used to describe a stereotypical image of a "slacker" or "hippie", carrying with it negative images and messages. Well don't let that hype get ya ichy!! (don't believe that), because most of this language came from bright, artistic, intellectual people who decided to live their lives differently than the rest of society and in the process created their own language.

You will be surprised to see how much of this language we still speak today, and we don't even notice it.

1. Zonk on the head
A bad thing. "It stormed all night and we lost power, but the real zonk on the head was when hail broke the bedroom window."

2. Yard
A thousand dollars. "Yeah, it's nice, but rent is half a yard a week. Let's jungle up somewhere else."

3. X-ray eyes
To understand something, to see through confusion. "That guy is so smart. He's got x-ray eyes."

4. Used-to-be
An ex, a person you used to date. "I ran into my used-to-be in Kroger's and I looked terrible."

5. Threw babies out of the balcony
A big success; interchangeable with "went down a storm." "I was afraid the party would suck, but it threw babies out of the balcony."

6. Slated for crashville
Out of control. "That girl's been in college for five minutes and is already slated for crashville."

7. Red onion
A hole in the wall; a really crappy bar. "I thought we were going somewhere nice but he just took me to the red onion on the corner."

8. Quail hunting
Picking up chicks. "I'm going quail hunting and you're my wingman."

9. Pearl diver
A person who washes dishes. "I'm just a pearl diver at a greasy spoon, but it's a job."

10. Off the cob
Corny. "Okay, some of this old Beat slang is kinda off the cob."

11. Noodle it out
Think it through. "You don't have to make a decision right now. Noodle it out and call me back."

12. Mason-Dixon line
Anywhere out of bounds, especially regarding personal space. "Keep your hands above the Mason-Dixon line, thanks."

13. Lead Sled
A car, specifically one that would now be considered a classic model. "His parents gave him their old lead sled for his sixteenth birthday."

14. Know your groceries
To be aware, or to do things well. (Similar to Douglas Adams' "know where your towel is.") "You can't give a TED Talk on something unless you really know your groceries."

15. Jungled up
Having a place to live, or specific living arrangements. "All I know is that he's jungled up with that guy he met at the gin mill last month."

16. Interviewing your brains
Thinking. "I can see you're interviewing your brains, so I'll leave you alone."

17. Hanging paper
Paying with forged checks. "I hope that chick who stole my purse last week goes to jail for hanging paper."

18. Gin mill cowboy
A bar regular. (A gin mill is a bar.) "Cliff Clavin was the flossiest gin mill cowboy of all time."

19. Focus your audio
Listen carefully. "Shut your trap and focus your audio. This is important."

20. Everything plus
Better than good-looking. "He wasn't just built, he was everything plus."

21. Dixie fried
Drunk. "It's Friday and the eagle flies tonight. Let's go get dixie fried."

22. Claws sharp
Being well-informed on a number of subjects.

23. Bright decease
To know too much. "He has bright disease. Make sure he doesn't rat us out."

24. A shape in a drape
A well-dressed person. "Usually she just wears jeans, but she sure is a shape in a drape in that dress."

25. Nowhere
Opposite of "Hip"; not anyplace cool

26. The Man
The police or powerful government

27. Later
Good-bye as in "See ya later Daddy-O"

28. Kicks
Immediate gratification of desires

29. Hipster
Someone who is "in the know" or "with it"

30. Daddy-O
Term of endearment or respect for a hip male

31. Crazy
Great, interesting, or unusual

32. Chick
The female equivalent of "cat"

33. Cat
A man with pizzazz; a cool male

34. Bread

These were collected from Straight From the Fridge, Dad: A Dictionary of Hipster Slang by Max Décharné and A Historical Dictionary of American Slang.


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