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April 27, 2017

20 Slang Terms From the 1950s We Want Everyone to Start Using Again

Slang has always been the province of the young. Words come in and out of favor in direct proportion to the speed with which they travel through the age ranks. Once college kids know that high school kids are using a term, it becomes passe. And seniors don’t want to sound like freshman and so forth. Once a word finds its way to mainstream media or worse, is spoken by parents, no young person with any self-respect would use it.

1950s slang wasn’t particularly colorful as these things go. The Sixties, with its drug and protest culture to draw from, would be slang heaven. In the Fifties, hot-rodders and Beats provided inspiration.

Many of these words, in fact most words can have “ville” added to them. There was coolsville, deadsville, Doodyville, squaresville, weirdsville and so forth.

1. Ankle-biter – This term was used to describe a young child who was often found crawling around on the floor at around ankle height. I.e. “That little ankle-biter of yours is really cute.”

2. Antsville – A place full of people . I.e. “Antsville is getting to me. Let’s take my wheels for a spin in the country.”

3. Burn Rubber – The 50’s slang term was used when talking about accelerating a car hard and fast, often used in relation to “hot rodders” of the time. I.e “Let’s burn rubber and show them what this hot rod can really do!”

4. Chick in Skins – Woman in a fur coat. I.e. “I believe you’ve got a date with the chick in skins.”

5. Get Bent! – This 1950s slang term was used when someone wanted to tell someone off or to go away. I.e. “Johnny, get bent! I’m over you!”

6. Germsville – An illness; buzzed by germsville means to wind up in the hospital.

7. Ginchiest – Coolest. I.e. “Baby, you’re the Ginchiest!”

8. Greaser – Originally used to describe a guy with tons of hair product in his hair, but within a few years it was used to describe a certain group of 1950s youth. I.e. “John Travolta in Grease was the ultimate greaser, don’t you think?”

9. Heat – The ’50s slang word was used to describe police, usually by the younger crowd or the less savory subset of society. I.e. “I think that’s the heat, man, let’s split!”

10. Hot Rod – Used to as a descriptive term for typically American made muscle cars that were modified with large engines for linear speed with usually a very flashy exterior. I.e. “Did you see that new hot rod, Johnny brought to the dance? It was unreal!”

11. Kook/Kookie – This was a slang word used to describe someone who was odd, weird, nuts, crazy, etc. I.e. “Did you see that guy wearing the tin foil hat, he’s such as kook!”

12. Made in the Shade – This 1950s slang term was used to describe something or someone that was guaranteed to be or is a success. I.e. “Did you hear that Danny got into Yale? He’s got is made in the shade, man.”

13. Mushroom People – People who come out at night to play. I.e. “I hate mushroom people, you should too.”

14. Nosebleed – The ’50s slang word was used to address or reference someone in a disparaging way, usually a nerd, geek, etc. “Hey nosebleed, watch where you’re going next time, huh?”

15. No Sweat – Slang term used to explain that something was no problem or easy. I.e. “I fixed that leaky faucet for you, it was no sweat.”

16. Pad – Used to reference a person’s home. I.e. “This is a nice pad you’ve got here, Johnny.”

17. Peepers – A slang word used to describe glasses in the 1950s. I.e. “Hey, take a look at that nerd with those massive peepers on his face!”

18. Righto – This slang word was used when someone wanted to agreed with another person. I.e. “You want to take out the trash? Righto, mom.”

19. Split – This ’50s slang word was used in reference to leaving a place, often very quickly. I.e. “I’m bored, let’s split!”

20. Threads – This is a descriptive slang word used in reference to a person’s clothing. I.e. “Those are some cool threads you’ve got on, man.”


  1. Grew up in the 1950s. Peepers meant "eyes," not glasses.

  2. The song says it all.

    Jeepers creepers
    Where'd you get those




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