The 80s were a different time from modern days, as everything was brighter and fancier - from fashion to the way people expressed their thoughts. There were a lot of interesting slang words back in the day, and some of these expressions are still being used today. Check out the most exciting and creative 80s slang that used to be popular in the era.
Many of the 80s slang words were frequently used in movies and TV series, so they quickly found their way into everyday conversations. 80s words are fancy, bold, and nostalgic for everyone who had a chance to observe them in use.
Here are, like, totally radical 80's slang words that you will find hella bodacious. Are you curious yet?
Cool 1980s slang that is still iconic
Back in the day, 80s lingo was very unique and popular among people of all ages. Here are some well-known 80s words with meanings.
- Bad - means something that is "cooler than cool". A car or an outfit that impressed someone a lot could be called bad.
- Bod - has the same meaning as "body" and is often used as a compliment on someone's physical build. It originated from surf culture in California.
- Bounce - leave. If you and your friends are leaving a party, you can say "let's bounce".
- Burn out - to overwork yourself, wear yourself out.
- Even - used as a form of disagreement with someone. E.g. someone makes a statement, you disagree by saying "not even", and they disagree with you by saying "even".
- Freak out - to panic or lose control.
- Gnarly - also came from surf culture. Means something that is good, even though its original meaning was tough or ragged.
- Motor - it means the same thing as "got to go". For instance, you can say "I've got to motor" when you are excusing yourself from a party or an outing with friends.
- Psych - this one has a few meanings. While it can be used in a positive context, such as "thrilled, stoked", it can also mean "confuse, intimidate someone".
- Radical - back in the 80s, some edgy and bold choices, especially in fashion, were called "radical", which is cooler than just "awesome".
- Ralph - in college culture, "ralphing" meant vomiting.
- Righteous - this term also signified something that is cool, bearing a similar meaning to "radical". You could describe an outfit or a music album with this adjective.
- Tubular - this word originated from Latin and French, and acquired a new meaning in the 80s - "perfect, awesome". This one also came from surfers who used it to describe waves.
- Veg out - relax, space out, stop paying attention.
- Wig out - lose control over something.
- Word - used to express agreement with a thing someone said. E.g. "This movie was bad" - "Word".
- Zeek - same as a geek, but undeniably attractive.
80s catch phrases that you will love
Some 80s phrases were frequently added to normal sentences for additional effect.
- Hella - this adverb means "a lot of" or "extremely, very". You can say "hell of a lot" when you describe huge amounts of something, or "hella cool" as an equivalent to "very cool".
- Duh - this phrase also has an alternative option "no duh", and is used when you hear something stupid or too obvious to be stated. For instance: "The sky is blue" - "Duh".
- Like - today, this word is often used in modern conversations. It is believed to have originated back in the 80s for people to punctuate their sentences and expressions.
- Totally - absolutely, one hundred percent.
80s sayings that are fun and unique
80s lingo was full of sayings that you will not hear often nowadays. What are some old slang words?
- Eat my shorts - lose to someone with shame. Was often used by sports fans chanting about the other team.
- Gag me with a spoon - expression of disgust or disapproval.
- Barf me out - a synonym to "gag me with a spoon".
- Bag my/your face - when someone considers themselves or someone else unattractive.
- What's your damage - same as "what's wrong with you?"
- Take a chill pill - relax, don't overthink.
80s words that have popular meanings
Here you can have a look at the expressions that can easily replace popular words. Some of them are still frequently used decades later.
The following words mean "yes":
- Big time
- For sure
- I kid you not
- No doy
- Yes way
Here is how you could say "no" in the old times:
- No can do
All the following expressions are the 80s slang for so cool:
- Most triumphant
The following slang means "more of, very":
More 80s slang words
People would often come up with creative insults for others:
- Airhead - empty-headed person.
- Barf bag - ugly.
- Bite me - rejecting someone aggressively.
- Bogus - undesirable.
- Chicken - a coward.
- Dip - a fool.
- Ditz - a brainless person.
- Harsh - tough or unpleasant.
- Lame - boring, uncool.
- Mental - crazy.
- So '87 - outdated.
- Space cadet - clueless.
- Wannabe - someone who wants to reach a certain level or achieve something, but is unable to.
- Warped - twisted or messed up.
However, people also frequently praised one another:
- Bad to the bone - with a sense of style.
- BFF - best friend forever.
- Brill - brilliant.
- Clutch - successful.
- Deadly - really cool.
- Fave - favorite.
- Fine - good-looking.
- Fresh - brand new and exciting.
- Glam - glamorous, stylish.
- Homeboy or homegirl - a good friend.
- Legit - cool and awesome.
These times were also famous for a lot of different subcultures and class divisions among youngsters.
- Boho - someone who lives an artistic, "bohemian" lifestyle.
- Couch potato - someone who likes spending time at home more than anything.
- Goth - a person who is a part of gothic culture, characterized by dark style choices and sad music.
- Hacker - the one that is good at technology.
- Jock - an athlete, not very intelligent.
- Nerd - an intelligent and studious person with barely any social life.
- Punk - a person who is a part of punk culture, characterized by ragged, pierced looks and rebellious, aggressive music.
Finally, hip hop started influencing the masses in the 80s, which birthed a lot of cool words that people quickly picked up.
- B-boy - breakdancer.
- Bomb - good, great.
- Def - definitely.
- Hood - neighborhood.
- Hype - excitement, energy.
- Ill - good, great.
- Jam - favorite song.
- Posse - friend group.
- Step off - depart, get involved in activities with friends.
- Stupid - extremely. E.g. "it's stupid expensive"
- Yo mama - a mild "your mother" insult.
80s slang is still remembered and used to this day, and a lot of these words are very creative and imaginative.
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