Are You Able to Translate These '70s Slang Words?


By: John Miller

6 Min Quiz

Image: Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

About This Quiz

In the 1970s, American culture was still in recovery mode from the hyperventilated craziness of the 1960s. In many parts of the country, life started to slow down a bit, as new cultural norms and calmer waters began to prevail. The slang of the day started to change, too, although many holdovers from the ‘60s were still common. For this funky quiz, see if you can remember the casual lingo of the 1970s.

It’s time to get “righteous” in this groovy 1970s slang quiz. Say what? You heard me right. We’re going way, way back to veg out with this test of your old-school lingo, from the days when Burt Reynolds was the next big thing, and the ‘80s and all of their gaudy neon goodness were still just a glimmer in the future. Get wired on this crazy test of cultural knowledge so that when your elderly friends ask, “what’s the buzz?” you’ll know exactly what they’re talking about.

Grow out those mutton chops and break out the paisley leisure suit. You’re going to be extra zomba for the disco tonight, and if not, we’ll blow that taco stand and get funky somewhere else. Dive into this ‘70s slang quiz now!

In the '70s, if you wanted to confirm whether your buddy understood what you were saying, what would you ask?

"Can you dig it, man?" In the '70s, that meant, "do you understand?" As in, "can you dig why I'm growing out my sideburns? The women at Woodstock loved it!"


Which of the following expressions is '70s slang for "wow!"?

"Gee whiz" has been around for decades and it was popular in the '70s, too. It essentially means, "wow" and it is often an expression of enthusiasm.


Maybe a peace sign would help? What are you going to do with those "good vibes"?

After the tumult of the late '60s, "good vibes" made their way into some corners of America during the '70s. Good vibes, of course, are positive energy.


If someone says, "I'll catch you on the flip side," what in the world do they really mean?

"I'll catch you on the flip side. Maybe tomorrow around three?" "I'll catch you on the flip side" means "see you later."


It's not offensive. What are you going to do with the "boob tube"?

It's prime time again… time to flip on the boob tube (television) and watch some "All in the Family" and "Happy Days." But after we rest, it's time to get down at the disco.


In the '70s, if you needed a favor from a friend, what would you ask?

In the '70s, as now, friends always helped friends. And in the '70s, doing a favor meant "doing someone a solid." And if you did them a solid, a good friend might return the favor down the road.


In the 1970s, which term would match words like "cool" or "groovy"?

"Ow, baby, it's time to get your groove on! Let's hit that dance floor and get funky!" "Funky" often meant cool, hip, or fun.


Which of the following descriptions best defines the '70s phrase, "peace out"?

"Peace out, man, gotta go." "Peace out" is a way to offer your acquaintances a warm goodbye. "Peace out, man, maybe I'll see over you at our '80s slang quiz!"


It's for when you're too tired or lazy to use the whole word. What does "bogue" mean?

Because "bogus" is entirely too many syllables. "Man, I can't believe you gave up and joined The Man. What a bogue deal."


Can you finish this '70s slang phrase? "Up your nose with a rubber _____."

"Up your nose with a rubber hose!" In the '70s, nonsensical insults like this one were effective in defusing social foes. It still works today, and will likely draw a puzzled expression or two from the kids in the room.


There wasn't anymore to give. Which '70s phrase meant that you were giving it all you had?

"Max" was simply short for "maximum." "Wow, you didn't mess around, Jill! You really took that disco theme in your bedroom to the max!"


In the '70s, you want the truth and nothing but the truth. What do you want?

Cut out the fat and "give me the skinny." It means that you really want the full truth, no matter how your friends try to spare your feelings.


That guy's a real daydreamer. What would you call him?

They're the spaced-out folks. "Man, you've turned into a total space cadet since Woodstock. You gotta let the old days go and grow up for once!"


If you're unhinged, there's a problem. What's a '70s term for losing it?

Freaking out is still very much a thing in contemporary terms. "Dude, you gotta get a grip, don't worry so much, this Nixon thing will blow over. Don't freak out all time!"


It's the 1970s and your buddy is totally confused. Where is he?

You're confused and "out to lunch." "Man, you must be out to lunch today. How many times do I have to ask you to close the front door when you come inside?"


It's a '60s holdover. What's the best definition for "far out?"

Man, those mutton chops really fill out your face nicely. Those bushy things are far out! "Far out" means, of course, "cool."


It was a one-word slam. In the '70s, what did you say if you tricked someone?

Some wannabe jokesters used this one until they wore it out. It's a mental trick, see? "Psyche!" It was a way to show someone that you fooled them.


It's 1972. What are you going to do with that "chill pill"?

You've been acting like a crazed Woodstock hippie all day. It's time to take a "chill pill" and calm down once and for all, you lunatic.


Keep it family-friendly. In the '70s, if someone said, "gimme some skin," what did they mean?

"Gimme some skin, man!" Like today's high five, "gimme some skin" was a greeting that involved a slap of the hands.


It's not a side dish. What did it mean if you said "cool beans"?

"Cool beans" is a '70s term for approval. "Cool beans, thanks for the lift, man! We'll catch you on the flip side. Don't forget to bring Jello salad!"


But we mean it in the nicest possible way. In the '70s, what was a phrase that meant "stop it?"

Time to cut it out. "You've been bugging your sister all day long. It's time for you to sit on it before I lose my temper!"


Don't let off of the gas. What did it mean if someone said, "keep on truckin'?"

"Man, I know this running fad thing will die someday, but for now, just keep on truckin'!" And that, of course, meant that one should keep going no matter what.


In the '70s, if you were really into something, which word would you've been most likely to use?

"Hip" was a thing long before the hipsters came along. "Wow, that paisley blouse is so hip! Could I please borrow it for the concert tonight? It'll go perfectly with my bell bottoms!"


It's 1978, and you're late for school. Can you finish this phrase? You're going to have to _____ it.

Oh wow, you're late for the hundredth time already. You'd better book it man, or your teacher is going to flip out!


In the '70s, it was a way of affirming something. What was it?

"Right on!" It was - and is - a way of saying that you affirm someone's statement or feelings. It's still in prodigious use around the world.


They're not to be trusted. Why would '70s youth dislike "The Man"?

Never trust "The Man"! That was especially true in the wake of the '60s, when authorities of all kinds were clamping down on wild youth culture and rebelliousness.


Watch out for that girl. Can you complete this sentence? "Wow, did you see her acting all crazy at the party last night? What a _____."

This is another term that's no longer in widespread use. "What a fry!" In the '70s, this meant that something was a bit loopy, weird, or out of control.


Can you finish this '70s phrase? "No way, _____."

"No way, Jose!" But it has nothing to do with a guy named Jose… it's a just a way of adamantly saying "no."


It's 1975. Why should you "dream on"?

You want to score a date with the hunky quarterback from the football team? Dream on, girl, that's not going to happen until you put away your unwashed tie-dye shirts.


It was a '70s staple and similar to another common phrase. What did it mean if some asked, "What's the skinny?"

There were a multitude of ways to ask your friends what they were up to in the 1970s. "What's the skinny, my friend?" In the '70s, this was slang for simply asking, "what's going on?"


It was a slang term for "the best." Which '70s term best fits?

In the '70s, "primo" meant you were riding high. That new primo El Camino? You're going to paint it bright purple. And that will make it primo to the max.


Boundary issues, man. What does it mean if you say, "stop dipping in my Kool-Aid"?

"Stop dipping in my Kool-Aid, man! I said I didn't want to talk about it!" This phrase basically means you're tired of someone pestering you about something.


"It's time to get the groove on!" It's time to do what?

"Go and get your groove on!" It's time to dance, and hurry, before the '80s arrive and bring along a strange new type of electronic music!


Can you complete this '70s slang? "Don't be a loser, don't be a _____."

It's a term no one wanted directed at them in the '70s. "Man, you fell for that old scam? I can't believe you'd be such a chump!"


Oh, it's 1977, and we're going to get get down. What are we going to do? We're going to _____."

Back in the '70s you had the energy of three kids. "Man, I just love hanging out with my pals at the disco. We're gonna boogie all night long!"


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