Can You Complete These Slang Phrases From the ’80s?


By: Robin Tyler

6 Min Quiz

Image: RyanJLane/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Dude, this slang quiz is sure to be da bomb. Do you think you could be totally bad at it and get top marks? 

As an '80s kid, your love of using slang phrases is probably up there with your favorite neon shirt, a CD of Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” and your tie-dye aerobics outfit.  And let’s be honest, slang from any other decade is simply lame, right? 

Bro, this totally tubular slang quiz will help you relive your youth in the 1980s. A time when men could dress like they were cast members of Miami Vice, where shoulder pads were not only worn by linebackers and slang words were the best they have ever been. Word to your mother! Chee'uh! Am I right? Whether you were a bodacious bod, a bimbette or a bit of a lamer back in the day, let’s see if you totally remember all these slang terms from the 1980s. Right?

This dope quiz is going to be so ill and we're going to test your knowledge, that is for sure. Some words you will remember in a heartbeat but others may just have you scratching your head. Can you dig it? Yes, you can!

In the '80s, some things were "fresh." What did that slang term mean?

No, "fresh" didn't mean something was clean. And sure, you could still have fresh breath, but that wasn't the slang word, "fresh." If something was "fresh," it was cool or awesome. For example, your new CD player was certainly "fresh."


Someone who was "wiggin' out" in '80s slang was ______.

A person who was "wiggin' out" was losing control. It might have been because they had overindulged, perhaps by drinking too much. Or they were losing it because they were angry about something. "Wiggin' out" could be used in any number of ways.


What does the '80s slang term "bogus" mean?

Anything you didn't want to believe, which you thought was rubbish, instantly became "bogus" in the 1980s. For example, thinking that Tiffany was better than Madonna was "totally bogus." Take that, Tiffany fans!


"Grody" was an '80s slang term that showed which of the following?

In the 1980s, you weren't just disgusted, you were "grody." The term could be used in a number of ways. For example, "Look at Sally's grody long toenails. She needs to cut them!"


If someone was described as an "airhead" they were _____.

An "airhead" was someone who was generally described as dim-witted. It could also be used to describe some whose head was up in the clouds, a little spaced out, if you must. But generally, it was used to describe someone who was dim-witted.


"Phat" was an '80s slang term that described something __________.

Something that was "phat" was certainly incredible, cool or awesome. No, this has nothing to do with your weight at all. And how would it be used? Well, like this: "Those new sneakers of yours are phat."


When you wanted to leave, which of these slang terms would you say to your posse?

Any cool cats from the 1980s knew what it meant to "bounce." It had everything to do with leaving. "Let's bounce this sad party" meant you were leaving.


The word "gnarly" describes what?

To a surfer, "gnarly" means dangerous or difficult to do. To an '80s kid, "gnarly" was simply cool or awesome. For example, "Your He-Man action figure is gnarly, dude."


If you wanted to use another word other than "obviously," what slang term would you choose?

"Maybe I shouldn't have worn a Yankees shirt to an Red Sox game." And the logical reply from someone to this would be, "Duh!"


In the 1980s, to "schmooze" someone meant what?

If your friend has something you desperately need, you might choose to "schmooze." For example, "Cedric, did I mention you look awesome today. Any chance I can borrow $10. By the way, you look buff. Have you been working out?"


Anyone said to be "butter" in the 1980s was very _________.

"Dude, you look so butter in those sporty sneakers!" While this phrase might throw some Gen Zs through a loop, millennials​ will know that you're looking smooth in those sneakers dude!


Which of these is another term for the slang phrase "gotcha"?

While many people used "gotcha" when playing a trick on their friends, a more refined slang term was "psych." How would it be used? "Don't look now but Principal Marlin is right behind you ..." And when your friend turned around to find no one there, you would yell, "Psych!"


In the 1980s, when you were "stoked," you were what exactly?

"Stoked" was a term that meant you were ready for whatever you were going to do next. For example, "I am stoked that we are going to hit a few waves now," was something that those who were going surfing would say. Add "super" in front of "stoked" and you were extremely excited.


Saying "bag your face" to someone was the same as a calling them ______.

A way to call someone ugly was to say "bag your face" to them, as if they were so hideous they needed to wear a bag over their head. The '80s were harsh!


If you were in agreement with what someone said, which of these slang terms would you use?

"Word" meant agreement. "That Michael Jackson, he is da bomb!" would simply be answered with "Word." Of course, that was only if you agreed.


Someone who wasn't very smart would be described with which one of these slang words?

If you considered your friend less smart than you, or if someone was a little dim-witted, you would call them a "ditz" or describe them as "ditzy." This is similar to "airhead."


"Lame" was a slang word used to describe something that was ______.

This is a slang phrase from the 1980s that pretty much everyone knows. If something was "lame," it certainly wasn't cool. For example, "Janie, your brother is so lame, he can't hang out with us. He lowers our street cred."


"That's bogus" meant something was _______.

"Dude, that's bogus!" Your friend might say that to you once you decided that lending him your Camaro was a bad idea, especially when he wanted to take it on a date. In a nutshell, it meant unfair.


"What's your damage?" is a phrase someone might ask you. What do they mean by it?

"Why did you eat my Pop Tart? What's your damage?" Essentially, it means, "What's your problem?" or, "Why did you do what you did?" IT'sclassic slang from the 1980s, that's for sure.


Can you tell us what "bodacious" means?

Something Bill or Ted from the movie, "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure," would say, "bodacious" means something is awesome or incredible. "Do you see that bodacious babe over there?" That's exactly how it would be used.


In the 1980s, if you disagreed with what someone was saying, you could use which of these slang terms?

The best way to show someone you disagreed with them in the 1980s was to use just two words, "not even!" For example, if your friend said "Rick Springfield is better than Bruce Springsteen, you would interject with "Not even!"


When someone said you had a great "bod," what did they mean?

Without a doubt, the fitness craze of the 1980s, which saw gyms become popular, led to a lot of "bods." And this was simply a person with a muscular or toned physique.


If you wanted to describe something that was radical, you would use which term below?

The word "wicked" would be used to describe something that you really liked, that you found to be radical or awesome. For example, "John, you have a wicked Atari system. I love gaming on it."


"Boy Toy" became a favorite '80s slang phrase to describe which of these?

It was wrestler Sean Michaels who famously declared in his WWE intro music that he wasn't your "boy toy." These simply were young men who spent time with an older woman.


Something described as "totally tubular" was which of these below?

Simply put, something "totally tubular" was remarkable, incredible, off the hook! And how would it be used in a sentence? Like this: "Dude, that movie was totally tubular, especially that car chase!"


"Gag me with a spoon" quickly became a popular '80s slang term. What does it mean?

Let's be honest, "gag me with a spoon" sounds terrible. And what it meant was disapproval. "You're wearing THAT pair of jeans? Gag me with a spoon!"


The term "bomb" generally meant which of these?

When something was favorable, it might be considered "the bomb." In the 1980s, Bruce Springsteen's album, "Born in the USA," was certainly "the bomb." The terms could also be used to replace the word awesome, as in "You da bomb!"


In the 1980s, when you were looking for "grindage," ​what did you want to do?

Pauly Shore seems to have given us the word "grindage." What does it mean? Well, simply put, helping yourself to some food and eating it like there is no tomorrow.


There wasn't a kid who didn't use the slang word "totally" in the 1980s. It was used how?

"Denise, your new hairdo is like totally awesome." When you needed to emphasize just how cool or lame something was, you could add a "totally" before your choice of words.


What does the term "yuppie" describe from the 1980s?

"Yuppie" is certainly one of the biggest slang terms to come out of the 1980s. This decade was a time in which people began to take their careers seriously, especially with the amount of money to be made. People who were career-orientated above all became known as "yuppies," which was short for Young Urban Professionals.


A friend mentions that your DeLorean is "looking choice." What does he mean?

"Choice," in most cases, was meant as a sign of approval. For example, "Your hairstyle is looking choice today." It could also be used to express envy. "Your biceps are choice, dude."


Bart Simpson introduced the phrase, "Don't have a cow." What does it mean?

We have Bart Simpson to thank for this late '80s classic. "Having a cow" generally meant for someone not to get upset or lose their cool.


Telling someone to "take a chill pill" meant what in slang from the 1980s?

This staple of '80s slang was used when you just wanted someone to calm down. Like telling your hysterical friend, "Relax, Denise, breaking a mirror is not seven years of bad luck. Take a chill pill!"


True or false? "Bad" in the '80​s was really good.

"Bad" was the epitome of cool in the 1980s. It never had a negative connotation whatsoever. When cool just wouldn't cut it anymore, "bad" became the new cool.


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