Can You Translate These Simple '60s Slang Words?



By: Isadora Teich

5 Min Quiz

Image: eclipse_images/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

The 1960s are one of the most talked-about decades in American history. From numerous social movements and changes to a controversial war, this decade was full of historic events that helped to shape and shake the world. It was the era of drugs, sex and rock and roll, but also an era of vast social unrest around the world. Americans were beginning to demand their rights at home.  

During the '60s, psychedelic drugs were on the rise, hippies were swarming San Francisco and Beatlemania took the western world by storm. The foundations of a youth-focused counterculture and pop culture as we know it snapped into place. While a lot of the music, fashion, slang, ideology and pop culture staples of the '60s are out of style now, many have been hugely influential and are still popular today. 

After all, people are still wearing bell bottom pants, still say words like "cool," and you can still hear The Beatles and The Rolling Stones on the radio. If you are a groovy chick or a cool cat, put your knowledge of 1960s slang to the test. See if you can keep things copacetic and nab a totally cherry score on this electric 1960s slang quiz. 

If you "dig" something, you:

"Can you dig it?" was a common way of using this slang. It roughly meant "Do you agree/understand?"


What does it mean to have "scratch"?

There were several slang words back in the day for money. These include "bread" and "scratch."


If something is "heavy," it's:

Something heavy could be serious or meaningful. It can also indicate that something is thought-provoking.


"Far out" means:

"Far out" is one of the most famous '60s slang phrases. It means something is amazing or wonderful.


What does it mean to "go ape"?

There are still variants of this being used today. If someone is "going ape," they are doing something out of the ordinary or super crazy.


If someone has a "beef" with you, it means they:

"Beef" is still used this way today. It means that someone holds something against you.


If something is "killer," it's:

This one has stuck around in various forms over the years. If something is "killer," it's great.


What kind of situation is a "pisser"?

A "pisser" is a frustrating or maddening situation. These are not deadly or life-threatening usually.


What does it mean to "crash"?

To crash meant to pass out or go to sleep. A crash pad was a place to sleep or live.


You ________ "shades."

"Shades" was popular slang for sunglasses. This one can still be heard today.


In slang terms,"Big Brother" refers to:

Big Brother was slang for any authority figure, but usually the government. This comes from George Orwell's dystopian novel "1984."


Your "main squeeze" is your:

Your "main squeeze" is your girlfriend or boyfriend. This is mostly only used ironically, if at all, these days.


Who are "the pigs"?

In the 1960s, there were many derogatory names for authority figures. This was especially directed at police.


Which word was a popular sentence filler?

Like, totally, man. These words were popular sentence fillers back in the day.


Acid was another word for:

Acid is slang for the psychedelic drug LSD. This term is still popular today.


What does it mean to "punk out"?

To "punk out" is to "chicken out." Both of these are slang for dropping out of something due to fear.


"Bread" referred to:

This slang has gone in and out of fashion since the 1960s. Bread refers to money.


If something is "cool," it's:

While it originated in the 1950s, "cool" is probably the slang word most associated with the 1960s. It is still popular today.


What does it mean to "rap"?

To "rap" means to talk. This was initially African-American slang.


Someone's pad is their:

A pad is a place where people slept or lived. Back in the day, someone might have said "Welcome to my pad."


"Exactamundo" means:

In the '60s, hip people said this instead of "exactly." It was for emphasis.


To "jet" meant to:

To jet meant to leave somewhere quickly. A group of friends at a bad party might say "Let's jet!"


If a man is a "Ken doll" he is:

Calling a man a Ken doll was an insult. It meant that he was obsessed with his looks.


A "load" is a:

In the '60s, "load" referred to several things. It could be a heavy burden, a lie or a questionable tale.


If something is "mint," it's...

Today, "mint" usually only refers to things that are in a like new condition. Back then, it could mean a few positive things.


Your "old man" is your:

A male spouse or longterm partner is your "old man." For women in the same position, it was "old lady."


When something is "not brain surgery" it's:

Have you ever heard anyone say, "It's not rocket science" or, "It's not brain surgery"? These two phrases were born in the 1960s.


Something that's "out there" is:

If something is "out there" it's crazy or strange. You might even say it's on a whole other level.


If someone is an "egg head," what are they like?

Egg head was a term used to make fun of someone who was very intelligent or focused on their studies. It has more or less fallen out of favor.


What kind of vehicle is a "pork chop"?

"Pigs" was common slang for police officers. This is why some people called their helicopters "pork chops."


A place that's "a bad scene" is:

If a place or an event was "a bad scene" it was not a good place to be. If a place was "a-go-go" it was a cool place to be.


If someone is "full of it" they are:

This one is still somewhat common today. Someone who is "full of it" either does not know what they are talking about or is lying.


"The Five-O" refers to the:

"Five-O" is slang for police. This comes from the late '60s TV show "Hawaii Five-O."


If someone is "around the bend" what are they like?

If someone was described as "around the bend" it meant that they were crazy or strange. This could involve their looks, things they said or their actions.


If something is "grotty," it's:

Something that's "grotty" is gross or tasteless. This one did not catch on much past the 1960s.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!