Do You Know the Meaning of These Baby Boomer Slang Words?

By: John Miller
Estimated Completion Time
4 min
Do You Know the Meaning of These Baby Boomer Slang Words?
Image: Photo by Claudia Romero-Dneprovski from Pexels

About This Quiz

When World War II finally came to its conclusion, millions upon millions of soldiers left battlefields and went home. There, they tried to resume normal lives, and that meant having a lot of babies, all at the same time. The result? A huge baby boom. And the “Baby Boomer” generation created its own set of cultural norms and slang. Do you think you know all of the Boomer lingo in our quiz?

Don’t sweat it if you can’t hang loose with us in this tough quiz. After all, not everyone is hot to trot on such a tough challenge. But if you’re feeling funky and know how to get your groove on, we’ll wager you can get most of these questions right. Do you recall the vast informal vocabulary of the Baby Boomers?

If you hurry, you can have dibs on bragging rights over your friends. Dig it? Or maybe you don’t, and you’ll use Google to take a five-finger discount to steal the correct answers. Don’t be a cheater! Take this neato Boomer slang quiz now!

If you're a Boomer, you know what it means to "beat feet." What's the answer?
To get a job
To torture someone
To become an adult
To leave quickly
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Come on kids, we gotta beat feet if we're gonna make the train!" "Beat feet" means to leave in a rush.

You need a job badly. Why? It's in part because you want to earn to earn some ____.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

You gotta get that dough, you wanna earn some bread. And that means you need a job, because that's how a boomer makes money.

Boomers witnessed all sorts of trends. What did they do with "threads"?
Threw them on a steak
Tied them in knots
Place them in the fridge
Wore them
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Threads were clothes. "Oh Barbara, you really have a keen eye for new threads! That dress looks amazing on you!"


It has nothing to do with your car. If you're "having a gas," what's happening?
You ate too many beans.
You're having fun.
You're thoroughly confused.
You're tired.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Boomers love to have a gas… and no, it has nothing to do with beans. They're simply having fun.

What's a reason a Boomer might be "hacked off"?
Someone stole his car.
He just got married.
She aced a test.
Her puppy licked her face.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Boomers with high blood pressure were perpetually "hacked off." It means that they were angry, an understandable reaction if someone stole your car.

If your parents went "ape" about something that you did, what did they really do?
Your father refused to shave his beard.
They turned into primates.
They laughed a lot.
They became upset.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Because apes are not known for their temper control. "Oh no, my parents found out that I skipped class again. They're gonna go ape on me!"


Boomers avoided this in most cases. Who would be most likely to "flip a wig"?
Your best friend
A senile priest
A small baby
Angry parents
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Please don't flip your wig, I didn't mean to wreck the car!" "Flipping your wig" meant to get very angry.

You're not going to pet that "cat"? Why not?
It's not very nice.
It's totally feral.
It's a guy.
It's rabid.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

To Boomers, "cats" are not necessarily kitty cats. Because a "cat" might actually be a grown man.

It's a bit pokey. What's it mean if that Chevy is "all show and no go?"
It won first prize at the race.
It runs on propane.
Fancy but not fast
It has no engine.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Boomers tuned up a lot of muscle cars in their youth. But some cars were all show and no go, meaning they were pretty but had no speed.


It was sometimes dangerous. What would you use to "lay a patch"?
A vehicle
A cigarette
A head of cabbage
A financial institution
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Johnny, we gotta book it, lay a patch and let's go!" In Boomer-speak, "laying a patch" meant to spin the tires on a car to leave a black mark.

In high school, Boomers definitely did not want to be associated with which shape?
Right triangle
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Squares" were boring people who rarely engaged the people around them. Boomers didn't not want to be labeled as such.

A buddy asked you "what's your bag?" What did he really ask?
"What's your problem?"
"How about a hug?"
"What's in your car?"
"Do you want to come?"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

You've got a bee in your bonnet and you need to get it out. "What's your bag" means "what's your problem?"


Boomers played this game a lot. In "padiddle," what were they counting?
Cute members of the opposite sex
Burned out headlights
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Yell, "padiddle" when you see a car missing a headlight or taillight. The Boomer who counted the most of these won this silly game.

That ride is pretty darn "clean" looking. To a Boomer, what might "clean" mean?
Under the table
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"That new Ford you got there is might clean." And by that, a Boomer is complimenting you on what a nice ride you have.

It was better than collect. What were Boomers doing when they decided to "drop a dime"?
Using a pay phone
Finding free money
Ditching their annoying spouse
Surrendering to communism
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Pay phones are nearly obsolete in many places. But back when they were common, Boomers "dropped a dime" to make a call.


If you're a Boomer, where might you see a "gum ball machine"?
Following a pack of stray dogs
On a police car
In your bedroom
Inside your shoes
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Old-fashioned police car lights looked a bit like gum ball machines. And when they were illuminated, you were busted.

It's not cheesy. What would Boomers do with "moo juice"?
Feed it to a cow.
Pour it in a gas tank.
Smear it on their legs.
Drink it.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Moo juice" is an oldie but a goodie. It's a slang term for milk, which many people drink right out of the carton.

Boomers know when they'd have to "book it." When might that be?
When they're late for something.
When they're drunk.
When they're studying.
When they're out with a date.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Booking it" meant that you needed to hurry up. Probably because you were late for the millionth time!


If a Boomer says a situation is "hairy," what does it really mean?
No one is watching.
They forgot to bathe.
It's a hazardous moment.
They are counterculture types.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

This one's still in use today. A "hairy" situation has nothing to do with fur, but it does mean that something is dangerous.

For speed freaks, it mattered. Where might you find a "mill"?
In a typewriter
In a saloon
Under your desk
In a car
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Many young Boomers had a need for speed. So they juiced up the mills (engines) in their muscle cars to make them ever faster.

To what does the phrase "bummed out" refer?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Bummed out" means sad or depressed. "Yeah, I wrecked my GTO and he took my pink slip. I'm totally bummed out today."


Which contraption would Boomers most likely use to "peel out?"
A rotary phone
A car
A cheese grater
Vegetable peeler
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Hit the gas, Bob, the cops are coming! Let's peel out!" If you were burning rubber in your car, you were peeling out, or spinning the tires.

Some Boomers became full-on "flower children." What did that mean?
They enjoyed office work.
They love botany.
They were hippies.
They became gardeners.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Boomers came of age during the '60s, and some became flower children, or hippies. They were out to stick it to The Man whenever possible.

You'll probably want to skip it. What does it mean to "pound" someone?
Yell at them
Beat them up
Spit on them
Weigh them
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Full-on fights were part of growing up after WWII. If someone wanted to pound you, you'd better have your fists at the ready.


Hic! What's a Boomer slang term for an alcoholic beverage?
"Brain juice"
"Giggle water"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Go easy on the giggle water. Too much of that beer will make you feel less like laughing and more like upchucking in the bushes!

It's not what you thought it'd be. If something is "the pits," what is it?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"This new diner is the pits, let's beat feet!" "The pits" means something is truly bad or terrible and not worth experiencing.

If you were a teenage Boomer, which term would you want your peers to direct at you?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Gosh, that Bobby helped me mow my lawn again. He sure is swell!" "Swell" was one of many ways of saying something was fantastic.


For totally sane people, what's it like to play a game of "chicken"?
Triggers allergies
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Boomers with a death wish might've played a game of "chicken" in their cars by driving straight at each other. The first person to swerve in self-preservation was a "coward."

Boomers had their fair share of lingo. They directed the term "flake" at what kind of person?
The local pirate
A hip man
Someone with dandruff
A useless person
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

No one wanted to be remembered (or more accurately, forgotten) as a flake. Flakes were rather useless or unreliable people.

What was a slang term that many Boomers used for television?
Head tube
Boob tube
Leg tube
Arm tube
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Boomers often called televisions "boob tubes," because early versions used vacuum tubes, and because only sedentary people watched TV all the time.


If someone tells you to "lay it on them," what should you do?
Tell them the whole story.
Eat some ice cream.
Smooth the sheets.
Gather the eggs from the barn.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

You're not telling them the whole story, but now it's time to "lay it on them." Otherwise, no one will really know what you mean.

Boomers know the answer! What would they call "fine as wine"?
An attractive person
A smart scientist
A dog
A smooth cabernet
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

If someone was "fine as wine," he or she was very attractive. And maybe you'd drink them up with your eyes.

Why in the world would a Boomer ever want to "catch some Z's"?
He's tired.
He drives too fast.
He's flying to the moon.
He loves repeating the alphabet.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In cartoons, sleeping characters often have the letter Z in a long line above their head. If you're "catchin' Zs," you're sleeping.


If a friend says your new outfit is "boss," what are they really saying?
It's great.
It's all black.
It's glossy.
It makes you look old.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

It's another term that still lives on today. If something is "boss," it's totally great.

You're a Boomer. You'll most likely say which of the following is "sharp"?
A baby
A new car
A garbage dump
A bayonet
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

"Holy cow, check out that sharp new Chevy!" Something "sharp" was "hip" or cool. And that '57 was definitely sharp.

You Got:
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