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



By: John Miller

6 Min Quiz

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?

"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 ____.

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"?

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?

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"?

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?

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"?

"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?

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?"

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"?

"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?

"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?

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?

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?

"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"?

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"?

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"?

"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?

"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?

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"?

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?

"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?"

"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?

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?

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?

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?

"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?

"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"?

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?

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?

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?

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"?

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"?

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 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"?

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


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