80s Speak

So . . . "Awesome" is equal to or slightly better than "Cool", certainly better than "Bad" (or "Bitchin") and about on a par with "Gnarly", but definitely nowhere near as good as "Tubular". . . well, that totally, like, rocks my world dude!

AIRHEAD
An intellectual lightweight. A term often used to describe a Valley Girl. See also SPACE CADET.

AWESOME
Equal to or slightly better than COOL but not quite TUBULAR.

BAD
Something that is very good or very cool.

BARF BAG
A disparaging term used by one person to describe another. (Like JERK)

BITCHIN'
Adjective for something that is very cool, or very hot, as in "Dude, that band is bitchin'!"

BODACIOUS
Usually used as an expression of appreciation for a woman's physical attributes, but also generally as a form of enthusiastic appreciation for a member of the opposite sex.

BOMB
Used to describe something in a very favourable light, as in "That movie was totally bomb!"

BOTTOM LINE
Yuppie-speak for getting to the crux of a matter, as in "Okay. This is the bottom line"; previous generations might have said "getting down to brass tacks."

BOY TOY
A young woman with a reputation for being "easy". In her first incarnation, Madonna exploited the boy toy image. Not to be confused with TOY BOY

CARPE DIEM
A Yuppie term, from the Latin for "seize the day," meaning to go for it, take a chance, get on with life. Made famous in the movie Dead Poets Society.

CATCH SOME RAYS
Sunbathe. Soak up some sun. Get some UV's.

CATCH SOME ZEE'S
Get some sleep. Crash out.

CHEESY
Something that is way too sentimental (like Little House On The Prairie or The Waltons for example).

CHILL/CHILL OUT
Relax, calm down. Take a chill pill. To be practicing this is to be chillin'.

COUCH POTATO
Term coined to describe those who spend way too much time in front of the television, thanks to the VCR and the advent of the remote control and cable TV.

COWABUNGA!
An 80s battle cry, sort of like "Geronimo!". Made popular originally by surfers and usually uttered when someone is about to do something crazy, dangerous or adventurous.

DINK
Acronym for "Dual Income, No Kids" - a Yuppie couple with no children and lots of money to spend on themselves (known as "disposable income").

DIPSTICK
A dumb person. Popularised by Boss Hogg on The Dukes of Hazzard. See also AIRHEAD.

DO LUNCH
A Yuppie term expressing a desire to get together in the future, but without a firm commitment as to when. "Have your girl fax my girl and we'll Do Lunch sometime".

DO THE WILD THING
To have sex. To bump nasties.

DOWNER
Anything (an event, a movie, a person) that is depressing. The Challenger space shuttle disaster was a major downer for everyone.

DUDE
A pronoun made popular in the 1980s, synonymous with "Man," as in "Hey, dude, what's the word?"

DWEEB
A synonym for Nerd.

EAT MY SHORTS
An expression of mild contempt. Used by Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club long before Bart Simpson made it even more famous.

FOR SURE
An expression of heartfelt agreement. "Man, she is hot!" "For sure, dude!"

FRESH
Hip term used as a synonym for "appealing" or "original".

GAG ME WITH A SPOON
A Valley Girl expression connoting extreme disgust.

GANG BANGER
A member of an urban street gang.

GET HORIZONTAL
To do the wild thing. The phrase originated with Olivia Newton-John's song Let's Get Physical.

GNARLY
Valley speak for something that is very good.

GRODY
Something that is extremely gross. "Dude, this burger is grody to the max". The opposite of GNARLY.

GROSS OUT
Synonymous with disgusting. To "gross me out" you had to do something that was really disgusting . . . like eating your own boogers.

GUPPIE
Variation of YUPPIE used to denote a gay, upwardly-mobile person.

HAVE A COW
To be over-excited or upset almost to the point of hysteria. "He's, like, just a rock star. Don't have a cow!"

HELLACIOUS
Used to describe something that is very difficult, as in, "That English exam was hellacious, dude!"

HOMEBOY
Term used to identify someone as a friend, or a member of your clique (originated from urban street gang jargon).

HOSER
A loser, a rube. Canadian in origin, made popular by the TV series SCTV and the film Strange Brew.

HOTTIE
Used to describe someone, of either gender, who is sexy or extremely good looking.

HUNK
A majorly handsome male. See also STUDMUFFIN.

I'M SO SURE
A sarcastic expression of disbelief, as in "Mike asked you out on a date? Yeh . . Like, I am soooooo sure!"

ILL
Uncool, not hip; "You be illin'" is to say "You don't look good" or "You look miserable."

JOANIE
Derisive Val-speak for a square, un-hip girl, derived from the Joanie Cunningham character on Happy Days.

JOCK
A sportsman or athlete. Usually used as a term of derision.

LAME
Anything that is dumb, uninspiring or just not with it, as in "That song is so lame!"

LIKE
Originated with Valley Girls. Can be used as many times as necessary in a sentence (often to herald the upcoming use of an adjective) such as "That movie was like so lame that it like grossed me out . . . like totally".

MAJOR (MAJORLY)
As in "He is a major hunk!" or "That was a major gross out!"

MAKE MY DAY
Derived from the Clint Eastwood Dirty Harry flick Sudden Impact. Used as a macho response to a challenge, or, in the past tense, sarcastically, as in "Oh, yeah, that just made my day!" (which is to say, of course, that it didn't).

MEGA
Prefix that can be attached to nearly any word for enhancement. Megababe, megahunk, megajock, megadweeb etc. Can also be used alone, as in "The new Van Halen album is Mega, dude!". Also synonymous with MAJOR.

OMIGOD!
Valspeak to express surprise or disgust, with each syllable separated by a pause - "oh . . . mi . . . god!".

PARTY HEARTY
The war cry of 80s frat boys and JOCKS everywhere, meaning to party with a dedication sometimes sadly lacking in English class.

PC
Short for Politically Correct (not saying or doing anything that might hurt or insult anyone at all). First reared its ugly head in the 80s. See also NAZI.

PENCIL YOU IN
Yuppie-speak for making an appointment or date that is tentative and subject to change (hence the "pencil" reference, geddit?).

PREPPIE
The polo shirt and khaki trousers look - All the rage in the 70s, although most Preppies became Yuppies in the 80s.

PSYCHE!
Used after telling somebody something that upsets or excites them, to demonstrate that you were just fooling.

QUEER
A pejorative unrelated to homosexuality, used to describe something or someone that is peculiar or LAME.

QUICHE
Weak or effeminate - Derived from the 1982 book Real Men Don't Eat Quiche.

RAD/RADICAL
Term coined by surfers and skateboarders in the 80s to describe something that is very cool.

ROCK MY WORLD
As in "amaze me" or "make me really really happy" - "You totally rock my world, babe" or "Go ahead and rock my world, dude".

RUSH
A big thrill - "That concert was a major rush"

SCUMBAG
A derisive term denoting an extremely undesirable person.

SKANK
Like a scumbag, but with lower morals and worse personal hygiene.

SLAMDANCE
A form of dancing requiring participants to hurl themselves bodily at one another. Began with punk rock (and ultimately became "Moshing" in later years).

SPACE CADET
Used to describe someone who is dumb or just wacky. See also AIRHEAD.

STOKED
Fired up and all ready to go.

STUDMUFFIN
See HUNK.

TAKE A CHILL PILL
Calm down. De-stress.

TO THE MAX
To the ultimate level, as in, "That skank is grody to the max."

TOTALLY!
Completely. To the max.

TOY BOY
Used to describe a young man who was the plaything of an older woman (or man).

TUBULAR
To describe something that is so totally cool as to defy description.

UVS
In sunbathing, to catch some rays. Stands for ultraviolet, as in "I'm heading down to Malibu to get some UVs."

VALLEY GIRL
Originally used to describe spoiled girls who lived in the San Fernando Valley and who developed their own lingo, known as Valspeak. In time the term was used to describe any slightly goofy mall chick.

VEG (OUT)
To take it easy. To do nothing at all. "I am going to like totally veg out today".

WANNABE
Not the real thing. A cheap imitation. Derived from a 1985 magazine story about obsessed young female fans of Madonna, who wanted to be just like her, and did everything in their power to look and act like her. Used as a derisive term.

WAYCOOL
Beyond cool, or at least very very cool.

WICKED
Really good. Related to BAD and RADICAL.

WORD!
A utilitarian slang word used as an expression of enthusiastic agreement, an exclamation, or when you just didn't know what else to say.

YUPPIE
The upwardly-mobile Baby Boomer who is obsessed with career and conspicuous consumption; stands for Young Urban Professional.