THE BAWL GAME
Baby-sitting. Self explanatory really.
We know who the boss is…. Bruce Springsteen, of course. And as a verb, it means to order someone around – But in the early 60s “boss” was an adjective. It meant cool…. or maybe hot.
When something was really, really, cool, it was hot. If it was really hot it was outta’ sight!
A loser. Cartoonist Johnny Hart had the people in his kingdom of ID rise up against their leader with signs that read, “The King is a Fink”.
By 1966, COOL was so used up as to be Un-cool and had been replaced by BOSS, TOUGH, BITCHIN’, GROOVY, and the superlative OUTTA SIGHT.
Meaning “in”. Preceded the hippies. They were so far in, they were out – far out!
OFF THE WALL
Cooler than COOL. Even cooler than BOSS . . . and much, much cooler than GROOVY. In fact, so cool that it was FAR OUT.
A convertible car.
In the mid 60s, our parents and teachers were square – they just didn’t get it. Charles H. Brower, one of our elders, was so upset at the mal-appropriation of the word “square” that he wrote an essay about it, and put it on a 45 RPM record.
Back in the late 50s and 60s things were pretty good. In fact, they were swell. (Remember the tag line: “You can tell it’s Mattel; it’s swell!) Whatever happened to “swell”?