1970s Slang of the Hippies

Remember the 70’s? It was a continuation of the 60’s generation with love and peace and flower power. Make love, not war. POW/MIA bracelets. We listened to 33 or 45 RPM records on our record players and 78 RPM records were considered old folks’ music.

Brand new jeans were totally uncool and we went to great lengths to put homemade patches on our jeans, each patch lovingly created like graffiti on the wall. Hip huggers and halter tops were in, letting your belly button all hang out. Hippie was not a derivative of Hiphugger. Boys and girls both had long hair and nobody shaved their head unless they had cooties. Turquoise eyeshadow and lime green nail polish were the norm. Earrings were long and dangly. Disco and Pink Floyd were fighting for supremacy.

The seventies generation was on the edge of innocence and the sexual revolution was still building steam. Knowledge of the world wasn’t as full as it is today. Life was safe. Nobody carried guns to school. Kids walked several blocks to school and nobody worried about their kids getting snatched on the way. You could trick or treat as far as you could walk. Hitchhikers were everywhere. Unlocked doors were common. Neighbors knew each other. Those were good years.

Teen pregnancy was something we whispered about. Pregnant girls often got hidden away until the baby was born and then it was put up for adoption. Divorces were uncommon.

Houses had one phone with a dial pad and it was either in the living room or kitchen. Phones had cords and you couldn’t get far enough away from your parents to actually talk. Most of us had manual typewriters and didn’t know computers existed. Every house had ONE television, it was in the living room and it only got 3 channels plus public television. Public TV was boring. TV went off the air at 2 a.m. and for several hours all you got was noisy static.

Nobody had dishwashers, microwaves or icemakers. Rent was $80 a month. Gas was 50 cents a gallon and you could buy a functional used car for $200. Most gas stations were full service: they pumped your gas, cleaned your windshield and even checked your oil.

People were big-hearted and open. Total strangers would open their homes to you if you needed a place to stay. Generosity was the norm. We were riding the Love Train of the Sixties Generation and we called everyone our friend. We had our own 70’s slang.

  • Bippie: A singular body part that once seen became a magnet for men’s eyeballs. Bippies were plentiful in the summer. Nicely shaped bippies were a prized but rare entity. Neglected bippies took on a flattened look. You could even bet on them.
    • “You bet your bippie!”
  • Let it all hang out: Be who you are. Relax.
  • Thongs: Something you wore on your feet. More commonly called flip flops or clots.
  • Cop: Take without permission. Steal. Get.
    • “Hey man, let’s go cop some cigarettes!”
    • “He copped a feel.”
  • The Fuzz: The cops.
  • Boogie:
    • “Let’s boogie.”
    • “Wanna boogie?”
    • “Hey baby…….” (boogie part deleted)
    • “We gotta boogie, man. C’mon!”
      Boogie was one of the most versatile words of the 70’s and parents still haven’t figured out what it meant. One had to look deeper to glean its exact meaning at any given moment. A bobbing head and snapping fingers meant you wanted to boogie standing up. A slow grin and one raised eyebrow meant you wanted to boogie lying down. Furrowed eyebrows and a scrunched up face meant if you weren’t ready to boogie NOW, you’d get left behind.
  • Tail: Came only in pieces. Meaning has remained the same throughout three generations.
  • Grits: We knew it was a body part, we just didn’t know which one. Whatever it was, you were supposed to kiss it, but only if the opposite party was stomping mad.
  • Huff: This word has had a radical change in meaning. Today it denotes a snit. In the 70’s it was how you partook of various substances, most of which slipped in under the border.
  • Toke: Something you never did to one of your own. Only done to someone else’s. It metamorphed into the word “drag.”
    • “Gimme a toke, wouldja?”
    • “Can I have a drag off of that?”
  • Drag: Bummer.
  • Bum: If your hand was extended then “bum” was a request made to a smoker by an alleged ex-smoker who claimed to have quit. In reality, he merely quit buying them. If no smokers were involved and everyone was snickering, then bum was a body part. It was only used in the context of having been fallen upon painfully.
    • “Can I bum a cigarette?”
    • “Oooh, he fell right on ‘is bum!”
  • Bogart: To keep something longer than your turn and partake of more than your share.
  • ‘Uns: A pair of body parts of large proportions. Always used in conjunction with hand gestures.
  • Ball: Men bragged about having done it with great pride. It was often lied about causing the girl to do their own version of it. Definitely a word of many meanings.
    • “Home run. We balled.”
    • “Afterwards she was balling like a baby!” (Who knew it was supposed to have a W in it? We sure didn’t!)
  • Balls: Only others can proclaim you have them, and they do so with awe. Any gender can have them and once proclaimed, they must be proven over and over in order to keep them.
  • Crank: An unmentionable body part that you yank on.
    • “Yank your crank.”
  • Bang: Something you do with an unmentionable body part.
  • Today’s Teenager: What you begat when you did the above.
  • Alien Nightmares: Screen Memories of UFO Alien Abductions

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