The 1980s not only had great fashion, music, and movies, it also had it’s own language. Every decade develops it’s own slang, and interestingly enough many of the most popular sayings of the 1980s are still alive and well today.
Here’s some of the more popular phrases from the 1980s.
The 411: Means information, as in “What’s the 411?”
Awesome: Actually, this is one of my favorite words. I bet I use it at least a dozen times a day. It’s short, positive, and everyone understands what it means. Why not use it?
Bombdigity: Again means something is awesome or great, as in “This burger is the bombdigity”.
Butter: Used to describe something that is good, similar to Bombdigity and Awesome.
Butt Ugly: Used to describe something unattractive, often in reference to a person’s physical appearance as in “He may be rich but he’s butt-ugly”.
Stud: A guy who looks good, has his stuff together and is just overall… awesome.
Ace: Means the best, tops, or #1.
Rad: Similar to awesome, this word means something was great, much better than average, etc. But my problem with this word is that it conjures up an image of California surfers with long hair.
Tubular: See Rad.
Airhead: Someone who is oblivious or dumb.
Amped: Means you’re totally psyched up or excited about something. As in “I’m totally amped to go to the concert”.
Bite Me: The 80’s version of “Kiss My A**”
Grody: Normally used to describe food, it meant something was disgusting or nasty. Because you know- everything besides fast food was grody.
To the Max: Yup, it’s short for “to the maximum.” And no, it doesn’t really make sense. But at the same time, none of these words really do, right? Anyways, this word was supposed to mean that you’re doing something 100%. So maybe you’re taking your career “to the max”, or pushing your poor old Volvo’s speed “to the max.”
Fresh. People would use “fresh” when they were talking about something new and cool. For example, they may say a new movie was fresh, or to check out the fresh new sandwich on the menu.
Burn: When you “burn” someone, that means you corrected them and proved them wrong. So for example, maybe a friend accused you of doing horribly on a test. You could then pull it out of your bookbag, shove that A+ in their face and yell “BURN.”
What’s Your Damage: Akin to “what’s your problem?”, you’re basically asking why someone has an attitude or is angry.
Dude: America’s version of the British/Austrailian “mate”. You’re referring to someone you’re friends with, but instead of using their name you call em “dude”. An example would be “dude, you have to try this burger!”
There’s more, but hopefully this gives you enough ammunition to talk the popular slang of the 1980s. So the next time someone comes up to you with an attitude, great new car or a nasty piece of food, you know how to revert to 80’s speak and talk to them.