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51 Slang Terms You May Not Be Familiar With

51 Slang Terms You May Not Be Familiar With

Most of us are pretty familiar with slang terms from the last hundred years or so, but there are some that the average person might not be that well versed in anymore. For example, an expression like “the bee’s knees” would have been heard fairly often back in the 1930s, and in the ’60s, referring to something as being “a gas” had nothing to do with flatulence. Let’s take a look at some slang terms from the past century to see which ones have stuck around, and which have bitten the dust.

1910s

Butterflies in the Stomach: The feeling of nervousness or anxiety that manifests in a fluttery belly feeling. This one has certainly stuck around!

Goopy: Stupid or foolish, often in reference to going along with something dumb that another was doing.

Bonehead: An idiotic or stupid person.

Doohickey: Some object for which the name is either unknown, or unremembered at that point in time. “That doohickey fell off my car again.”

1920s

The Cat’s Meow: Something splendid or stylish.

On the Level: Honest, truthful. “You had breakfast with the President? Are you on the level?”

Giggle Water: An alcoholic beverage; a drink that makes you giddy and giggly. This one should absolutely be brought back into common vernacular.

Tearjerker: A sentimental story or movie that brings the viewer/reader to tears.

1930s

Hooch: Bootleg alcohol. Prohibition made booze illegal in a lot of places, so people would sell homemade “hooch” under the table.

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Go Bananas: To go absolutely crazy/lose control.

Gams: A woman’s legs. “That dame’s got great gams.”

Chintzy: Cheaply made and vulgar-looking. “He gave me a chintzy plastic tablecloth for my birthday. What was he thinking?”

Speedo: The speedometer on a car. (Rather different from the modern connotation, isn’t it?)

1940s

Chicken Out: To back away from something out of cowardice.

Spook: As a verb, “spook” referred to creeping someone out; as a noun, it referred to a spy.

Dope: Information, usually fairly secret info about someone. “Hey, have you heard the dope on Sally?”

Bust Rocks: To serve time in prison; possibly in reference to doing hard labor while incarcerated.

1950s

Bread: This term for money/cash lasted well into the ’70s, but then died out.

Junk: Refers to heroin, rather than the completely different connotation it carries now.

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In a Pickle: In trouble; in a jam. “Danny found himself in a pickle when his stolen car broke down outside the cop shop.”

Out of This World: Spectacular, amazing.

1960s

The Damage: The cost of something. “Wow, that was a great meal. Okay, what’s the damage?”

Groovy: Very cool. You won’t hear this one much anymore unless someone’s saying it ironically.

Knock-Off: An illegal copy. “She bought a knock-off Prada bag, but the label was misspelled as ‘Parda.’ You’d think that would have been a clue that it wasn’t legit.”

Douchebag: A weak, indecisive person (usually male), or someone who’s just a complete jerk.

-ville (suffix): Grouping a bunch of things together to indicate their general definition. “My parents’ place was dullsville this weekend.”

1970s

Give Some Skin: To shake hands or give a slow high-five, usually in congratulations.

Boondocks: Out in the middle of nowhere. “His new house is out in the boondocks, man…I think his closest neighbor’s a squirrel.”

“No Way, Jose!”: Absolutely not. No. Not gonna happen.

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Hammered: Unbelievably drunk. “Tito got totally hammered after drinking thirty vodka spritzers.”

Shades: Sunglasses.

1980s

Awesome: Spectacular/great.

Kryptonite: An item that is a person’s weakness. “I just can’t stay away from Kelly; she’s my kryptonite.”

“Whatever.”: Expression of utter indifference.

Eye Candy: Something attractive or otherwise pleasing to the eye.

Sketchy: Questionable, possibly dirty or dangerous. “That’s a sketchy neighborhood; walk there at night and you might get mugged.”

1990s

Chillax: Chilled out and relaxing all at once, usually while socializing with others.

Poser: Someone who pretends to be important, or tries to be part of a group that they’re absolutely unsuited to.

Ugly Stick: An imaginary object that makes anything hideous when smacked with it. “Dude, where the hell did you get that shirt? You look like you’ve been hit with the ugly stick.”

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Five-Finger Discount: Shoplifting.

Buff: Muscular. “He was totally buff after working out for eight hours a day, every day for a month.”

2000s

Peeps: People, especially those in one’s own social or familial circle. “Don’t mess with my peeps.”

Green: Eco-friendly.

Newbie: A newcomer. Also referred to as “noob” or “n00b”. “He totally pwned a bunch of n00bs playing WOW last night.”

Bling: Shiny, expensive jewelery, generally worn to be overly showy.

Cougar: An older woman who sleeps with (preys upon?) younger men.

2010s

Tricked-Out: Highly decorated and ameliorated, usually in reference to a car.

Crack- (prefix): A reference to something that a person is addicted to. “I swear, I check Crackbook (Facebook) a hundred times a day.”

Bromance: A close, non-sexual friendship between males.

Unfriend: To end a friendship with someone; used in reference to deleting someone from the Facebook “friends” list.

Precious: Truly hideous. “Did you see Maya’s new jacket? Purple leopard print with rhinestones and ribbons is just so…precious.”

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Catherine Winter

Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them

How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them

If I was a super hero I’d want my super power to be the ability to motivate everyone around me. Think of how many problems you could solve just by being able to motivate people towards their goals. You wouldn’t be frustrated by lazy co-workers. You wouldn’t be mad at your partner for wasting the weekend in front of the TV. Also, the more people around you are motivated toward their dreams, the more you can capitalize off their successes.

Being able to motivate people is key to your success at work, at home, and in the future because no one can achieve anything alone. We all need the help of others.

So, how to motivate people? Here are 7 ways to motivate others even you can do.

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1. Listen

Most people start out trying to motivate someone by giving them a lengthy speech, but this rarely works because motivation has to start inside others. The best way to motivate others is to start by listening to what they want to do. Find out what the person’s goals and dreams are. If it’s something you want to encourage, then continue through these steps.

2. Ask Open-Ended Questions

Open-ended questions are the best way to figure out what someone’s dreams are. If you can’t think of anything to ask, start with, “What have you always wanted to do?”

“Why do you want to do that?”

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“What makes you so excited about it?”

“How long has that been your dream?”

You need this information the help you with the following steps.

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3. Encourage

This is the most important step, because starting a dream is scary. People are so scared they will fail or look stupid, many never try to reach their goals, so this is where you come in. You must encourage them. Say things like, “I think you will be great at that.” Better yet, say, “I think your skills in X will help you succeed.” For example if you have a friend who wants to own a pet store, say, “You are so great with animals, I think you will be excellent at running a pet store.”

4. Ask About What the First Step Will Be

After you’ve encouraged them, find how they will start. If they don’t know, you can make suggestions, but it’s better to let the person figure out the first step themselves so they can be committed to the process.

5. Dream

This is the most fun step, because you can dream about success. Say things like, “Wouldn’t it be cool if your business took off, and you didn’t have to work at that job you hate?” By allowing others to dream, you solidify the motivation in place and connect their dreams to a future reality.

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6. Ask How You Can Help

Most of the time, others won’t need anything from you, but it’s always good to offer. Just letting the person know you’re there will help motivate them to start. And, who knows, maybe your skills can help.

7. Follow Up

Periodically, over the course of the next year, ask them how their goal is going. This way you can find out what progress has been made. You may need to do the seven steps again, or they may need motivation in another area of their life.

Final Thoughts

By following these seven steps, you’ll be able to encourage the people around you to achieve their dreams and goals. In return, you’ll be more passionate about getting to your goals, you’ll be surrounded by successful people, and others will want to help you reach your dreams …

Oh, and you’ll become a motivational super hero. Time to get a cape!

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Featured photo credit: Thought Catalog via unsplash.com

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