Long before emoticons, we used our words to express every little detail about life in a cool way. Or so we thought? I’m kidding, the 80s were actually the best. So, like, everyone, get ready to ride this roller coaster of nostalgia. It’s going to be tubular and super rad!
1. “Bag your face”
Having to cover your face with a bag because of people’s negative perceptions of your appearance was one of the greatest insults. I ran home crying on many occasions.
2. “Grody to the max”
Gross wouldn’t suffice. If things were nasty, they were grody … to the max.
Yeah, you know what this means…
4. “Have a cow”
This is one of my favorite 80s expressions, but no one under the age of 25 would have the slightest clue as to what I’m talking about. To be fair, it’s hard to make sense of this one. How does getting upset over something have anything to do with having a cow? Probably nothing, but a cow does make a distressing sound.
5. “What’s your damage”
This sounds like “what’s wrong with you,” which is super critical. I’d only say this to someone if I wanted to gag myself with a spoon when I’d see them.
6. “Word to your mother”
When word is delivered to your mother, that’s it. No one can argue with you any further. Mothers have always been powerful figures.
I had an obsession with surfing for the longest time, so I tried to emulate surfers. I would slow down my speech and say tubular as often as I could. After kids today heard the word on Netflix’s hit Stranger Things, it’s starting to become a little more popular. It just doesn’t sound as tubular coming from their mouths.
These next slang terms were in everybody’s vocabulary.
8. “What a total zeek”
A sexy geek? There were lots in the 80s. Am I right?
9. “Like totally”
You couldn’t just simply agree with someone. You had to ‘like totally’ agree with them.
10. “Gag me with a spoon”
Saying we disliked something wouldn’t suffice. Our disgust and contempt was akin to being gagged with a spoon.
11. “Where’s the beef”
Millennials know what the slang term “beef” means, but they have no idea when you make it a question. Thank you Wendy’s? The fast food chain coined the phrase, which came to mean that you’re questioning the substance of an idea.
12. “Radical” or “rad”
Nowadays, when most people hear the word radical, they think of terrorism, but back in the good ol’ days it meant awesome.
13. “Barf me out”
If “gag me with a spoon” sounded like a compliment, you’d probably say “barf me out.” Were we so easily grossed in the 80s?
Choice means to make a decision, but in the 80s it meant to approve of something. In hindsight, it sounds so strange when placed in a sentence. “That bag is choice.” “You made a choice decision.” Now that’s an oxymoron.
I always thought a yuppie was someone who was really bad, so I was surprised to learn that the meaning was quite the opposite. Don’t we all want to be seen as well-educated and rich? I’ll take yuppie over WASP any day.