Cool 1970s Slang: Words and Sayings From the Disco Era

, Staff Writer
Updated January 5, 2023
four examples of 1970s slang phrases restated from the article
    retro girl with 1970s Slang examples list
    RichLegg / E+ / Getty Images / via Getty created by YourDictionary
    Used under Getty Images license

The 1970s was a cool era. After all, they invented (what seems like) a hundred different ways to say "cool." It was also the disco era; hello John Travolta. Wartime was over, people were relieved, and a major shift took place. You'll find that we still use a lot of this decade's lingo today. Language that goes underground for a while tends to spring back up again. Explore a list of some cool 1970s slang from the days of disco.

70s Slang for Places: Coming and Going

The best place to start is with some of the most important lingo of the disco era. Check out a selection of words to describe places, as well as what to say to enter or exit places with ease.

  • crib - apartment or home; place of residence
  • I gotta skitty - I have to hurry and leave
  • keep on steppin' - keep it moving; get out of here
  • later days - goodbye; farewell
  • my man, my man - hello, friend; general greeting for a male friend
  • pad - where someone lives
  • peace, love, and granola - goodbye and positive wishes
  • peace out - heading out; I'm leaving
  • say, brotha' - friendly greeting for a male friend
  • shaggin' wagon - '70s era van tricked out with a bed in the back
  • what's crackin' - general greeting, like asking someone what's going on
  • what it is - hey, hi; asking what's up

Ways to Say "Cool" in 1970s Slang

The term "cool" was a popular slang word in the '70s, but there was also a lot of other slang terminology for that particular word. During the disco era, there were just as many ways to describe something as being cool are there were ways to be cool.

  • bomb - cool in a hip or awesome way
  • far out - very cool in a weird way
  • funky - cool in an eccentric way
  • groovy - cool in a hip way
  • nifty - cool in a neat way
  • off the hook - very cool to the extreme
  • out of sight - very cool in an impressive way
  • radical - cool in an awesome way
  • slammin' - awesomely cool
  • stellar - cool in an incredible or awesome way

70s Slang for Things

Next, consider a list of expressions that name or describe various things from the 1970s. Some of these slang terms have stuck around. Raise your hand if you still refer to your clothes as threads.

  • bad - good; great
  • fab - short for fabulous
  • freaky deaky - odd; something that's very strange
  • good vibes - positive energy
  • hairy eyeball - a nasty stare
  • the lowdown - the truth; an overview of facts
  • the man - law enforcement or establishment authority figures
  • the skinny - the whole truth; the real story
  • threads - clothes; apparel
five 1970s slang words from the article
    disco dancers with 1970s slang examples list
    StephanHoerold / E+ / Getty Images / via Getty created by YourDictionary
    Used under Getty Images license

70s Slang for People

Of course, what would the world be without people — good, bad or otherwise? Here's a list of cool 1970s lingo to describe all kinds of people.

  • brick house - attractive, curvy female
  • casanova - a ladies' man
  • closet disco queen - one who dances at home where no one can see but not in public
  • dork - nerd
  • dorky - nerdish
  • dude - a guy; a generic term when speaking to people
  • foxy mama - a sexy lady
  • goof - a silly person
  • jive turkey - one who tries (unsuccessfully) to be cool
  • putz - klutzy or dorky person
  • space cadet - airhead, goofy person
  • spaz - klutzy person; someone who is acting silly
  • stone fox - a woman who's really hot
  • youngblood - a young man; boy

70s Slang to Describe Experiences

There was a lot going on in the 70s. Needless to say, there were hundreds of different ways to describe the happenings of your life in this era. Let's take a look at some of the most popular expressions.

  • bummer - too bad
  • copacetic - alright; no problem
  • down with - okay with
  • fake me out - trick me
  • flat leaver - ditch someone to hang out with someone cooler
  • gimme some skin - low five
  • hertz donut - informal contraction of "hurts, don't it?"
  • jeepers creepers - oh my gosh
  • rip off - lesser value than expected; poor quality; waste of money
  • sound as a pound - all is well; everything's fine
  • that was the joint - an event or party that was awesome
  • to the max - take something to the extreme

70s Slang for Activities

The vernacular of the 1970s also included quite a few slang words to describe activities that people might commonly engage in.

  • boogie - dance
  • boogie down - to dance very enthusiastically
  • book it - to quickly run away
  • chill - relax
  • chillin' at the pad - hanging out at home
  • confab - have a conversation; to discuss
  • do me a solid - help me; do a favor
  • get your groove on - to dance
  • gig - temporary work or a job
  • going around - dating
  • jive-talking - foolish chatter; saying things that aren't true that don't really expect anyone to believe
  • make groceries - go food shopping
  • take a chill pill - calm down

1970s Slang for Actions and Reactions

There are also quite a few 70s slang terms that describe what people might do or say, as well as how they might react to what others do.

  • bogart - to be greedy; keeping something for yourself that's meant to be shared
  • dream on - response to someone who's being unrealistic
  • buggin' out - freaking out
  • bugged out - freaked out
  • freak out - become frightened; be bothered by something
  • out to lunch - confused; clueless
  • call you out - point out problems with what someone is saying
  • in your face - take that!
  • psych - to trick someone
  • right on - yes; I agree
  • snaps - my bad
  • stoked - excited; thrilled
  • square biz - we're in agreement
  • go bananas - go crazy
  • trippin' - acting crazy

1970s Slang Phrases and Expressions

Not all 70's slang fits neatly into a category. The disco era is known for many other groovy slang sayings and expressions.

  • You decent? - asking if someone is dressed
  • You jivin' yet? - asking if someone is enjoying themselves
  • aww sooky sooky - yeah, baby
  • Can you dig it? - asking someone if they understand or agree
  • Catch my drift? - asking if someone understands your meaning
  • catch you on the flip side - see you later
  • check ya later - see or talk to you later
  • close the shades - shut up
  • Do you copy? - asking if a person understands your meaning
  • don't be a bunny - don't be stupid
  • flower power - choosing peace over war
  • hey, sunshine - hey, beautiful
  • keep on truckin' - don't stop now; keep doing what you're doing
  • mind your potatoes - mind your own business
  • stop dipping in my Kool-Aid - stay out of my business
  • ten-four, good buddy - I understand, friend
  • up your nose with a rubber hose - an expression of anger or irritation
  • wally wally, blood and dolly - being wild about a person in a way that makes you blind to their faults
  • what a nightmare - something is very wrong or difficult
  • What's your 20? - tell me where you are
  • you ain't just a woofin' - asking if someone really means what they're saying

Beyond the 1970s to Today

A lot of these expressions are still used today. Another popular decade with its own terminology that still carries on is the 1960s.

Enjoy this list of 1960s slang and reminisce or fantasize about riding shotgun as your buddy is laying rubber. Better yet, do the likes of Aerosmith, Bon Jovi and other hair bands of the 80s live on in your heart today? Then, be sure to get down with this long list of 1980s slang. Are you bad to the bone with some funky fresh gear? Enjoy learning to speak slang of the past and today.