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20 Slang Terms from the 80’s

20 Slang Terms from the 80's

So maybe Reaganomics and the Just Say No campaign didn’t particularly spike your interest back in the day, but there was much more to the 80s than politics, the Cold War, and the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was a time of big hair, big dreams, and Bon Jovi. If you can look past all of the cringe-worthy neon trends and legwarmers, you’ll find that this decade was also a shining time of phat catchphrases, choice sayings, and totally gnarly slang. If you lived through these years, you know exactly what we’re talking about.

Below we’ve compiled a list of the top 20 most iconic sayings of the decade, from quippy one-liners to full-on nonsense. So if you’re looking to incorporate some totally radical throwback terms into your vocabulary, look no further.

80s Slang that Will Have You Slidin’ Down Your Shades

1. “Cheeuh!”

This was just another way of saying yes or yeah, but with a scoff and an especially sarcastic tone.

2. “Tubular”

Though to you it may seem like an exclusive surfer term, the word tubular was synonymous with the word cool to everyone back in the 80s.

3. “Gag me with a spoon!”

80s slang 3

Source: tenor.com

This phrase was used to express disgust. It makes the word gross seem pretty dull in comparison.

4. “Bad”

80s slang 4

Source: zimbio.com

If something in the 80s was bad, you knew it was cool or trendy. Good was still good, of course, but bad was also good–makes sense, right?

5. “Bogus!”

If you know this movie, you probably already know what this word means. Back in the 80s, if you found yourself stuck in or even witnessing a crappy situation, you would describe it as bogus.

6. “Don’t have a cow.”

This is a funnier way of telling someone to chill out. Kinda weird, right? Apparently, you only really deserved someone saying this to you if you were truly overreacting.

7. “No duh!”

80s slang 7

Source: gfycat.com

Seeing as how this is still a commonly used phrase, we already know that you already know what it means–no duh!

8. “Not even!”

If your answer to something was no, but you wanted to emphasize it, this is what you would say. It’s the 80s equivalent of the 90s saying, “As if!”

9. “Grody!”

80s slang 9

Source: gfycat.com

Back in the 80s, there was no more creative and emphatic way to express disgust than this word. Grody was an expression of extreme perturbation.

10. “Like totally!”

80s slang 10

Source: wattpad.com

This was a way to answer in the affirmative without really saying yes. For example, would we bring back staple 80s lingo if we could? Like, totally!

11. “Dude/Dudette”

80s slang 11

Source: tenor.com

It’s highly unlikely that you don’t know what this means, but just in case you don’t, we’ve got you covered. A dude or dudette is a particularly chill individual with a knack for chillin’ out and being cool.

12. “What’s your damage?”

80s slang 12

Source: pinterest.com

Back in the 80s, it was too much of an imposition to ask what someone’s problem was. You just had to dig a little deeper and accuse them of being emotionally damaged in some way.

13. “Choice”

This would be used to describe someone or something particularly awesome or amazing. For example, you might say to someone, “That is a choice pair of shoes,” or “Choice ride, dude!”

14. “Gnarly!”

If something was described as gnarly, it was a skill you wanted to gain, a product you wanted to have, or a person you wanted to be best friends with. This word described only the coolest of the cool and the awesomest of the awesome.

15. “Rad!”

Rad is still a widely used term to this day, and boy are we thankful it is! How else would we describe the most awesome parts of life?

16. “Wiggin’/ Wiggin’ out”

If someone is wiggin’ or wiggin’ out, this gif probably resembles their mental state. Duran Duran is an 80s icon, so his facial expression is a perfect fit for the meaning of the word.

17. “Eat my shorts!”

80s slang 17

Source: giphy.com

If someone were to say this to you, it meant they wanted nothing to do with you. It was a saying popularized by Bart Simpson–yet another example of how big of a deal The Simpsons was back in the 80s.

18. “Fresh”

80s slang 18

Source: biography.com

This word was used to describe something that was probably extremely new and hip. If something was fresh, it was the cool new thing.

19. “Bag your face!”

80s slang 19

Source: gifer.com

This was a particularly cruel insult that high school kids of the 80s came up with when someone’s facial appearance left something to be desired

20. “Lame”

This word is still widely used today, meant to describe something dull or unoriginal. For example, a boring party would be described as lame.

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