Learn 1950s Slang...
Vocabulary From the Fifties

1950s Slang

Understand the Lingo

Are you familiar with 1950s slang?

Let's roll back the clock, and listen in... yep, it's the 1950's.

If you were not around in the fifties, you may be surprised by the slang that was popular. Are you ready for your 1950s slang lesson?

Put on your blue jeans and T-shirt, and turn on some rock-n-roll...it's time to go back to the fifties!

Slang is a staple of all teens no matter where they live or what era you are talking about, but the 50's had something special.

If you don't believe me, just turn on any re-run of the popular TV show Happy Days and listen to Fonzie, known as "The Fonz." That says it all.

One of the main characteristics of the 1950s slang was the added "ville" to many of their words. Many of these words, in fact most words can have "ville" added to them.

There was:

  • Coolsville
  • Deadsville
  • Squaresville
  • Weirdsville

This is just a sampling of what you can do with words, and what teens in the 50's did could get pretty creative.

Now, this is not a complete list of all the 1950s slang that was used...

Just the best of the best...according to me!

If you are planning to have a 1950's Rock-n-Roll party  it's fun to have a cheat sheet of the cool 1950s slang for your guests so you can all be totally cool and sound like you are back in the 1950s!

Okay, let's do this!

1950s Slang

  • Going Ape - to explode or be really mad
  • Are you writing a book? - You're asking too many questions
  • Bad news - Depressing person
  • Blast _ A good time
  • Boss - Great
  • Square - A regular, normal person
  • Nerd - Bill Gates without the money
  • No sweat - No problem
  • Passion Pit - Drive-in movie theater
  • What's buzzin, cuzzin - What's new?
  • Wail - Go fast
  • Tank - A large sedan - usually driven by parents or older people
  • Threads - Clothes
  • Unreal - unbelievable
  • Wazoo - Your rear end
  • Cookin' - Doing it well
  • Spaz Someone who is uncoordinated, or a clutz
  • Submarine races - While waiting for the submarines to race, couples found creative ways of killing the time, hubba, hubba!
  • Royal shaft - Badly or unfairly treated
  • Righto - Okay
  • Tear ass - Drive very fast
  • Radioactive - Very popular
  • Pound - Beat up
  • Cloud 9 - Really happy
  • Cat - A hip person
  • Bread - Money
  • Cool it - Relax, settle down
  • Bash - Great party
  • Bobbed - Shortened (as in haircut)
  • Greaser A guy with tons of grease in his hair, Later this came to describe an entire group of people (think Fonzie)
  • Cranked - Excited
  • Crazy "Like crazy,man" Implies an especially good thing
  • Dig - To understand and approve
  • Fat City - Happy
  • Flick - A movie
  • Hang - As in "hang out" which means not doing much
  • Heat - The Police
  • Hip - Someone who is cool
  • later, gator - Goodbye
  • Like crazy - Really good
  • Make out - A kissing session

Yes, this is really the vocabulary from the fifties. When used it sounds something like this...

Hey all you Chickie babies, Cool cats, Greasers, and Motor heads. You are hip to a whole new sound, so put on your best threads, lose the squares, and get ready to head to fat city for the biggest bash of the weekend. Let's get cranked and have a blast!

Now, the 1950s slang is very cool but I though you might like to hear some facts about life in the 50's too.

In the 1950s the most popular baby names were:


  • Mary
  • Deborah
  • Linda
  • Patricia
  • Susan
  • Maria
  • Barbara
  • Karen
  • Nancy
  • Elizabeth


  • Michael
  • James
  • David
  • Robert
  • John
  • William
  • Richard
  • Mark
  • Thomas
  • Charles
  • Steven

They all look like pretty normal names. You won't have trouble pronouncing them or even spelling them!

No Aidan, Ava, Isabella, Franklin, Benjamin or Apple on the list! And these are the easy ones.

Some of the names parents give kids these days are very difficult to pronounce! And of course the various ways that the names are spelled has to be factored in as well. For example: Emily then is Emilee now...go figure!

Wow, those were the good old days when you could actually pronounce and spell a kids name!

Weird Fact:

In the 1950's, it was believed that tonsils were not real important and that all they did was make you sick. So, in the 50s having them removed was practically a rite of passage for kids. And who in their right mind wouldn't want to have all the ice cream you could eat?

1950's teen trends

  • Going steady
  • Rock & roll music
  • getting pinned
  • Cruising the boulevard
  • Hanging out at the malt shop
  • wearing your boyfriend's class ring
  • Having a crush on the latest teen idol like James Dean...he's so dreamy!
  • sock-hops
  • Good Humor man

Popular toys in the 1950's:

Okay, so now when you have your 1950's rockin teen party you will have the lingo down and be the coolest cat in town!

Don't forget about all the other awesome stuff from the 1950s era, like the coolest 1950s cars, the fashion, television in the 1950s, 1950s music, and of course, the retro candy!

50's Candy Time Capsule is a must!

 Have Fun!

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