Light Wave


From Flower Power to Socking It: 20 Slang Phrases of the ’60s

By Jake Beardslee · February 17, 2024

Catch Some Rays

Working on your summer tan means you're catching some rays. Slather on that baby oil and catch some rays down at the beach!  Steve Shook from Moscow, Idaho, USA/Wikimedia


Anything super dirty or unkempt is totally grungy, man. Avoid grungy places covered in muck and go where the ambiance is flower power instead!  Derek Redmond and Paul Campbell/Wikimedia

Flower Power

The hippie movement of the 1960s preached peace, love, and anti-war sentiments. They were the flower children, with their daisies representing pacifism. "Flower power" symbolized their ideals and influence on the counterculture.  James M Shelley/Wikimedia


To be aggressively domineering or take more than your share, like Bogart's cigarette-hogging tendencies.  PD-US/Wikimedia


In the '60s, marvy was shorthand for marvelous. Everything groovy and excellent was marvy, daddy-o! But it could also be used sarcastically to mean not-so-great. Beware of marvy things that are really bogus.  Pau Patterson/Unsplash


In the mod ‘60s, trendy fashions and anything contemporary was described as "a-go-go." Stay hip and groovy with all the latest threads and happenin' scenes that are "a-go-go".  Nelson Tiffany, Los Angeles Times/Wikimedia

Power Trip

When someone lets authority go to their head, they're on a power trip, man. Righteous people spread the love; bogus ones harsh your mellow on their power trips.  Ric Manning/Wikimedia


It first referred to unauthorized phone phreakers before becoming computer infiltrators. Beware of hackers, man - protect your data from these tech-savvy deviants!  ENERGY.GOV/Wikimedia

Sock It To Me

Laugh-In's hip catchphrase exhorting someone to let them have it. Sock it to me, daddy-o! Give me what you got, man! I can take it!  NBC Television/Wikimedia


Selectively choosing only the best things available is cherry-picking, so don't cherry-pick all the good stuff and leave crumbs for everyone else!  Taryn Elliott/Pexels

Can You Dig It?

'60s hipsters asking if you can dig their vibe and understand where they're coming from. I'm laying down some far out theories here - can you dig it, man?  John Atherton/Wikimedia

Golden Oldie

Nostalgic '60s hits from the '50s and early '60s were deemed "golden oldies." Respect your elders and pay homage to these classic golden oldies, daddy-o.  Erwin Salas/Pexels


If something's cool, hip, and happenin', it's groovy, man! Stay groovy by keeping an open mind to new experiences. Right on!  Ron Kroon / Anefo/Wikimedia


Short for fabulous, this adjective defined the stellar coolness of The Beatles. Feel the beat, move your feet to the fab sounds of The Beatles!  EMI/Wikimedia


This classic teen insult for pimples and blackheads took off in the 1960s. Wash your face and watch that greasy diet to avoid getting a big, honking zit!  Polina Tankilevitch/Pexels

Far Out!

For anything awesome, amazing, or bizarre that blows your mind, just exclaim "Far out!" That guitar solo was far out, man!  RDNE Stock project/Pexels


It's all about your personal taste and scene. If something's not your bag, you ain't diggin' it, and that's cool. To each their own bag, daddy-o!  FORTEPAN/Krantz Károly/Wikimedia


Before cash, bread was slang for money. But in the '60s, you might ask someone for some "bread" and they'd fork over dollars, not baked goods. Hand over some of that sweet bread, daddy-o!  Alexander Grey/Unsplash


This Yiddish-origin verb means to annoy, bore, hassle, or pester someone. If you know a real nudnik, a chronic complainer, they'll nudge you relentlessly until you can't take it anymore.  Liza Summer/Pexels


A total drag, bad trip, harshing your mellow - that's a bummer, man! Don't have a bummer - keep your spirits high and your vibes groovy.  National Film Board of Canada/Wikimedia