The 1960s were a distinctive era. They left us with a culture of political protest, and of course we remember the music, clothes, and movies. But the hippie generation also left us some far-out slang.
Some of these words survived and became a part of our everyday lexicon, while others are relics of a more psychedelic time. You might cry, "OK boomer" if you heard some of these slang terms today, but in the 1960s, they were the height of cool.
The first documentation of babe was in the 14th century, but hippies began using this as a term of endearment for women and significant others. This continues to be the most common use of “babe” today. And pigs. We love a pig named Babe.
As in cool cat, or someone — usually a man — who exudes style and grace. The use of this word originated in the 1930s, but it really took off in the 1960s and then peaked. Try pulling out this moniker today instead of bro.
To stay over at someone’s house, usually for free and probably on the couch. Keep in mind the old piece of wisdom: What do fish and houseguests have in common? They both start to go bad after three days.
If someone explained a difficult concept or experience, they might want to verify if you understand by asking, “Ya dig?” The term is from African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) and is thought to originate from the African language Wolof. Dig is also used to denote when you like something. “I really dig your threads!”
Something that disappoints or bores you. “You know that cat who is crashing on my couch? He’s such a drag!”
We still use this term, but it came into vogue during the ’60s when people started becoming more environmentally conscious. The term refers to animals, plants, and other living things whose continued existence is in danger.
Hippies also used cool, but something especially awesome was groovy or outta sight.
Something that becomes fashionable quickly, and then goes out of style right away. The word still stuck though. “Platform shoes are a fashion fad that needs to die!”
Another synonym for groovy. “Your new shoes are far out!”
Hippies were fond of using flowers as accessories at concerts, gatherings, and yes, protests. Flower power described the hippie desire to make the world a better place with peaceful actions.
Or hacked off. This term was used to describe someone who was angry. Nowadays, you’ll get pretty hacked if your email gets hacked.
Being mellow meant you were relaxed, carefree, and felt at peace. It’s the opposite of being hacked off.
Aretha Franklin popularized this phrase in her 1967 song, “Respect.” It didn’t always have a family-friendly connotation, but comedians began using the phrase to mean give it to me, and they’d often see consequences, such as getting a pie to the face.
Adapted from jazz slang, hippies used the word threads to refer to their clothes — usually covered in flowers, patchwork, and paisley.
Feature photo credit: photoDiod/ Shutterstock