You bought an Elvis costume, a Buddy Holly jacket, or a polka dot skirt and petticoat. So you’re ready for your 50’s themed party, right?


You need the lingo, man! You’ll be the big tickle of all beatniks if you show up and aren’t armed with the vocabulary. So, put on some thick-rimmed glasses or a polka dot skirt, go hang out with the other cool cats, then turn your wheels to Coolsville and read this handy AZ guide to 1950s slang. Only then you will be ready for the big party.

Who knows, you might even get some backseat bingo at the end of the night …

A gas – something that will be incredibly fun. Also known as “an explosion”

I’m sure I’d like to get that Cindy out of the movies, she’d be a gas.

Shake the gravel – leave quickly.

We better get out of here, Brett. Come on man, shake the gravel!

Are you writing a book? – back off, you’re asking too many questions.

What should I bring to the party? Where is? What time?

God, Marlon, are you writing a book?

Baby – cutie, used for both sexes.

Hey baby, do you come here often?

* Slap *

Bingo in the backseat – the fine art of kissing a girl in a car.

Oh come on Sally, let’s play some bingo in the backseat, huh?

Bad news – someone who is generally a bad egg, perhaps due to rejection.

Did you get any backseat bingo with Sally last night?

No man, she’s bad news.

Tried – party, jargon essential for your 50’s themed party!

Hey, are you coming to my party later? It’s going to be a gas.


Beatnik – a follower of the Beat scene, those pre-hippie dudes who were fed up with war and worried about plunging into an atomic age.

The Beatniks were generally accepted as the forerunners of the hippies of the 1960s, with their “on and off” attitude and rejecting “boring” social values.

Big potato – the father of the potential date, or anyone older than the Beat scene.

We were home at nine. He had to inform Big Daddy.

Bread – money.

Are you coming to see the band later, Danny?

No, man, I ran out of bread. I’m just taking Sally in the car.

Insect – bother.

Why don’t you have bread, Danny?

Look, will you forget? You’re starting to annoy me.

Cat, AKA Daddy’o – the way the Beatniks describe a fellow hipster.

Will the rest of you cats come later?

Sure, Daddy

Cooking – doing something right.

Were the ‘Crazy Cats’ good at last night’s concert?

Sure, they were cooking!

Cold – we all know this one! Something that is fashionable.

The music of the 50s was much colder than the trash of the 60s.

Copping a little – inventing something to fool a Beatnik.

He said he had to go home with Big Daddy, but I think he was just fucking a little bit.

Cruisin ‘for a bruisin’ – Searching for problems.

Hi Danny, I heard Sally found the right man.

You better watch what you’re saying, man, you’re looking for a brushing.

Dibs– to call dibs is to claim something before anyone else.

If Sally is losing Danny, I call dibbs.

Yeah, good luck with that …

Digit– understand

Just make sure Sally comes back at nine, young man.

Of course I love it.

Looking at a doll – take a good look at a possible date.

Is Mike coming or what?

No, he’s still busy looking at that doll in the park.

Bend me over – a derogatory comment, i.e. get lost, leave.

Danny, are you sure Sally isn’t looking at that guy over there?


Greaser – a person with tons of gel in their hair (later became a description for a whole group of people – think Fonzie, Fat.

Look at Mike, preening in that mirror. It’s a greaser.

Go crazy – explode with rage, be really angry.

I took Sally at ten o’clock the other night. His father went crazy.

Hang up – as in “hang out” – I don’t do much.

Do you want to hang out with mine later?

Sure, he had no better deals.

Hit the sack – go to bed

Will we see another?

I don’t know man, it’s late and we have school tomorrow. I’m going to hit myself.

Kicks – excitement gained from doing something fun or amazing.

Are we going to the park tomorrow?

So that?

Just for fun!

Knuckle sandwich – a fist to the face.

He was really yelling at me, I thought he was going to serve me a knuckle sandwich!

See you later – goodbye, a shortened form of “see you later, crocodile.”

See you at the dance.

Yes, later, alligator.

Without sweating – easy, no problem.

Can you take your sister to the dance later, honey?

Sure mom, don’t worry!

Square – similar to Big Daddy, someone who is not cool, and is definitely not a Beatnik.

Shall we invite Marlon?

By no means is it a square.

The big tickle– a laugh at the expense of the victim.

Actually, maybe we should invite Marlon, it would be a big tickle.

Turkey– a stupid or silly person.

That’s a terrible idea, Mike. You really are a Turkey.

-town – added to the end of words to create an imaginary place: coolsville, deadsville, squaresville, weirdsville.

Why would we go to Marlon’s afterwards? Live in Squaresville!

What’s buzzin ‘, cuzzin’? – what’s new?

Hey what’s buzzin ‘cuzzin’?

Well Brad crashed his new wheels and Marlon is still a square.

Wheels – a car, the essential accessory of the 50s.

So is Brad driving?

No, I told you I crashed the wheels!

Read more about 1950s fashion here! That’s what got you started, now buy your cheap 50s costume from the same site. We’ve recently added a bunch of new lines, including 1950s ladies ruffle wigs, greasing wigs, poodle skirts, and pink lady jackets.

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