Incredible 1950s Slang We Need to Bring Back Today

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Vote up the sick retro slang you’ll be working into everyday conversation.

Every generation develops its own slang. It often sounds alien to the generations who came before, even as these new words and phrases eventually get adopted into mainstream culture and become just the way people talk. 1950s slang is no different. The decade that birthed rock & roll used old words in whole new combinations, to the consternation of parents and old fogies everywhere, giving us terms like "baby," "cool," and "hipster" that mean more or less the same thing now as they did when they were just rockabilly slang.

Modern American English slang owes a lot to retro slang, so it's worth looking back to see if there's anything else we should be using. Here's a list of 1950s expressions that are worth reviving. Most of them began with either hot-rodder or Beat subcultures, but quickly infiltrated teenage language everywhere.

Most divisive: Razz My Berries
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  • Knuckle Sandwich
    725 votes

    Knuckle Sandwich

    A punch in the face. Has this one ever gone out of style?

  • Cruisin' for a Bruisin'
    779 votes

    Cruisin' for a Bruisin'

    Looking for trouble.

  • Later, Gator
    667 votes

    Later, Gator

    Good-bye. So long. Short for "See you later, alligator."

    The response was "After a while, crocodile."

  • Are You Writing a Book?
    654 votes

    Are You Writing a Book?

    This one means, "you're nosy, you're asking too many questions."

    This one still gets used sometimes today, but it's worth spreading around again. Especially since books are on the way out.

  • Ankle-Biter
    537 votes


    This means "kid," usually a small one. Said by rockabilly fans, it should be obvious that this is a reference to short stature.

  • Made in the Shade
    570 votes

    Made in the Shade

    Something that was made in the shade was a guaranteed success, a sure thing.