Slang Terms of the 1970’s

The 1970s, commonly known as the Seventies, was a decade beginning on January 1st, 1970 and ending on December 31st, 1979.

Many historians have increasingly portrayed the 1970s as a “pivot of change” in world history. In the Western world, the social progressive values that began in the 1960s began to grow, including an increased political awareness and economic liberty of women. In a clear contrast with the communitarianism of the 1960s, Americans began to move toward a new attitude of individualism.


Cool; disgusting. Until the 1970s, the word had been used to describe something as “knotted and rugged.” Later, it was popularized by U.S. surf culture to mean something awesome. Example: “That flesh wound is pretty gnarly.”


Good; excellent or easy. The original French word granĂ© is thought to have been misread and transcribed as grave, the origin of the word “gravy”. Apart from describing a type of sauce, gravy was first used in 1910 to mean “money easily acquired.” Example: “Everything’s just gravy, my man.”

Here’s the Skinny

“Here’s the lowdown.” Although the origins of the phrase are unknown, there are some theories as to how it came about. From World War II to the 1960s, soldiers would write on long, thin sheets that resembled onion skin, thus being known as the “skinny.” Alternately, it has been speculated that it may be a variation or rephrasing of the phrase “to get to the skin of the issue.” Example: “Here’s the skinny: go in, grab the crab, get out.”

It’s Casual

“It’s okay.”; “don’t worry about it.” To be casual is to not be out of the ordinary, often with nothing unusual, serious or eventful happening, and therefore okay. Example: “Sorry about that.” “No worries, it’s casual.”

Jeepers Creepers

An expression of surprise or annoyance. “Jeepers” is an euphemistic alteration of Jesus. Example: “Jeepers creepers! You shot me!”


Awesome; cool. Attributed to surfing culture, apparently from the surfers’ use of “tube” as slang for a hollow, curling wave that is ideal for riding. Example: “That jump was tubular, dude!”

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