This is your guide to learning 80s slang

The 1980s were filled with bright colours, leg warmers, soft rock and a surfer mentality; it became a decade that embraced the fun in life without any of the hassle. If you’re looking to relive those glory days or learn how your parents talked, this is your guide to 80s slang. 

The slang terms and words that were used probably sound odd to today’s generations. But isn’t that always how it is? If you’re a former Head Banger, Skater, Jock, or Goth, this is the 80s slang you’re looking for. Created by Charley Chartwell, it salutes the greatest decade of verbal artistry ever known.

This is your guide to learning 80s slang

80s slang


  • Goth: “She’s so Goth she even paints her toenails black.”
  • Head Banger: “Turn down the Metal, ya head banger!”
  • Jock: “Don’t play football, you’ll turn into a Jock.”
  • Nerd: “Dude, your calculator watch screams Nerd.”
  • Prep: “That Prep polishes her penny loafers.”
  • Skater: “His bleached Skater bangs are way hot!”
  • Valley Girl: “My Valley Girl cousin is like, a massive airhead.”


  • Book: “There’s the hall monitor, lets book out of here.”
  • Jet: “I’d better jet or I’ll be late for P.E.”
  • Motor: “Lets motor over to the video store.”
  • Ralph: “If I eat another cheese puff, I’m gonna’ ralph.”
  • Rock: “Riding bikes all summer will rock.”
  • Veg: “I’ll make tater tots and veg on the sofa.”
  • Wig out: “I’ll wig out if they don’t sell leg warmers.”

Positive 80s slang

  • Ace: “My new camcorder is so ace!”
  • Big time: “I heard you like me. I like you big time.”
  • Bodacious: “This video arcade is bodacious!”
  • Choice: “It’s so choice having a phone in my room.”
  • Clutch: “You’ve got a tape player in your van? Clutch.”
  • Deadly: “He’s looking deadly in that muscle shirt.”
  • Down: “I’m down for some roller rink action tonight.”
  • Flash: “Your hair crimper is so flash!”
  • Happen’en: “The mall scene will be happen’en.”
  • Illin‘: “Yo, that music was illin’!”
  • Rad: “I went off a rad jump in my BMX.”
  • Righteous: “These sloppy joes are righteous!”
  • Schweet: “Lets microwave these schweet pizza rolls.”
  • Sick: “The first song on the cassette is sick!”
  • Tight: “Dude, your new 10-speed is tight.”
  • Tubular: “Going to the waterslides will be tubular!”
  • Wicked: “That punk rocker’s mohawk is wicked.”

Negative 80s slang

  • Barf: “History class makes me barf out.”
  • Chill pill: “Take a chill pill. I’ll fix your VHS player.”
  • Dweeb: “Only a dweeb would have a computer.”
  • Gag me: “We’re eating TV dinners? Gag me.”
  • Get real: “Get real, my bangs are so taller than yours.”
  • Grody: “The lunchroom meatloaf is way gordy.”
  • Harsh: “Man, algebra is harsh.”
  • Hoser: “Give back my sweatband, you hoser!”
  • Mental: “He looks totally mental with his new perm.”
  • Poser: “That poser wears his sunglasses in the library.”
  • Putt: “What a putt night. I broke my synthesizer.”
  • So sure: “Yeah right, I am so sure I’d kiss that dork.”
  • Spazz: “If I can’t find my jellies, I am going to spazz.”
  • To the curb: “His rapping skills are to the curb.”
  • Trippin‘: “Girl, if he thinks I’m calling him, he’s trippin’.”
  • Wastoid: “Yo, you can’t light up in here, wastoid.”

Did you grow up in the 80s? If you’re a millennial, do you want know what it was like? Purchase your very own 1980s slang poster here to remind your friends to stay awesome to the max! Or click here to learn how to swear like a Brit.