50’s Speak: Were You a “Hep Cat” or a “Cube?”

slang 50’s Speak:  Were You a Hep Cat or a Cube? Every era has its own slang words that pepper conversations.  But, the 1950’s “hot rod” car culture and “Beat” generation had its particularly unique sub-culture language.  It was used mostly by teenagers and older young adults in the “Beat” (beatnik) culture.

The 1950’s introduced a lot of words to the American slang lexicon, like “cool”, and “put down” that are still in use today.  Many of them sound like they came straight out of “Grease” but that was the scene in those days.  See if you can decipher what a day in the life of a 50’s young male might be…

If you were a cool cat back in the mid to late 1950’s, maybe you lived with your parents in “squaresville” full of “cubes” but you and your “hep cat” friends likely cruised your “flip top chariots” to the local “fat city” to “eyeball” “babes” and hopefully play a little “back seat bingo” and not get stuck on a “fake out.” That is, if there weren’t too many “actors” with their “duck butts” and a lot of “bread” already hogging the scene with their “cherry” “bent eights” who just might get “frosted” and think you and your buddies were “cruisin for a bruisin.”  You might wind up with a “knuckle sandwich.”

Speaking of dates back in those days, many of you took your “dolly” to a “flick” at a “passion pit” or you might “make the scene” at one of your “tight” buddies “bashes” and dance to some “sides.” You might even take your date to a “go for the pinks” or just be a “party pooper” and “nod.” Likely, your date, with her “rattled cage”  would then “split” and “scream”  back to their parents “pad”, get on the “horn” with her “paper shakers” gal-pals to tell them about her “bobbed” date and how “clutched”  she felt.  Generally, they’d just “put you down.”  The next day you might have to write her an “epistle” and explain your actions, but the usual response would be “later, gator.”

1950’s Slang Definitions: 

Squaresville, cubes:   The conservative suburbs full of normal persons

Hep cat:   Hipsters, cool person

Flip top chariots:   Convertible top cars

Fat city:   Great place

Eyeball:   Look for

Babes/baby:   Cute girl

Back seat bingo:   Necking in the back seat

Fake out:   Bad date

Actor:  Show off

Duck butt:  The D.A. Hairstyle, slicked back to meet in the middle like a duck’s feathers

Bread:   Money

Cherry:   Attractive

Bent eights:   V-8 engines

Frosted:   Angry

Cruisin for a bruisin:  Looking for a fight

Knuckle sandwich:   Fist in the face

Dolly:  Cute girl

Flick:   Movie, film

Passion Pit:  Drive-in movie

Make the scene:  Attend

Bash:   Great party

Tight:   Good friends

Sides:  Vinyl records

Go For the Pinks:  A high stakes drag race where the pink slip of the car was up for grabs

Party pooper:   Boring person

Nod:   Drift off to sleep

Rattled cage:  Upset

Split, scream:   Leave quickly, go very fast

Pad:   Home

Horn:   Telephone

Paper shaker:   Cheerleaders

Bobbed:  Shortened

Clutched:   Rejected

Put Down:   Insult

Epistle:   Letter

Later, gator:  See ya, as in permanently

 

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  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px 50’s Speak:  Were You a Hep Cat or a Cube?
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px 50’s Speak:  Were You a Hep Cat or a Cube?
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px 50’s Speak:  Were You a Hep Cat or a Cube?
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px 50’s Speak:  Were You a Hep Cat or a Cube?
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px 50’s Speak:  Were You a Hep Cat or a Cube?
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px 50’s Speak:  Were You a Hep Cat or a Cube?
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px 50’s Speak:  Were You a Hep Cat or a Cube?
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px 50’s Speak:  Were You a Hep Cat or a Cube?
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px 50’s Speak:  Were You a Hep Cat or a Cube?
  • wp socializer sprite mask 32px 50’s Speak:  Were You a Hep Cat or a Cube?

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