Word From The Bird, This 1950s Slang Quiz Is Pretty Hard To Ace

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Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

Every generation grows up with their own special set of slang words and this is especially true for Baby Boomers. Folks who came of age during the 1950s have made terms like “cool” and “nerd” become a part of our everyday language. But there are a whole plethora of terms that would go over most of our heads today. If you heard someone say “that really razzes my berries” you might have some wild ideas about what they really mean, unless you actually know what it means. Only the coolest cats do. Are you one of them?

What did it mean when someone called you the “ginchiest”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect “Baby, you’re the ginchiest!” That’s what you heard if someone really admired your appearance or personality. People who were super cool or hip were the ginchiest back in the ’50s.
USC Libraries/Corbis via Getty Images
USC Libraries/Corbis via Getty Images

What did it mean when someone called you the “ginchiest”?

  • You’re really grouchy
  • You’re really cool
  • You’re very stubborn
  • You’re very cheap
0%

What did “made in the shade” mean?

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Retry Correct Incorrect If someone has it “made in the shade,” then they’re likely to be on the path towards success. This phrase meant that someone didn’t have a care in the world because things were going pretty swell for them.
Stanley Weston/Getty Images
Stanley Weston/Getty Images

What did “made in the shade” mean?

  • Staying out of the sun
  • Success guaranteed
  • Done in secret
  • Done quickly
3%

What was “beat feet”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect “The cops are coming, we’ve got to beat feet before it’s too late!” That’s what someone might have said if they were up to no good and had to make a quick getaway.
Constantin Joffe/Conde Nast via Getty Images
Constantin Joffe/Conde Nast via Getty Images

What was “beat feet”?

  • You’re musically talented
  • You’re exhausted from something
  • You’re a great tap dancer
  • You’ve got to leave quickly
5%

What did it mean when someone was “cruisin’ for a bruisin'”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect If someone was “cruisin’ for a bruisin'” back in the ’50s, then they probably had a face that someone just wanted to punch. You definitely didn’t want to be that annoying guy who was always causing trouble for everyone else!
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

What did it mean when someone was “cruisin’ for a bruisin'”?

  • They were doing something for no reason
  • They were looking for someone to get “intimate” with
  • They were lost while driving
  • They were looking for trouble
8%

Why would you have told someone to “cut the gas”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect When you wanted someone to “cut the gas,” that meant you really wanted them to shut up! Try saying this to someone whose voice you can’t stand hearing anymore and see if it works.
Constantin Joffe/Condé Nast via Getty Images
Constantin Joffe/Condé Nast via Getty Images

Why would you have told someone to “cut the gas”?

  • They’re coming on too strong
  • They just farted
  • They won’t stop talking
  • They’re driving too slow
10%

What did “razz my berries” mean?

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Retry Correct Incorrect People said “razz my berries” if something excited them, in a non-suggestive way of course. For example, “That new Elvis record sure does razz my berries!” or “It would razz my berries to get 100% on this quiz!”
Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Donaldson Collection/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

What did “razz my berries” mean?

  • It was a sexually suggestive term
  • It meant that something frightened you
  • It meant that something excited you
  • It was equivalent to “grind my gears”
13%

What was a “classy chassis”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect A “classy chassis” was another term for a great body. If you wanted to politely compliment a gal on her looks, you’d say something along the lines of “Wow Tina, you’ve got a classy chassis” before she still got offended and slapped you in the face.
Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

What was a “classy chassis”?

  • A smart brain
  • A great body
  • An expensive beer
  • An elegant person
15%

Why would someone have said, “word from the bird”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect This is a phrase you’d say if you were trying to convince someone that what you’re telling them is the absolute truth. For example, “I saw Richie talking to your girl at the soda fountain man, word from the bird!”
Mondadori Portfolio by Getty Images
Mondadori Portfolio by Getty Images

Why would someone have said, “word from the bird”?

  • What they’re telling you is a rumor
  • They saw it in the newspaper
  • They’re quoting gospel
  • They swear by what they’re telling you
18%

What was a “wet rag”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect “Don’t be such a wet rag, come out to the sockhop on Friday!” would’ve been something you heard during the ’50s. Calling someone a “wet rag” was a 1950s way of telling them they were a wet blanket, which is probably where that term originates from in the first place.
Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

What was a “wet rag”?

  • Someone who’s no fun
  • Someone who never tells the truth
  • A snitch
  • A false newspaper article
20%

What did someone mean if they got their “wig chopped”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect This one was pretty straightforward. If someone got their “wig chopped,” they meant that they just went and got a haircut. For example, “I’m headed to the barber later to get a wig chop.”
John Chillingworth/Picture Post/Getty Images
John Chillingworth/Picture Post/Getty Images

What did someone mean if they got their “wig chopped”?

  • They got a haircut
  • They were frightened
  • They were roughed up, usually by bullies
  • They were reprimanded, usually by parents
23%

What did “ain’t that a bite” mean?

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Retry Correct Incorrect This was an expression you would use to express disappointment about any given situation. For example, “Geez, Martha left you for Greg because he has a better car? Ain’t that a bite…”
FPG/Getty Images
FPG/Getty Images

What did “ain’t that a bite” mean?

  • Well that’s awkward…
  • That’s too bad…
  • How lucky is that?!
  • That’s absolutely crazy!
25%

What was a “royal shaft”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect If someone was getting a “royal shaft,” it meant that they were being treated badly or unfairly. For example, “Did you hear about Donnie? He got the royal shaft from the teacher today for falling asleep in class.”
© Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
© Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

What was a “royal shaft”?

  • To be unfairly treated
  • To get treated like royalty
  • A badly damaged car
  • To be ignored
28%

What exactly was the “wazoo”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect We’ve all heard something like, “He’s got money coming out the wazoo,” but do we really know what a “wazoo” is? Well now you do. People in the ’50s were referring to their tush whenever they used this hyperbolic phrase.
Thurston Hopkins/Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Thurston Hopkins/Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

What exactly was the “wazoo”?

  • Your rear end
  • A historical place from a Mark Twain book
  • Your ears
  • The local school
30%

What was a “spaz”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect A “spaz” was someone who was usually uncoordinated and had the reputation of a klutz. Older kids would usually tell their younger siblings, “Oh my gosh, you’re such a spaz,” whenever they’d mess something up.
Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images
Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images

What was a “spaz”?

  • A funny person
  • A clumsy person
  • A crazy person
  • An obnoxious person
33%

What was the “passion pit”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect Drive-in movie theaters were pretty common back in the ’50s. While we call them drive-in movies today, back then, they were often referred to as the “passion pit” likely because of what some teens might’ve been up to besides watching the movie…
Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images
Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

What was the “passion pit”?

  • The beach
  • A drive-in movie theater
  • The backseat of a car
  • A local bar
35%

What was a “paper shaker”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect A “paper shaker” was a term that the cool kids in school used to refer to the cheerleaders because of their pom-poms. For example, “Gary wants to ask this paper shaker named Dawn to the prom this year.”
Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

What was a “paper shaker”?

  • A cheerleader
  • Someone who saved everything
  • A paperboy
  • Someone who worked in an office
38%

What did it mean if someone were to “lay a patch”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect If someone “laid a patch,” it meant that they accelerated their car so abruptly that they left a patch of rubber on the road! Hot rods were all the rage back then and everyone was burning rubber.
Underwood Archives/Getty Images
Underwood Archives/Getty Images

What did it mean if someone were to “lay a patch”?

  • They accelerated a car so rapidly they left rubber on the road
  • They tried to make amends for a mistake
  • They were dropping hints about something
  • They gave someone a black eye
40%

What was “fat city”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect “Fat city” was actually where you wanted to be back in the ’50s. For example, “Ever since Darlene left this town, she’s been living in fat city! She has a well-paying job and she just bought an apartment Downtown.”
ERIC SCHWAB/AFP/Getty Images
ERIC SCHWAB/AFP/Getty Images

What was “fat city”?

  • A streak of bad luck
  • A place to be, such as an ideal situation
  • The bank
  • The local supermarket
43%

What were the “gringles”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect If someone had the “gringles” back then, they were probably quite worried or anxious about something. For example, “LuAnn said she’d give me a ring after our date, but she still hasn’t! I sure do got the gringles over it.”
Carl Purcell/Three Lions/Getty Images
Carl Purcell/Three Lions/Getty Images

What were the “gringles”?

  • Potato chips
  • Worries
  • The common cold
  • A crush
45%

What did someone really mean if they asked you, “Are you writing a book?”

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Retry Correct Incorrect When people start to ask too many questions, it can get pretty annoying. Folks back in the ’50s would usually try to end the interrogation by saying, “Are you writing a book?”
Graphic House/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Graphic House/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

What did someone really mean if they asked you, “Are you writing a book?”

  • They want to know why you’re asking so many questions
  • They want to know why you’re so anxious
  • They want to know if you’re writing a book
  • They want to know why you’re so quiet
48%

When people were talking about “binoculars” what were they really referring to?

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Retry Correct Incorrect Another word for eyeglasses back in the day was “binoculars.” Indeed, this slang word made sense because both binoculars and glasses help you see things that you couldn’t before…
Dr. Paul Wolff & Tritschler/Corbis via Getty Images
Dr. Paul Wolff & Tritschler/Corbis via Getty Images

When people were talking about “binoculars” what were they really referring to?

  • Swimming goggles
  • Magnifying glass
  • Glasses
  • A snitch
50%

Why would you “bust a gut”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect “That Milton Berle really makes me bust a gut every time I hear him!” That might’ve been something someone said back then when something was incredibly funny.
Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis via Getty Images
Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis via Getty Images

Why would you “bust a gut”?

  • You were annoyed, so you punched someone in the stomach
  • Something was hilarious
  • Something gave you food poisoning
  • You were very hungry
53%

What was “Antsville”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect When mothers asked their husbands to make a stop at the grocery store before Thanksgiving Day, you might have heard them say, “You don’t want to go over there, it’s Antsville!”
Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis via Getty Images
Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis via Getty Images

What was “Antsville”?

  • An elementary school
  • A local park
  • An extremely crowded place
  • A seedy part of town
55%

What was another way to say “cruisin’ for a bruisin'”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect We’re sure there was someone who said, “That guy Joe came around the block the other day and I swear he was achin’ for a breakin’ talking about how many girls in school he’s kissed!”
Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis via Getty Images
Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis via Getty Images

What was another way to say “cruisin’ for a bruisin'”?

  • poised for some noise
  • tacked for a smack
  • itchin’ for a stichin’
  • achin’ for a breakin’
58%

If someone was “bad news,” what did that mean?

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Retry Correct Incorrect When someone was “bad news,” it usually meant that they never had anything good to say. They always brought a depressing aura to any room that they entered and no one wanted to be around them.
Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis via Getty Images
Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis via Getty Images

If someone was “bad news,” what did that mean?

  • They were bad luck
  • They were a crook
  • They were a bully
  • They were a depressing person
60%

What did it mean to “agitate the gravel”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect When it was time to leave, sometimes people said, “let’s agitate the gravel” before they drove off in their hot rods.
Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis via Getty Images
Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis via Getty Images

What did it mean to “agitate the gravel”?

  • fall flat on your face
  • start a fight
  • to leave the scene
  • hit the ground running
63%

What did if mean if you were “circled”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect If someone was “circled” back in the day, that meant that they were already married. This is likely a play on words to refer to a person’s wedding ring.
Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

What did if mean if you were “circled”?

  • You were dating
  • You were married
  • You were cornered with no way out
  • You were engaged
65%

What was a “bird dog”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect Plenty of young men and women had to look out for the “bird dogs” of the world, just in case there was someone out there trying to steal their girlfriends or boyfriends!
Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis via Getty Images
Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis via Getty Images

What was a “bird dog”?

  • A dog who wouldn’t stop barking
  • Someone who steals someone’s date
  • A really nosy neighbor
  • Someone who was incarcerated
68%

What were “cheaters”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect Some people back in the day would refer to their sunglasses as “cheaters,” probably because you could get away with cheating on tests and games when no one can see where your eyes are lingering.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

What were “cheaters”?

  • A type of shoe
  • A type of hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Scissors
70%

What did it mean if you were “clutched”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect When someone was “clutched,” they meant that they were rejected in some way. For example, “I asked Cindy out on a date. Now I’m clutched.”
Bettmann/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
Bettmann/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

What did it mean if you were “clutched”?

  • Accepted
  • Rejected
  • Intercepted
  • Apprehended
73%

What was the “cooler”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect “Nelson was caught trying to rob a bank and now he has to spend five months in the cooler,” is something someone might have said back then. The cooler also could have referred to detention or some other form of punishment.
Ivo MeldolesiMondadori Portfolio by Getty Images
Ivo MeldolesiMondadori Portfolio by Getty Images

What was the “cooler”?

  • A large freezer
  • The grocery store
  • The library
  • Jail
75%

What were “curtain climbers”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect “One day you’ll have several little curtain climbers of your own, I hope,” is what many moms probably told their young adult children as a big hint to give them grandchildren.
SSPL/Getty Images
SSPL/Getty Images

What were “curtain climbers”?

  • Bed bugs
  • Ghosts
  • Cats
  • Children
78%

When teens told their friends they were “drowning,” what did they really mean?

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Retry Correct Incorrect If someone said they were “drowning,” they usually meant that they were incredibly bored or that nothing was going right for them. For example, “Ugh, I wish you were here Stacy. I’m babysitting and I’m drowning!”
Mondadori Portfolio by Getty Images
Mondadori Portfolio by Getty Images

When teens told their friends they were “drowning,” what did they really mean?

  • Their parents were being too strict
  • They had too much homework
  • Nothing was going right for them
  • They were literally drowning
80%

What did it mean if you were “earthbound”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect If someone back in the day was “earthbound,” they were probably a reliable person. For example, “That Martha is so earthbound, you can always count on her.”
Emilio Ronchini/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images
Emilio Ronchini/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

What did it mean if you were “earthbound”?

  • Dying
  • Smart
  • Reliable
  • Clumsy
83%

If you were asked to do something “flat out,” how should you do it?

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Retry Correct Incorrect To do something “flat out” meant that you were doing it as fast as you can. People in factories were probably ordered to do their tasks flat out all the time!
Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

If you were asked to do something “flat out,” how should you do it?

  • Quickly
  • Honestly
  • Slowly
  • Carefully
85%

What were “gangbusters”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect Contrary to what the word itself suggests, a gangbuster has nothing to do with gangs. It was term used to describe a person or situation that was successful and had a positive impact.
Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis via Getty Images
Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis via Getty Images

What were “gangbusters”?

  • Ex-gang members
  • Gang members
  • The police
  • Someone outstanding
88%

Aside from its general meaning, what was a “germ”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect When someone called someone else a “germ,” they were probably being extremely annoying or acting like a pest. For example, older sisters would say of their little brothers, “He’s such a little germ!”
Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis via Getty Images
Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis via Getty Images

Aside from its general meaning, what was a “germ”?

  • A gangmember
  • A pest
  • A snitch
  • A janitor
90%

What was a “heater”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect A “heater” was another term for a gun that people sometimes used. This was actually a slang word that was used prominently in the ’40s and likely faded away the following decade.
Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis via Getty Images
Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis via Getty Images

What was a “heater”?

  • A warming device
  • A gun
  • A tattletale
  • A sweater
93%

What did “ice it” mean?

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Retry Correct Incorrect When someone told you to “ice it,” they were likely telling you not to do something or to completely forget about it.
Bettmann/Getty Images
Bettmann/Getty Images

What did “ice it” mean?

  • Put it in the fridge
  • Stop talking
  • Don’t do it
  • Go to sleep
95%

What was a “Joe Doe”?

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Retry Correct Incorrect A “Joe Doe” was a term for a male blind date. Plenty of ladies probably felt a lot of anxiety over meeting the Joe Does that they’ve met in their time.
QUINIO/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
QUINIO/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

What was a “Joe Doe”?

  • A guy who dates a lot of women
  • A guy who was going off to war
  • A guy you’re going on a blind date with
  • A guy whose name you always forget
98%

Congrats, you finished! Here are your results:

Congrats, you finished! Here are your results:

Retry Ain’t that bite… Your memory of these terms doesn’t serve you well, unless you weren’t even born during that time. Not the worst…but not the best… You weren’t cruisin’ for a bruisin’ when you took this quiz but we suppose that’s the way it worked out. Hot dog! These terms are still quite fresh in your mind and that’s pretty swell if you ask us! Cowabunga! You were probably the ginchiest cat around back in the day! That, or you took a time machine to get all these answers.
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