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Panther Slang

The following slang expressions were used during the 1960s.  Some were carried into the ’60s from the hip and beat slang of the 1950s, while others were wholly born in the ’60s.  Many are have now become vernacular to American English.
A Gas
A lot of fun.
All show and no go.
Referenced to a car that had all the pretty chrome goodies, but wouldn’t get out of its own way.  Also means someone who looks good, but has no substance. 
Used with “Go”, “Gone” or “Went”. To explode or go completely irate. Example: “When my parents saw my report card, they went ape.”
Bare Ass
A tough guy. A guy you really don’t want to mess with.
To Steal. Example: Who bagged my towel? ; also see Score
Also; “What’s your bag” meaning what’s your problem or where are you coming from.
To party, as in Little Richards “Good Golly Miss Molly, Sho Like To Ball”.
Later, it meant having intercourse.
Bean Wagon
A lowered-all-the-way-around, usually Hispanic-owned Chevy, but could be anything (derogatory).
Beat Feet
Leave the scene in a hurry.
Burlingame High School
Birth Control Seats
Bucket Seats
Bitchin(See also Twitchin’)
Good, Exciting, Awesome.
A Great Time. Example: “We had a blast at the Prom”.
Blew the doors off
Easily beat the other car in a race.
Slang for Burlingame High School
A car engine that has a blower (supercharger) installed. Goes between the intake manifold and the carburetors/injectors. The blower made it go faster, which was always good.
Blue Flamer
Take a B.A. ( also in the slang section ) and add a big fart…then ignite it with a match..
To “hog” something.
Bone Yard
Auto wrecking yard; Junk yard.
See Cut Out
Leave the area.
Going real fast, usually in a car.
A great or cool thing. Example: “The Beach Boys new record is really boss”.
Brew (Brewski)
Also, Brody Out; To skid in a half circle with the brakes locked up.
Brody Knob
See “Suicide Knob”
(See Saddle Bucks)
A Volkswagen Beetle
Bug out
Leave the premises
Bummed out
Bummer, What a
How depressing
Burn Rubber
To accelerate hard spinning the tires, making noise, and billows of smoke come from the rear of the vehicle.
A real wimp or an uncool thing.
A guy.
Pristine, Totally Clean. Example: “That rod is cherry”!
A girl or a woman.
Chicken, To play
Two cars race toward each other; the first to pull to the side is the chicken (coward)
Chinese Fire Drill
Stop at a Red Light. Everyone on the Driver’s side would run around and get in on the Passenger’s side. Everyone on the Passenger’s side would run around and get in on the Driver’s side.
Really cool or bitchin. Example: “That girl with the tight sweater is really choice.”
Choose Off
To pick a fight or a race; as in, “John is going to choose-off Bob in a race for pinks”. Or, “Ralph chose-off Bertha after school and she kicked his butt.”
To cut down verbally.
Example: “Man, you’re so ugly, you gotta slip up on a glass to get a drink of water.” (Now that was a “chop”.)
A section is cut out horizontally through the roof pillars of a car to lower the roof.
Chrome Dome
A bald guy (derogatory).
Church Key
Before poptops, a Beer or Soda can was opened with one of these.
Circus Wagon
A car, usually lowered, with an outlandish paint job, but in lousy shape, mechanically.
“Climb it, Tarzan”
An act of defiance. Said while giving someone “the bird”.
Coke, 1, 2, 3…
What you shout when you and someone else says the exact same thing at the exact same moment, then you begin counting until the other person says, “stop!”   The number you reach is the number of Cokes the other person owes you, only no one ever paid up.
Cool Head
Nice Guy
Someone who wasn’t cool had them. No one ever saw them, but you knew who had them.  “He gives me the cooties,” means he makes me uncomfortable.  “Get your cooties off me,” means leave me alone.  One of the beauties of “cooties” was that it was so versatile an expression of revulsion.
Cop a Feel
Touch a girl’s “breasts”, sometimes pretending it was an accident
Very good; all right, as in no problems. Example: Everything is copasetic.
Go to bed; go to sleep.
Crop Duster
A car with loud glass packs.
Driving up and down the same street looking for races, girls, guys, etc.
Cut Offs
Blue jeans that were made into shorts (usually after the knees gave out) by cutting off the pant legs above the knees.
Cut Out
To leave without ceremony. As in, “Bob, this party is a drag. I’m gonna cut out.”
Cut Outs
Additions to the exhaust system that would let you open the exhaust pipe in front of the muffler to let the engine breathe easier, thus adding horsepower and a whole lot of noise.
A ’50s term for a male acquaintance.   It was definitely passé by the ’60s.
Daddy’s Car
A car that was very conservative looking; that might be owned by your parents.
To lower a car in the front (derogatory). (See Rake)
A term used to indicate that the trunk handle had been removed, the holes filled, sanded smooth and primed. (See Nosed)
Decked Out
Dressed up.
A 1932 Ford. As in, “She’s my Little Deuce Coupe, you don’t know what I got”.
Most always used with “Got”. Example: I “got dibs” on that Coke bottle. Meaning you owned that Coke bottle.
Do you understand?
An Idiot
Don’t Flip Your Wig
See “Don’t have a Cow”.
Don’t have a Cow
Used when someone was “going ape” or perhaps being a “spaz.” Example: “I took your book by mistake, so don’t have a cow about it!”  (Considered to be offensive by our parents’ generation, but which of these terms weren’t?).
Don’t Sweat It
Don’t worry about it; stop bothering me
To race another car a short distance (sometimes one block, sometimes two or three blocks) from a standing start at a stoplight when the light turned green. The term originally comes from the phrase “main drag”, a combination of “main” or main street in town, and “drag” which referred to a car that was lowered in the back and dragged the ground if it hit a bump while racing or was just so low that it touched the ground if the street was not perfectly level.
A Drag
Someone or something that’s boring or un-enlightening.
Drawing Designs
Usually some guy looking a girl over REAL good. Example: Ron was really drawing designs on Carolyn at the party last night.
Duck Butt, Duck Tail or DA
A way of combing your hair in the back. Instead of combing your hair straight down in the back, you would comb both sides in towards the middle and then, with the end of the comb, part it down the middle.
In the ’60s, a dude was a geek or a panty waist.
An acronym for a “dick with eyebrows,” meaning an awkward, ineffectual loser.
Another way of saying Goodbye. Example: “Easy, Man!!”. Also a girl who was a sure thing, sexually. Example: That girl Bob took out last night was “Easy”.
El Stinko
Southern California slang for El Segundo, a city that stunk because of its refinery.  It referred to any low-class place with a bad smell. The phrase migrated north to be used as a general insult for anything offensive.


Great, fantastic, fabulous.
Far Out
Excellent, cool.
A tattletale. Example: “You’re such a fink. Why do you always tell mom everything I do?” (see Rat Fink)
Five Finger Discount
Anything obtained by theft.
Drunk Driving (502 was the State penal code number for the drunk driving infraction at that time)
A useless person. Someone who can’t be counted upon to perform as expected.
Flake Off
Leave me alone.  Alt., Get outta here.
Flat Top
A short hair cut, flat on top like an aircraft carrier.
Flat Top with Fenders
A flat top with long sides.
Flee the Scene
See Bug Out
Flip Flops
Thongs (that went on your feet).  Also called zories.
Dodge Lancers or Olds Fiesta Hub Caps.
Four Eyes
Derogatory reference to someone who wears glasses
Flower Child
A hippie, usually female
An outstanding looking girl or woman.
Freak Out
Temporary loss of control due to an unpleasant event.
Fruit Loop
A loop attached to the back of a shirt, usually a button-down collared shirt (derogatory).
Neat, Cool; also gone bad. Example: I think that milk is funky.
“F**kin’ A”
The vulgar form of, “I concur”.
The Police
Get or Lay Rubber
To leave some rubber on the street while accelerating in a vehicle. A term used usually with first, second, third, or fourth gear.
Example: “Bob’s ’49 Ford is pretty fast. He can get second gear rubber.”
Gimme some skin
Shake hands
Sexually attractive.  Made famous by Ed Kookie Byrnes in the song, “Kookie, Kookie, lend me you comb”.  Usage: “Baby, you’re the Ginchiest!”
Go All The Way
Have sex with.
Going Steady
If you were “Going Steady”, you were dating only one special person.
See Cherry.
Cool, groovy, neat, neato; said of a person, as in He’s a real gone cat. Or you could say, I’m gone over him. (wowed, infatuated, totally sold on).
Originally a difficult or large wave (He wiped out on a gnarly wave),later anything big or difficult (The Chemistry test was gnarly.), then later an expletive of approval (That custom paint job is gnarly!)
A guy that used too much grease in his hair. Usually “LB Butch Wax” or “Pomade”.  Greasers usually dressed like motorcycle gang members of the time: tight-legged jeans (black or dark blue, leather jackets, upturned collars).
A pre-teen surfer, usually inexperienced and stoked.
Nice, “Cool” or Neat. Used commonly among hippies in the 60’s.
Groady (grow-dee):
A shortened version of grotesque. When we went to wash the car (by hand at the park) we wore our grotees. Also, someone’s dorm room if it was “trashed” out would be called groady.
Mufflers that are packed with fiberglass to muffle the sound. They came in different lengths. The shorter the glasspacks, the louder the car.
Gutt Waddin’
Any type of cheap fast food, to fill you up and take the hunger away. Example:”I’m going to the Hasty Tasty to get some Gut Waddin.”
Angry, disgusted, mad, ticked off, etc. Sometimes used in reference to parents. “My Old Man is really hacked at me about my grades….”
Large; out of control. Example: “Check out the hairy slicks on that Chevy.
Awesome, Cool.
Hangin’ a B.A.
A car full of guys pulls up to another car (usually full of girls) and one of the guys pulls down his pants, bends over, and sticks his “bare ass” out the window.
Hang Loose
Relax; Take it easy.
Haulin (Ass)
See Bookin’
Hauls Ass
A car that really moves.
Example: “Since Ron put the new engine in his car, it really hauls ass!”
The Cops
Deep, Cool, Chaotic, Sad, Controversial
With it. A person who understands the situation.
Very good,cool.
A non-surfer, usually someone who just hangs around the beach.
A motorcycle (powerful); alt.: to not let anyone use something of yours
Hopped Up
See Souped Up
What a girl would call a good looking guy
Hush Puppies
Popular, preppie suede shoes
Ivy Leaguers
A type of men’s chinos with no pleats, made of polished cotton, and with a buckle in the back. The pants were created by H.I.S. in 1955 and branded Ivy-Alls, a reference to Ivy Halls.
Jacked Up
To Raise the front end of a car. Done to transfer weight to the rear wheels for drag racing or just to make your car look cool.
Car shown with Collector Headers.
To leave the area, (See “Cut Out”)
Example: “Hey John, this party is going to get busted. I’m going to jam!”
Elated, Excited; “This is going to be a great reunion. I’m really jazzed about going.”
Jelly Roll
Another way of combing your hair. You comb it up and forward on both sides and bring it together in the middle of the forehead.
Jinx!  You Owe Me A Coke!
When two people said the same thing at the same time, one would slug the other on the shoulder and say “Jinx,” then, “You owe me a Coke.”  No one is ever known to have paid up.
Jump Bad
Looking for a fight – acting tough. As in “I think Jim was drunk last night, he tried to jump bad with everybody!”
Keen or Keen-o
Someone or something that was Cool.
To quickly put a stop to; Put the Kibosh on
To steal.
A cross between kiss-ass and sissy.
The proverbial “Teachers Pet”. This person who would do anything to please the teacher.
Knocked Up
The bathroom. Stood for Keep Your Bowels Open.
Goodbye; See you later
Lay A Patch/Strip
To accelerate leaving a strip or patch of rubber behind on the road.  See “Lay Some Scratch.”
Lay it on me
Speak your piece.
Lay some scratch
To burn rubber in a vehicle. Also, Lay some rubber.  Example: That car is so powerful it can get second gear scratch.
Lead Sled
Lead was used prior to Bondo to fill in the holes and to do body work. A lead sled was a car that had extensive body fill work done with lead.
Light’em Up
See Burn rubber
Lip Flappin’
Talking about things of little importance.
To drop a car all the way around. Car shown with Lake Pipes
Make Out
Usually a kissing session in a parked car at a Drive In or other secluded place.
Mangini Cut
A haircut, bald on top and trimmed all around.  Invented after a number of boys who let their hair grow too long in the fashion of the Beatles, were instructed by balding Vice Principle Vic Mangini to get their hair cut no longer than his.  The result was an uproarius day of laughter by students and faculty alike and a bunch of guys who were shaved bald, soon after.
Meanwhile Back At The Ranch
Used when someone who was telling a story would ramble off to another subject. So, the term was used by the listener to get the storyteller back on track. The term itself was no doubt linked to “the Western,” which was TV’s dominant genre in the late ’50s and early ’60s. Bonanza, Have Gun Will Travel, Rawhide, The Virginian and many more shows.
As in, “Hey, meat!”; A jocks term for “Guy” or “Man”
See Wedgie; Example: “Jimmy the Fink was smarting off to Billy, so I sneaked up behind him and gave him a Melvin.”
Midnight Auto Supply
Car parts obtained through theft.
Mirror Warmer
Usually, a piece of pastel blue or pink cashmere that was attached to elastic and was placed around the perimeter of your inside rear view mirror. It was usually your girl friends idea.
To drop your pants, bend over, and show your bare butt. (See “Hangin a B.A.”)
Moons (Baby Moons)
Chrome hubcaps that were smooth and domed. They fit the inner part of the wheel, leaving room for beauty rings.
Neat (Neato)
Nice; Sharp
Meaning “Cool” but usually said by someone who wasn’t.
A term used to indicate that the hood ornament had been removed and the holes filled with bondo. The spot was sanded smooth and at least primed. (See Decked)
No Sweat
This poses no problem.
Old Lady
Your Mother.  It later came to mean your steady girl or wife.
Old Man
Your Father.
On the Make
Usually after a break up of steadies, a guy or girl who was “on the make” was looking very hard for a new mate.  Also, someone who’s looking for another someone, sexually.
Outta Sight
Fantastic, Awesome. Example: Hey Kathleen, that tie dyed top your wearing is “outta sight”.
Someone’s house. Example: There wasn’t much to do so we all hung out at John’s pad, drank Cokes and listened to records.
A word “called” by someone that has just seen a car with one headlight. The caller then receives a kiss from the person of their choice.
Same as a Perdiddle only it refers to a car with one tail light.
An activity where usually two or more boys physically remove the pants from another boy so as to cause him embarrassment in a group setting.
Panty Waist
A mama’s boy, wimp or geek.
Paper Shaker
Pom Pom Girl
Passion Pit
Drive-in Theater
Peel Out
(See Lay A Patch/Strip)
A type of men’s pants, very similar to today’s dockers, but with a cuff.
Peg-leg Jeans
Blue jeans with very narrow cuffs, sometimes zippered so you can get your feet through the opening. As in, those jeans are pegged.
Penny Loafers
Low, step-in shoes without laces.  A penny would often be inserted in a flap above the arch. Boys would wear them without socks; girls, with knee socks.
Pig Out
Over eat
To look hard at someone. Example: Hey Bob, That guy over there is really pinning you.  Also, to pin a girl was to give her a fraternity or club pin, indicating you were going steady.
Port Holer
’57 T-bird
If someone was going to beat up someone else you said he was going to “pound” the other person. For an example, Joe caught Jim with the hubcaps that he stole from Joe’s ’50 Merc last night. He’ll probably pound him after school.
First class.

Also “On a Rake”. To lower the front end of a car. (Shown with Scavenger pipes) Example: “Carl’s short has a bitchin’ rake.”
Race for Pinks
Also race for pink slips. Meaning two people race and the winner gets the others car.
Rat Fink
Both a noun and a verb, to rat fink was to inform on someone and a rat fink was the worst kind of fink. (See Fink)
Raw, Rank, Disgusting
Real Gone Cat
Someone who marches to his own drummer. Example: The Fonz is a real gone cat.
Right On
I agree; I concur
Extremely fine, beautiful. For us guys it was generally used when talking about the most important areas of our lives; cars and women.  Examples: “John’s got a righteous new paint job on his ’58 Chevy”. “Ron met this righteous babe down at 26th St.”.
Ripped Off
To have something stolen, or to have stolen something
As in, “Hodads Rule”; To take ownership of
An expression of disapproval. Example: “That cat is really sad.”
Saddle Bucks
Popular shoes (also called bucks) in which the toe and heel were a different color or material than the sides.
See Sano
Usually referring to someone’s car, or part of one’s car, as being pristine: “Ron did a sano job on his ’56 Chevy”.  Also, “Super Sano” (Very Pristine)
To eat very fast. Example:”I’m going to scarf this hot dog”.
When someone is really interested in the opposite sex. Example: “Jim is really scheming on Jill”
To obtain something valuable or necessary; (Let’s go score some pizza.); Also to go all the way with a girl.
Screwed, Got
Cheated out of something
Screwed up
Made a mistake; messed up in the head; intoxicated
A section is cut out horizontally through the body of a car to give it a lower sleeker look.
Sex Pot
A sexy or seductive woman.
Shag Ass
Let’s get out of here. Example: “Let’s shag ass before the cops get here.”
Shake it, Don’t Break it!
Said to a girl who had an awesome wiggle in her walk.
A place of honor in the front seat of a car nearest the door. Usually reserved for the coolest guy in the group besides the driver of the car. If there is a doubt, before entering the car someone will call shotgun and then everyone will argue as to who actually will ride shotgun.
An ugly girl.
A slutty girl, usually a skag
Gross, Disgusting
Skuzz (scuzzy or skuzzy)
Lowdown; undesirable
Skuzz Bucket
An ugly car
A promiscuous girl
So Fine
Another cool or bitchin’ thing. “That girl in my science class is so fine”. Used in a variety of early rock and roll songs usually as follows:
“She’s so fine, she makes me want to blow my mind”.
Smoke ’em
“Let’s see you burn rubber”
Something that is ok or all right.
Meaning a person who is stuck-up, snooty, and thinks they are better than everyone else.  Example: “That girl wearing those fuzzy bobby-sox is a real sosh!”
(Now, today, we know of course, that fuzzy bobby-sox DO indicate superiority.)
So Tough
See Tough
Souped Up
A car that’s had the engine modified to go fast. Example: “Bob really souped up his car. It did the quarter in 14.5 seconds!”
Used as a put down, or to describe someone who was acting retarded or spasdic.
An abbreviation of “spectacles” (eyeglasses)
See Cut Out
One big need. Everything you get comes from those around you. AKA; bum. Also practiced by those who are so stingy as not to spend their own money. Someone who is always borrowing money or is always broke. A spongy person
Someone who was not “Cool”. Example: “Jerry’s so square, all he does is his homework, watch TV, and he doesn’t even like Elvis!”   In previous generations, square meant honest, even-handed, fair.
Being well endowed, “Upstairs” Example: “Wow, that girl is really stacked!!”
Dating only one boyfriend or girlfriend, as in “I’m going steady with Sally” (which means that while committed to Sally, you’re not engaged to be married, though probably heading that direction, at least in Sally’s mind)
Stoked (as in I’m stoked)
A car that’s pretty slow.
Stood Up
When a guy (or girl) didn’t show up for a date
Stuck Up
See Hunk
Submarine Races
A place to park and make out.  Originated in So. Cal where teens would park facing the ocean and wait for the Submarines to start racing. Of course they couldn’t see submarines race, so while waiting, they’d make out…. until the insides of their lips were raw.
Suicide Knob
A knob placed on your steering wheel allowing you to drive with one hand, leaving the other free to put around your date.
Swamp Water
Half A&W Root Beer and half Orange Drink.
Swapping Spit
Those passionate, “get down and really into it”, French Kisses.
Swordfish Fights
See Submarine Races
Swear to Buddha
I guess we thought it was less irreverent than saying “I swear to God.”
Sweat Hog
A fat chick.
Sweat Parties
Intense physical exercise after school to make up a non suit (strip) .
Taco Wagon
See Bean Wagon (derogatory)
T Bucket
A hot rod made from a Model T Ford. A two seater, with lots of go. Norm Grabowski, Tommy Ivo, and Edd “Kookie” Burns made them famous on TV. They are still popular.
A Teacher
The B
The Burlingame B (school newspaper)
The Bird
The Finger
The Digs
The Drags
The Finger
An obscene gesture made with the middle finger extended and index and ring fingers bent to resemble an erect… well, if you don’t know where we’re going here, you’re a candyass dweeb.
The Most
Something that is the best or the greatest (Superbitchin’)
The Man
Thicker than a five-dollar malt
Someone that’s not too bright. Back then, malts were only 30 cents!
Think Fast
It usually was used to tell you to get ready because someone was tossing you something.
In the ’60s, thongs were beach sandals. Also called zories. (See Flip Flops)
Three On The Tree
A car with a three speed manual transmission and the shifter on the steering column.
To cruise or drive around without aim. As in: “There was nothing to do last night, so we just went tooling around.”
Tough or Tuff
Neat, cherry, great, bitchin’. – as in “Wow, she’s really a tuff chic!”
Cruising the El Caminio looking for girls. As in “Let’s go trollin’ for some chicks.”
As in we’re “Truckin” over to Joe’s house to party, or Let’s “Truck” on over to Holly’s and scarf.
Twice Pipes
Dual Exhaust
The word used instead of Bitchin’, around your parents
Running your car with the “Cut Outs” open.
Vic Stick
A disciplinary device employed by Vice Principal “Vic” Mangini. (Post comments in Bulletin Board)
A shoe style. The sole and heel were one piece and on the same plane.
When someone pulls your underwear up from the back and it ends up in the crack all on it’s own. Now they call it a thong and wear them on purpose.
Wet Willie
A trick played when someone wets their finger and puts it in your ear.
What’s Your Bag, Man?
What’s your problem; where are you coming from?
White Walls
White-walled tires.
Term of Admiration. Example: “That Chevy is one wicked ride.”
Wiggin’ out
Going crazy
An acceptable word for penis.  This was a word with multiple uses and meanings, each understandable in spoken context.  A chick might say, “He showed me his wienie.”  Clearly, his penis.  But, if she said, “He gave me the wienie,” the sentence’s meaning would change to mean her gave her a bad experience.  Here are others of its uses: “I got the wienie (similar to I got the shaft).” “The big wienie (jerk) didn’t show up for our date last night!” “I got grounded for coming in late!  Then things really got bad, it was the big wienie! (a negative experience or ‘bad scene’).” 
Wienie, Green
The “Green Wienie” was a really bad outcome, as in, “I got the green wienie.”  or “Let’s give him the green wienie.”  Both mean a bad experience, but in a lighthearted way.  There was a hint of humor in its use… an odd contradiction.
Wipe(d) out
Originally, to fall off a wave while surfing, later to crash one’s vehicle and severely damage it (He wiped his coupe out at the drags.), then later a term for extreme fatigue (I’m wiped out, I’m gonna crash.)
Wiz, Take a
An erection.  Also, a wood-paneled station wagon (woody wagon) used to transport surfboards and surfers to and from the beach.
Flip flop sandals.
Copyright © 1997-2005 – John Baker – All Rights Reserved  Our thanks are expressed to the Hawthorne High School class of ’62, from which this list was expanded to include BHS expressions.