You’ve bought an Elvis costume, a Buddy Holly jacket, or a polka dot skirt and petticoat. So you’re ready for your 50’s themed party, right?


You need the lingo, man! You’ll be the big tickle of all the beatniks if you show up and you’re not armed with the vocabulary. So throw on some thick-rimmed glasses or a polka-dot skirt, go hang out with the other cool cats, then spin your wheels to coolsville and read this handy A-Z guide to ’50s slang. Only then will you be ready for the big party.

Who knows, you might even get some backseat bingo at the end of the night…

gas – something that will be an incredible amount of fun. Also known as “an explosion”

I sure would like to take that Cindy to the movies, she’d be a gas.

shake the gravel – leave quickly.

We better get out of here, Brett. Come on man, shake the gravel!

Are you writing a book? – Back off, you’re asking too many questions.

What will I bring to the party? Where is? What time?

God, Marlon, are you writing a book?

Baby – girl, used for both sexes.

Hey honey, do you come here often?


backseat bingo – the fine art of making out with a girl in a car.

Oh come on, Sally, let’s play some bingo in the back seat, huh?

Bad news – someone who is generally a rotten egg, perhaps due to rejection.

Did you have any backseat bingo with Sally last night?

No man, she’s bad news.

Tried – party, slang essential for your 50’s themed party!

Hey, are you coming to my party later? It will be a gas.


Beatnik – a follower of the Beat scene, those pre-hippie types who were fed up with war and worried about plunging into an atomic age.

Beatniks were generally accepted as the forerunners of the 1960s hippies, with their “on and off” attitude and rejection of “boring” social values.

Big potato – the father of the prospective date, or any older person who is not in the Beat scene.

We were home at nine. He had to inform Big Daddy.

Bread – money.

Are you coming to see the band later, Danny?

Nah man, I don’t have bread. I’ll just take Sally in the car.

Bug – annoy

Why don’t you have bread, Danny?

Look, will you forget? You’re starting to annoy me.

Cataka Daddy’o – the way Beatniks describe a fellow hipster.

Are the rest of you cats coming later?

Sure, daddy

cooking – doing something right.

Were the ‘Crazy Cats’ good at the concert last night?

Of course they were cooking!

Cool – we all know this one! Something that is fashionable.

50’s music was way cooler than 60’s crap.

copying a little – Invent something to fool a Beatnik.

He said he had to go home to Big Daddy, but I think he was just getting by a bit.

Cruisin’ for a bruise – Searching for problems.

Hi Danny, I heard that Sally found a suitable man.

You better be careful what you say, man, you’re looking for a hit.

Dibs– calling dibs is claiming something before anyone else.

If Sally’s losing Danny, I call Dibbs.

Yeah, good luck with that…

Digit– understand

Just make sure Sally’s back by nine, young man.

Sure, I get it.

looking at a doll – take a good look at a potential date.

Is Mike coming or what?

Nah, he’s still busy watching that doll in the park.

bend – a derogatory comment, which means to get lost, to leave.

Danny, are you sure Sally isn’t looking at that guy over there?


Greaser – a person with tons of gel in their hair (later it became a description for a whole group of people – think fonzie, Fat.

Look at Mike, preening himself in that mirror. He is a greaser.

go crazy – explode with rage, be really angry.

I took Sally at ten o’clock the other night. Her father turned monkey.

Hang – as in “hang out” – not do much.

Do you want to hang out with mine later?

Sure, I had no better offers.

Hit the bag – lie down

Do we see another?

I don’t know man, it’s late and tomorrow we have school. I’m going to go to bed.

kicks – thrill obtained from doing something fun or amazing.

Shall we go to the park tomorrow?

So that?

Just for fun!

knuckle sandwich – a fist in the face.

He was really yelling at me, I thought he was going to serve me a knuckle sandwich!

See you later – goodbye, a shortened form of “see you later, alligator”.

See you at the dance.

Yeah, later, alligator.

no sweat – easy, no problem.

Can you take your sister to the dance later, honey?

Sure mom, don’t worry!

Square – similar to Big Daddy, someone who is not cool and definitely not a Beatnik.

Shall we invite Marlon?

No way, it’s a square.

the big tickle– a laugh at the victim’s expense.

In fact, maybe we should invite Marlon, it would be a big tickle.

Turkey– a stupid or foolish person.

That’s a terrible idea, Mike. you really are a Turkey.

-ville- added to the end of words to create an imaginary place: coolsville, deadsville, squaresville, raresville.

Why would we go to Marlon’s house afterwards? He lives in Squaresville!

What’s buzzing, cuzzin’? – what’s new?

Hey, what’s buzzing, cuz?

Well, Brad crashed his new wheels, and Marlon’s still a square.

Wheels – a car, the essential accessory of the 50s.

So does Brad drive?

No, I told you he crashed his wheels!

Read more about 50’s fashion here! That got you started, now buy your cheap 50s costume on the same site. We’ve added a bunch of new lines recently, including ladies’ 1950s beehive wigs, greaser wigs, poodle skirts, and pink lady jackets.

minifee doll by [Dollshy]