Slinging Slang from the Flappers to the Rappers

The alphaDictionary Slang Generation Checkup

From flappers to rappersDo you spend scads of money on cold cream, hair dye, and other cosmetic effects, then let your language give away your age? To be sure the way you speak does not betray your age, you should take Dr. Goodword's Slang Generation Checkup below and find out in which era the slang you use comes from.

Slang is not at all the same as accent. Your accent is a regional dialect that can be measured by instruments like our Rebel-Yankee Test. Slang is time-sensitive, it comes and goes over varying stretches of time. Speakers tend to up-date their slang with the latest making it is impossible to pinpoint someone's age by the slang they use. However, we can ascertain the general era in which an expression was most popular and let you know how up-to-date your slang is.

Slang a kind of code, the use of words with unexpected meanings known only by those in on it (see "What is Slang" by Dr. Goodword.) Although slang is associated with youth culture, especially youth music culture, you find it in many other segments of society—racing slang, sports slang, group usually defined in terms of age.

We hope that this test will serve two purposes: (1) to acquaint you with the changes in American slang over the decades of the 20th century and (2) let you know to which era the slang you use reflects. It essentially tests how up-to-date the slang you use is.

This is the beta version and we will, no doubt, have to do further fine tuning. SlangSo, if you have any suggestions as to how we might hone it further, please click here and let us know how you feel on our contact page.

All the examples in this test were taken from alphaDictionary's Historical Dictionary of American Slang. If you are interested in the changes in slang over time, you might want to spend some time there. You can set the dates, say, 1920-1930, and get the slang of the 20s. You can also set the meaning, say "to leave", and get all the slang expressions for "to leave" over the decades of 20th century and into the 21st. It is fun and educational and, best of all, it is absolutely free. Have fun!

Choose the term or group of terms that best represent the words used by those of your generation when you were in high school or college (HS-college) to express the meaning in the question. If more than one applies, choose the most recent, the newest for your era.

  1. What did you and your special someone do when you were alone in your HS-college days?
    1. Make whoopee.
    2. Cuddle or spoon.
    3. Smooch or pet.
    4. Neck or make out.
    5. Hooch up or mug down.
    6. Maul or mash.


  2. What was the euphemism tough guys used for "kill" in your HS-college years?

    1. To cool or smoke.
    2. To knock off, bump off, or rub out.
    3. To ice, snuff, or take out.
    4. To hit, off, pop.
    5. To whack.


  3. How did your HS-college generation say "leave" or "get out of here"?

    1. Beat it.
    2. Scram, beat it, or fade.
    3. Take a powder, beat it, scram.
    4. Blow or cut out.
    5. Split or bug out.
    6. Boogie or bounce.
    7. Ace, bail, book, or jet.
    8. Navigate, pearl, tip.


  4. How did you and your friends say "lose control" or "go crazy" in HS-college?

    1. Off the deep end.
    2. Go bananas or off the deep end.
    3. Flip your wig.
    4. Go ape.
    5. Flip (out) or freak out.
    6. Go ballistic.
    7. Wig out or go postal.
    8. Lunch.
    9. Jump the couch.


  5. What did you and your HS-college buddies do when you relaxed and chatted?

    1. Hang around with, shoot the breeze.
    2. Hang out or hang loose.
    3. Chill out or hang out.
    4. Chill or hang.
    5. Chizzil or marinate.


  6. What did your HS-college generation's call stealing?

    1. Nab, nick, or filch.
    2. Cop or clip.
    3. Clip or lift.
    4. Lift.
    5. Rip off.
    6. Gank or hook.
    7. Jack or punk.
    8. Kipe or come up on.


  7. How did your generation say "to cheat, deceive"?

    1. Skin, gyp.
    2. Boondoggle, gyp.
    3. Sucker, fleece, gyp.
    4. Con, take.
    5. Hustle, scam.
    6. Boone.


  8. What was the 'in' word for "vomit" in your HS-college days?

    1. Heave, puke, spew.
    2. Chuck up, spew, puke.
    3. Barf.
    4. Upchuck.
    5. Boot, bork, toss lunch.
    6. Hork, toss your cookies.
    7. Sell buicks.


  9. When someone annoyed you in HS or college, what did they do?
    1. Get on your nerves.
    2. Get under your skin.
    3. Either of the above
    4. Bug or hassle.
    5. Rattle your cage, pull your chain.
    6. Wear low.
    7. Ig or ride low.


  10. What did your generation call an awkward, unsophisticated person from the country?

    1. Yahoo, rube.
    2. Bumpkin, hick, (dumb)cluck.
    3. Clod or clodhopper.
    4. Klutz.
    5. Redneck.
    6. Bubba.


  11. What was the "in" word for a stupid person when you were in HS-college?

    1. Dip, ding-bat, bonehead, chump.
    2. Fat-head, jerk, sap, chump.
    3. Turkey, chump, or meatball.
    4. Dipstick, bozo, or doofus.
    5. Dork or retard.
    6. Airhead, dip.
    7. Unit, doe, crackhead.
    8. Offie, ricky.


  12. What were weak, indecisive people called when you were in HS-college?

    1. Pantywaists.
    2. Drips.
    3. Wimps or douche bags.
    4. Wussies or candyasses (the sweet donkey).
    5. Nonces.


  13. How did your HS-college generation ask what's happening?

    1. What's going on?
    2. What's cooking?
    3. What's up?
    4. What's coming off or what's happening?
    5. What's going down
    6. What's popping?
    7. What's cracking?
    8. What's craculating?


  14. What was "nonsense" when you were in HS-college?

    1. Humbug.
    2. Applesauce or horse feathers.
    3. Bunk or bunkum.
    4. Baloney, malarkey.
    5. Crap, garbage.
    6. Crappola.
    7. Mush.
    8. None of the above.


  15. What did you and your friends spend when you were in HS and college?

    1. Jack, rubes.
    2. Moolah, scratch.
    3. Bucks, dough, moolah.
    4. Wad.
    5. Bread.
    6. Cheese, chips, dineros, duckets, paper, bank.
    7. Cheddar, chips, duckies, grain, feddie, grip, snaps.
    8. Scrill, scrilla.


  16. What did (other) people call liquor when you were in HS and college?

    1. Giggle water .
    2. Hooch.
    3. Booze.
    4. Juice or sauce.
    5. Antifreeze.


  17. What did you call people who throws the damper on parties or other fun?

    1. Wet blanket, a rag.
    2. Killjoy.
    3. Party-pooper or pooper.
    4. Drag.


  18. How did you get in HS-college when you were angry?

    1. Hot.
    2. Burned up.
    3. Steamed up.
    4. Peed off, ticked off.
    5. Teed off, ticked off.
    6. Bent, twisted.
    7. Frosted.
    8. Lit, swoll, tight.
    9. Left, offed.


  19. What did your generation call a jail or prison?

    1. Hoosegow.
    2. Pokey.
    3. Joint, can, clink.
    4. Lockup, slammer.
    5. Joint.


  20. What was the word for the human rear end in your HS-college days?

    1. Keister.
    2. Rump, tail.
    3. Patootie.
    4. Buns, wazoo.
    5. Bootie.


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