Cockney rhyming slang

Venturing into the heart of East London’s history? It’s not just about the classic London landmarks or the river Thames; it’s a world filled with a unique linguistic heritage that many might find utterly baffling. Here, we’ve curated the most classic Cockney rhyming slang terms, replete with their meanings, origins, and illustrative tales. Whether you’re an East Ender by birth or an intrigued outsider, this guide will navigate you through the labyrinth of London’s iconic dialect. Dive in and converse like a true Cockney! Without further ado, here’s our all-encompassing list of Cockney rhyming slang:

Apples and Pears

  • Meaning: Stairs
  • Origin: Literal rhyme with ‘stairs’.
  • Usage: “I’m just heading up the apples to bed.”

Dog and Bone

  • Meaning: Phone
  • Origin: Literal rhyme with ‘phone’.
  • Usage: “Answer the dog; it might be important.”

Butcher’s Hook

  • Meaning: Look
  • Origin: Literal rhyme with ‘look’.
  • Usage: “Give us a butcher’s at that newspaper.”

Ruby Murray

  • Meaning: Curry
  • Origin: Named after the popular singer Ruby Murray.
  • Usage: “Let’s get a Ruby tonight.”

Trouble and Strife

  • Meaning: Wife
  • Origin: Literal rhyme with ‘wife’.
  • Usage: “The trouble and strife doesn’t like that pub.”

Bread and Honey or Bees and Honey

  • Meaning: Money
  • Origin: Literal rhyme with ‘money’.
  • Usage: “I’m low on bread this week.”

Plates of Meat

  • Meaning: Feet
  • Origin: Literal rhyme with ‘feet’.
  • Usage: “My plates are killing me after that walk.”

Adam and Eve

  • Meaning: Believe
  • Origin: Literal rhyme with ‘believe’.
  • Usage: “I don’t Adam and Eve it!”

Barnet Fair

  • Meaning: Hair
  • Origin: Literal rhyme with ‘hair’.
  • Usage: “I’m getting my barnet done tomorrow.”

Hank Marvin

  • Meaning: Starving
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘starving’ and named after the guitarist Hank Marvin.
  • Usage: “I’m Hank! Let’s eat.”

Mince Pies

  • Meaning: Eyes
  • Origin: Literal rhyme with ‘eyes’.
  • Usage: “She’s got beautiful mince pies.”

Bee’s and Honey

  • Meaning: Money
  • Origin: Literal rhyme with ‘money’.
  • Usage: “I’ve lost all my bees at the casino.”

Bubble Bath

  • Meaning: Laugh
  • Origin: Literal rhyme with ‘laugh’.
  • Usage: “You’re having a bubble if you think that’s true.”

China Plate

  • Meaning: Mate (friend)
  • Origin: Literal rhyme with ‘mate’.
  • Usage: “He’s my old china.”

Dicky Bird

  • Meaning: Word
  • Origin: Literal rhyme with ‘word’.
  • Usage: “I haven’t heard a dicky bird from him.”

Gregory Peck

  • Meaning: Neck
  • Origin: Named after the actor Gregory Peck.
  • Usage: “Got a sore Gregory today.”

Kettle and Hob

  • Meaning: Watch
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘fob’, which was a type of watch.
  • Usage: “Look at my new kettle!”

Lemon Squeezy

  • Meaning: Easy
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘easy’.
  • Usage: “It’s lemon, mate.”

Pony and Trap

  • Meaning: Crap
  • Origin: Literal rhyme with ‘crap’.
  • Usage: “That movie was pony.”

Rosy Lee

  • Meaning: Tea
  • Origin: Literal rhyme with ‘tea’.
  • Usage: “Put the kettle on for a rosy.”

Two and Eight

  • Meaning: State (often referring to a distressed state)
  • Origin: Literal rhyme with ‘state’.
  • Usage: “He was in a right two and eight after hearing that news.”

Ayrton Senna

  • Meaning: Tenner (£10)
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘tenner’ and named after the famous race car driver Ayrton Senna.
  • Usage: “Lend me an Ayrton till payday.”

Bird Lime

  • Meaning: Time (often referring to prison time)
  • Origin: Literal rhyme with ‘time’.
  • Usage: “He did bird for that robbery.”

Bristol City

  • Meaning: Titty
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘titty’ and refers to the English city of Bristol.
  • Usage: “She showed her Bristols on the beach.”

Cherry Hog

  • Meaning: Dog
  • Origin: Literal rhyme with ‘dog’.
  • Usage: “Look at that cherry chasing the cat.”

Dustbin Lid

  • Meaning: Kid
  • Origin: Literal rhyme with ‘kid’.
  • Usage: “I’ve got to pick up my dustbin from school.”

Elephant’s Trunk

  • Meaning: Drunk
  • Origin: Literal rhyme with ‘drunk’.
  • Usage: “He was completely elephant’s last night.”

Fireman’s Hose

  • Meaning: Nose
  • Origin: Literal rhyme with ‘nose’.
  • Usage: “He’s got a big fireman’s, hasn’t he?”

Gooses and Ganders

  • Meaning: Standers (referring to people standing around)
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘standers’.
  • Usage: “A lot of gooses outside the shop today.”

Half Inch

  • Meaning: Pinch (to steal)
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘pinch’.
  • Usage: “Someone’s half inched my bike.”

Iron Hoof

  • Meaning: Poof (derogatory term for a gay man, use is discouraged)
  • Origin: Literal rhyme with ‘poof’.
  • Usage: “Don’t be such an iron.”

Jack Jones

  • Meaning: Alone
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘alone’.
  • Usage: “I was sitting there Jack Jones.”

King Lear

  • Meaning: Ear
  • Origin: Named after Shakespeare’s King Lear. Rhymes with ‘ear’.
  • Usage: “Lend me your King Lear.”

Lady from Bristol

  • Meaning: Whistle
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘whistle’.
  • Usage: “Give us a blow on your lady.”

Meat and Two Veg

  • Meaning: Legs (also referring to male genitalia)
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘legs’. The alternative meaning is more literal.
  • Usage: “She’s got lovely meat and two.”

North and South

  • Meaning: Mouth
  • Origin: Literal rhyme with ‘mouth’.
  • Usage: “Watch your north and south, mate!”

Oil and Grease

  • Meaning: Police
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘police’.
  • Usage: “Watch out! Oil and grease are about.”

Peckham Rye

  • Meaning: Tie (necktie)
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘tie’ and refers to an area in London called Peckham.
  • Usage: “That’s a fancy Peckham you’ve got on!”

Quid Pro Quo

  • Meaning: Though not inherently Cockney, it refers to ‘a favor for a favor’ in general terms.
  • Origin: Latin phrase meaning “something for something.”
  • Usage: “He helped me, so I did a quid pro quo and helped him back.”

Rabbit and Pork

  • Meaning: Talk
  • Origin: Literal rhyme with ‘talk’.
  • Usage: “Stop rabbiting and get to work!”

Scooby Doo

  • Meaning: Clue
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘clue’, named after the famous cartoon dog.
  • Usage: “I haven’t got a Scooby why he did that.”

Tea Leaf

  • Meaning: Thief
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘thief’.
  • Usage: “Some tea leaf nicked my wallet!”

Uncle Ned or Uncle Fred

  • Meaning: Bed
  • Origin: Literal rhyme with ‘bed’.
  • Usage: “I’m knackered, off to Uncle Ned.”

Vera Lynn

  • Meaning: Gin
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘gin’, named after the famous British singer.
  • Usage: “Pour me a Vera, will you?”

Whistle and Flute

  • Meaning: Suit (as in clothing)
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘suit’.
  • Usage: “He came dressed in a fancy whistle.”

X Marks the Spot

  • Meaning: Though not inherently Cockney, it traditionally refers to the main focus or target.
  • Origin: From pirate tales, where “X” on a map denotes buried treasure.
  • Usage: “Look there, X marks the spot!”

You and Me

  • Meaning: Tea (as in the beverage)
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘tea’.
  • Usage: “How about a cup of you and me?”

Zig and Zag

  • Meaning: Fag (cigarette, UK slang)
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘fag’.
  • Usage: “Got a spare zig and zag?”

Frog and Toad

  • Meaning: Road
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘road’.
  • Usage: “Just head down the frog, and it’s on your left.”

Irish Jig

  • Meaning: Wig
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘wig’.
  • Usage: “That’s a flashy Irish she’s wearing.”

Khyber Pass

  • Meaning: “Arse” (British for “butt”)
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘arse’. Refers to a mountain pass in Pakistan.
  • Usage: “Pain right in the Khyber.”

Orchestra Stalls

  • Meaning: Balls (testicles)
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘balls’.
  • Usage: “He got hit right in the orchestra stalls!”

Queen’s Speech

  • Meaning: Peach
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘peach’. Refers to the annual speech by the Queen.
  • Usage: “That pie was made from fresh Queen’s Speech.”

Raspberry Tart

  • Meaning: Fart
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘fart’.
  • Usage: “Did you just let out a raspberry?”

Sherbet Dab

  • Meaning: Cab (taxi)
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘cab’.
  • Usage: “Let’s hail a sherbet to get home.”

Zebra Crossing

  • Meaning: Bossing (as in being dominant or in charge)
  • Origin: A playful term derived from the pedestrian crossing, used more colloquially.
  • Usage: “She’s zebra crossing everyone around today!”

Currant Bun

  • Meaning: Sun
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘sun’.
  • Usage: “The currant bun’s out today, lovely weather!”

Gooseberry Pudding

  • Meaning: Gooding (doing good or being good)
  • Origin: A playful term that resonates with ‘gooding’.
  • Usage: “Stop gooseberry pudding around and get to work!”

Isle of Wight

  • Meaning: Right (as in correct or the direction)
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘right’.
  • Usage: “You’re Isle of Wight, mate.”

Jimmy Riddle

  • Meaning: Piddle (a colloquial term for urinate)
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘piddle’.
  • Usage: “I’m off for a quick Jimmy.”

Lady Godiva

  • Meaning: Fiver (5-pound note)
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘fiver’, referencing the legend of Lady Godiva.
  • Usage: “Lend me a Lady, will ya?”

Mutton Jeff

  • Meaning: Deaf
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘deaf’.
  • Usage: “Turn up the volume, I’m a bit mutton!”

Nanny Goat

  • Meaning: Boat
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘boat’.
  • Usage: “We took the nanny out on the Thames.”

Oliver Twist

  • Meaning: Wrist
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘wrist’, referencing the Dickensian character.
  • Usage: “I sprained my Oliver playing football.”


  • Meaning: Pub
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘pub’.
  • Usage: “Let’s head down to the rub-a-dub.”

Sweeney Todd

  • Meaning: Odd
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘odd’, referencing the infamous fictional barber.
  • Usage: “That guy’s a bit Sweeney, isn’t he?”

Coals and Coke

  • Meaning: Broke (having no money)
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘broke’.
  • Usage: “I can’t come out tonight, I’m coals.”

Dicky Dirt

  • Meaning: Shirt
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘shirt’.
  • Usage: “I bought a new dicky for the interview.”

Aunt Joanna

  • Meaning: Piano
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘piano’.
  • Usage: “She’s playing the old Aunt Joanna tonight.”

Inch of Pin or Needle and Pin

  • Meaning: Gin
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘gin’.
  • Usage: “Pour me an inch, please.”

Jack Tar

  • Meaning: Sailor or seaman
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘sailor’ and also a historical term for sailors.
  • Usage: “He’s an old Jack Tar; sailed the world.”

Kick and Prance

  • Meaning: Dance
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘dance’.
  • Usage: “Are you going to the kick and prance later?”

Lemon Squash

  • Meaning: Wash
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘wash’.
  • Usage: “Give your hands a good lemon before dinner.”

Raspberry Ripple

  • Meaning: Nipple
  • Origin: Rhymes with ‘nipple’.
  • Usage: “It’s so cold you could see her raspberries!”

That’s it for our list of Cockney rhyming slang phrases. We hope you’ve found this journey through East London’s linguistic history enlightening. While language continually evolves, these Cockney terms have roots deep in London’s past and are fondly remembered by many. If you think we’ve missed any iconic Cockney rhyming slang, do let us know in the comments below. Keep exploring the unique lingo of the East End!👍😊

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Gen Z & teen slang glossary

Welcome to the Slangpedia entry on Gen Z & Teen Slang!🧒

Navigating the fast-paced world of Gen Z lingo? Whether you’re trying to understand today’s youth, drafting a contemporary story, or just captivated by the dynamic language of the TikTok era, it’s fascinating to dive into the slang terms, words, and their meanings from the generation of memes, viral challenges, and digital natives. So, without further ado, here’s our extensive guide showcasing a curated list of trending Gen Z and teen slang, phrases, and terms that resonate with today’s youth:


  • Meaning: Amazing, cool, or exciting.
  • Origin: Shortened form of “lit up”, suggesting brightness or excitement.
  • Usage: “That party was lit!”


  • Meaning: Agreement or confirmation.
  • Origin: Short for “You bet” or “You betcha”.
  • Usage: “Wanna hang out later?” “Bet.”


  • Meaning: To suddenly cut off communication without explanation.
  • Origin: Just like a ghost, the person is there one minute and gone the next.
  • Usage: “He didn’t text back for weeks. I think he ghosted me.”

Cap / No Cap

  • Meaning: Lying / Telling the truth.
  • Origin: “Cap” is derived from the metaphorical use of the word to mean “lie”.
  • Usage: “He said he met a celebrity? That’s cap.” / “I genuinely love that movie, no cap.”


  • Meaning: To show off.
  • Origin: A flexing muscle indicating strength or superiority.
  • Usage: “He’s just flexing his new shoes.”


  • Meaning: Something done subtly or secretly; to a small degree.
  • Origin: Opposite of highkey; suggesting a subdued or quiet manner.
  • Usage: “I lowkey want to skip school today.”


  • Meaning: Very or to a high degree.
  • Origin: Opposite of lowkey; indicating something is intense or extreme.
  • Usage: “I highkey love this song.”


  • Meaning: Fame or influence, especially on social media.
  • Origin: Originally meant a heavy blow or influence. Its use changed with the rise of social media.
  • Usage: “She’s only doing that for clout.”


  • Meaning: An obsessed fan.
  • Origin: Portmanteau of “stalker” and “fan” and inspired by Eminem’s song titled “Stan”.
  • Usage: “I stan her music so hard.”


  • Meaning: Being bitter or angry.
  • Origin: Draws a parallel with the sharpness and sometimes unpleasant taste of salt.
  • Usage: “Why are you so salty today?”


  • Meaning: An interjection used to convey surprise, happiness, or other intense emotions.
  • Origin: Comes from the sound made when someone smashes their keyboard.
  • Usage: “Sksksk, that was unexpected.”


  • Meaning: An exclamation of excitement or a verb meaning to throw something.
  • Origin: Popularized by a Vine video.
  • Usage: “She yeeted the ball across the field.”

On Fleek

  • Meaning: Perfectly done, stylish.
  • Origin: Popularized by a Vine video where a user described her eyebrows as “on fleek”.
  • Usage: “Your makeup is on fleek today!”


  • Meaning: Mainstream or unoriginal.
  • Origin: Referring to something as plain or lacking distinctive features.
  • Usage: “That pumpkin spice latte is so basic.”


  • Meaning: Fear of missing out.
  • Origin: An acronym derived from the phrase “Fear of missing out”.
  • Usage: “I have serious FOMO, so I’m going to the concert.”


  • Meaning: Someone who looks good or attractive.
  • Origin: Just like a snack is a small meal, the person is a “treat” to look at.
  • Usage: “Have you seen him? He’s a snack!”


  • Meaning: To reject or disapprove of someone due to their actions or opinions.
  • Origin: Derives from the action of cancelling someone’s “show” or popularity.
  • Usage: “After those tweets, he’s cancelled.”


  • Meaning: Being aware of social and political issues.
  • Origin: African American Vernacular English, suggesting waking up to issues.
  • Usage: “You need to stay woke in today’s world.”


  • Meaning: A catchy song.
  • Origin: Represents the beat or rhythm of a song.
  • Usage: “This is a bop!”


  • Meaning: Disrespect or a subtle insult.
  • Origin: As if casting a shadow over someone’s reputation or character.
  • Usage: “She threw shade at him during the meeting.”


  • Meaning: Truth or gossip.
  • Origin: Short for “truth” or “tea”.
  • Usage: “What’s the T?”


  • Meaning: Greatest of all time.
  • Origin: An acronym derived from the phrase “Greatest Of All Time”.
  • Usage: “LeBron James is the GOAT.”


  • Meaning: Represents agreement or relatability to a situation.
  • Origin: Shortened form of the phrase “That’s a mood”.
  • Usage: “Sleeping all day? Mood.”


  • Meaning: Refers to something, usually music, that’s really good.
  • Origin: The idea that the beat “hits” or “slaps” hard.
  • Usage: “This song slaps.”


  • Meaning: Emphasizing a point, similar to saying “end of story”.
  • Origin: A stylized and emphatic version of “period”.
  • Usage: “She’s the best, periodt.”


  • Meaning: Desperate for attention.
  • Origin: Like someone in need of a drink, but in this context, in need of attention.
  • Usage: “Why’s he acting so thirsty on Instagram?”


  • Meaning: About to.
  • Origin: Contraction of “fixing to”.
  • Usage: “I’m finna go to the store.”


  • Meaning: Suspicious.
  • Origin: Short for “suspicious”.
  • Usage: “That deal sounds a bit sus.”

Glow up

  • Meaning: A transformation for the better.
  • Origin: Evolving and “glowing” like a light.
  • Usage: “She had a major glow up since high school.”

I’m dead

  • Meaning: That’s hilarious or shocking.
  • Origin: The idea being something is so funny or surprising it could figuratively kill you.
  • Usage: “That meme is too funny, I’m dead.”

And I oop

  • Meaning: Expression of surprise or embarrassment.
  • Origin: Became popular from a viral video of drag queen Jasmine Masters.
  • Usage: “I forgot my wallet at home, and I oop.”

Secure the bag

  • Meaning: To achieve a goal or get paid.
  • Origin: Refers to obtaining a bag of money.
  • Usage: “Got a promotion at work. Secured the bag!”

Spill the tea

  • Meaning: Share the gossip or news.
  • Origin: Tea here stands for “truth”. The phrase means to pour out or reveal the truth.
  • Usage: “Come on, spill the tea. What did she say?”


  • Meaning: Right now.
  • Origin: Abbreviation of the words “right now”.
  • Usage: “I can’t talk rn.”


  • Meaning: Relax or calm down.
  • Origin: Derived from the cooling or calming sensation of the word “chill”.
  • Usage: “Just chill, everything will be okay.”


  • Meaning: Surprised, shocked or deeply affected by something.
  • Origin: A more emphatic term for “shaken up”.
  • Usage: “I watched the movie and I was completely shook.”


  • Meaning: Friends, or one’s group. Can also mean family.
  • Origin: Short for “family”.
  • Usage: “What’s up, fam?”


  • Meaning: Incredible, awesome or high quality.
  • Origin: Just like fire is powerful and captivating, so is something that’s described as “fire”.
  • Usage: “This track is fire!”

VSCO girl

  • Meaning: Refers to a certain style and lifestyle adopted by individuals, often characterized by specific fashion choices, the use of metal straws, and the catchphrase “sksksk”.
  • Origin: Named after the VSCO photo-editing app.
  • Usage: “She’s totally a VSCO girl with that scrunchie and Hydro Flask.”

Hundo P

  • Meaning: 100% or definitely.
  • Origin: Short for “hundred percent”.
  • Usage: “Are you going to the party?” “Hundo P!”


  • Meaning: Good or cool.
  • Origin: Derived from the luxury brand Gucci, representing something of high quality.
  • Usage: “Everything’s gucci.”


  • Meaning: Over the top or trying too hard.
  • Origin: Just as it sounds – adding more than what’s needed.
  • Usage: “She’s being so extra with that outfit.”


  • Meaning: Seriously or genuinely.
  • Origin: Exact origins unclear, but the term has been widely popularized in New York.
  • Usage: “I’m deadass tired right now.”

That’s it for our list of Gen Z slang phrases. We hope you’ve found this exploration enlightening. As the world of slang continues to evolve, these Gen Z terms capture the essence of today’s youth. If you believe we’ve overlooked any trending slang from the Gen Z era, feel free to let us know in the comments below. Keep up with the current vibes!👍😊

Fascinated by Slang? Explore More!
Discover other captivating slang terms and their origins. Here are a few more gems for you:

Slang from the ’80s

Taking a nostalgic trip back to the vibrant ’80s? Whether you’re writing a retro story, reminiscing about the good old days, or just intrigued by the colorful language of the past, it’s enthralling to delve into the slang terms, words, and their meanings from the era of neon, leg warmers, and arcade games. So, without further ado, here’s our comprehensive guide showcasing a curated list of iconic ’80s slang, phrases, and terms that defined a generation:


  • Meaning: Something that’s really cool or awesome.
  • Origin: Shortened form of “radical”.
  • Usage: “That skateboard trick was totally rad!”

Gag me with a spoon

  • Meaning: An expression of disgust or disbelief.
  • Origin: Part of the Valley Girl jargon popularized in the ’80s.
  • Usage: “She wore that to the prom? Gag me with a spoon!”


  • Meaning: Awesome or cool.
  • Origin: From surfing culture, referring to the “tube” of a wave.
  • Usage: “That wave was totally tubular, dude!”


  • Meaning: Disgusting or dirty.
  • Origin: Likely a variation of “grotesque”.
  • Usage: “Ew, that old sandwich is grody to the max.”


  • Meaning: Used to indicate that something just said was a joke.
  • Origin: A playful form of deception.
  • Usage: “You’ve got something on your shirt! … Psyche!”


  • Meaning: Extremely or very.
  • Origin: Old English in origin, but in the ’80s it meant “really good” or “cool”.
  • Usage: “That concert was wicked awesome!”

No duh

  • Meaning: To state the obvious or something that is a well-known fact.
  • Origin: Variation of “duh”, used to mock a statement of the obvious.
  • Usage: “We need air to breathe.” “No duh!”

Like, totally

  • Meaning: Very much or definitely.
  • Origin: Popularized by the Valley Girl speech style.
  • Usage: “I am like, totally excited about the party!”


  • Meaning: Not cool, or unfair.
  • Origin: Originally meant counterfeit or fake, transitioned to mean something disappointing.
  • Usage: “He can’t come to the gig? That’s totally bogus.”

Barf me out

  • Meaning: Expression of disgust.
  • Origin: Variation of “gross me out” or “gag me”.
  • Usage: “You’re dating him? Barf me out!”

To the max

  • Meaning: As much as possible, to the fullest extent.
  • Origin: Short for “to the maximum”.
  • Usage: “I am tired to the max.”


  • Meaning: Agreement or affirmation.
  • Origin: A shortening of the phrase “My word is my bond”.
  • Usage: “That movie was great.” “Word.”

Chill pill

  • Meaning: Calm down or relax.
  • Origin: A figurative pill one could take to calm down.
  • Usage: “Take a chill pill, it’s not a big deal.”


  • Meaning: An exclamation of joy or excitement.
  • Origin: Popularized by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  • Usage: “Cowabunga, dude!”


  • Meaning: Cool or excellent.
  • Origin: Possibly an acronym for “Pretty Hot And Tempting”.
  • Usage: “That new bike is phat!”

Awesome to the max

  • Meaning: Extremely good.
  • Origin: Combining “awesome” and “to the max”.
  • Usage: “This game is awesome to the max!”

Home skillet

  • Meaning: A close friend.
  • Origin: Playful and endearing term likening a friend to food (a skillet of homestyle food).
  • Usage: “Hey, home skillet, want to hang out?”


  • Meaning: New, cool, and stylish.
  • Origin: Describing something that’s new and not stale.
  • Usage: “Those sneakers are fresh!”

What’s the 411?

  • Meaning: What’s the information or gossip?
  • Origin: 411 was the number for directory assistance.
  • Usage: “Hey, what’s the 411 on the party tonight?”

Later skater

  • Meaning: A way to say goodbye.
  • Origin: Play on “see you later” with a nod to the skating culture.
  • Usage: “I’ve got to go. Later skater!”


  • Meaning: A term to address someone, typically male but can be used universally.
  • Origin: Old term for a dandy or well-dressed man, popularized as a casual address in the ’80s.
  • Usage: “Dude, check this out!”


  • Meaning: Insulted.
  • Origin: Referring to the sensation of a burn as an insult.
  • Usage: “He said that about your dress? You got burned.”


  • Meaning: Very or huge.
  • Origin: From the Italian word for “world”.
  • Usage: “That’s a mondo big sandwich.”


  • Meaning: To leave quickly.
  • Origin: Referring to a motor’s speed.
  • Usage: “I’ve got to motor if I want to make the movie.”

Have a cow

  • Meaning: Overreact to something.
  • Origin: Unknown, though popularized by Bart Simpson.
  • Usage: “Don’t have a cow, man!”


  • Meaning: Of high quality, cool.
  • Origin: Referring to something as being a top pick or choice.
  • Usage: “That new track is choice.”


  • Meaning: Someone who is hyperactive or clumsy.
  • Origin: Short for “spastic”.
  • Usage: “I can’t believe I tripped again, I’m such a spaz.”


  • Meaning: Excellent or cool.
  • Origin: A more intense form of “bitching”, which was a complaint.
  • Usage: “This new car is bitchin’.”


  • Meaning: Someone who dresses in high-end or fashion-forward attire, often associated with the upper class.
  • Origin: Short for “preparatory”, referencing preparatory schools.
  • Usage: “He’s so preppy with that polo and khakis.”

Take a chill pill

  • Meaning: Relax or calm down.
  • Origin: Figurative term suggesting a pill to induce relaxation.
  • Usage: “He’s so worked up over the game. Someone tell him to take a chill pill.”


  • Meaning: Something that’s really cool or awesome.
  • Origin: A reverse meaning, where a typically negative word is used positively.
  • Usage: “That leather jacket is bad, man!”

Bite me

  • Meaning: A retort, similar to “go away” or “stop it.”
  • Origin: A more playful and less aggressive version of telling someone off.
  • Usage: “Oh, you think you can beat me at the game? Bite me!”


  • Meaning: Attractive or admirable.
  • Origin: Combination of “bold” and “audacious”.
  • Usage: “She’s a bodacious babe!”

Book it

  • Meaning: To leave or run away quickly.
  • Origin: Possibly from the idea of setting a new record, as in a record book.
  • Usage: “We’re late, we need to book it to the cinema!”


  • Meaning: A follower or fan of the band “The Grateful Dead”.
  • Origin: Derived from the name of the band “The Grateful Dead”.
  • Usage: “He’s been to over 50 shows; such a deadhead!”


  • Meaning: Cool, stylish, or attractive.
  • Origin: Describing something that’s so cool it’s “off the ground” or “flying”.
  • Usage: “Those shoes are fly!”

Geek out

  • Meaning: To become overly excited or enthusiastic about a subject, usually technology or fandom.
  • Origin: “Geek” was used to describe circus performers. Over time, it was used for someone who is an enthusiast or expert in a niche area.
  • Usage: “I totally geeked out over the new Star Wars movie.”

I’m outtie

  • Meaning: A way to say goodbye or that you’re leaving.
  • Origin: Shortened form of “I’m out of here”.
  • Usage: “This party’s boring. I’m outtie.”


  • Meaning: A person, especially a teenager, who spends a lot of time at shopping malls.
  • Origin: From “mall” and “rat” implying frequenting a place like rats often do.
  • Usage: “She’s always at the mall every weekend, such a mallrat.”


  • Meaning: Someone pretending to be something they are not, especially in music, fashion, and sports.
  • Origin: Short for “poseur”, from the French word for “to pose”.
  • Usage: “He’s not really into skateboarding, he’s just a poser.”


  • Meaning: Cool or awesome.
  • Origin: Means morally right or justifiable.
  • Usage: “That was a righteous move on the skateboard!”


  • Meaning: Suspicious or shady.
  • Origin: Unknown, possibly from “sketch” meaning a brief written or spoken account.
  • Usage: “I wouldn’t go there, that place looks sketchy.”


  • Meaning: A type of denim that’s faded with a marbled appearance.
  • Origin: The technique involves washing denim with pumice in a rotating drum.
  • Usage: “I got a new pair of stonewashed jeans.”


  • Meaning: Cool or awesome.
  • Origin: Variation of “totally dope”.
  • Usage: “The concert last night was tope.”

Veg out

  • Meaning: Relax or do nothing.
  • Origin: Likening a person to a vegetable, which is inactive.
  • Usage: “I’m just going to veg out and watch movies all day.”

Where’s the beef?

  • Meaning: Asking what the substance or content is, especially if something is lacking.
  • Origin: From a Wendy’s commercial where an elderly lady looks at a competing hamburger and asks, “Where’s the beef?”
  • Usage: “This essay is all fluff, no substance. Where’s the beef?”


  • Meaning: Transformed into or made to resemble a yuppie (young urban professional).
  • Origin: From “yuppie” and the suffix “-fied”.
  • Usage: “The neighborhood has become so yuppified recently.”

Zoned out

  • Meaning: Lost in thought or daydreaming, not paying attention.
  • Origin: Possibly from “in the zone” but in a less focused sense.
  • Usage: “Sorry, I missed what you said. I was zoned out.”

That’s it for our list of slang phrases from the ’80s. We hope you’ve found this nostalgic journey enlightening. While the world of slang is ever-evolving, these ’80s terms have stood the test of time and are fondly remembered. If you think we’ve missed any iconic slang from the ’80s, do let us know in the comments below. Keep reliving the rad times!👍😊

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