Urban Dictionary: 80s Slang

I stumbled across a few blog posts that claim to have the ultimate glossary of eighties terms, but here are my top 10 favorite eighties phrases!

Airhead: (noun) someone who's head is full of air

This term was invented to describe a Valley Girl, aka someone who flaunts their inability to make intelligent comments.

Nowadays I think it still carries the same meaning.

Example: “Did you hear what Mason said in class today?”
                “Yeah, he’s such an airhead!”

Cowabunga!: (exclamation) uttered when someone is about to do something crazy or adventurous

Cowabunga is a catchphrase used by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987 TV series). It is a well known ’80s battle cry.

I always thought that it was more of a surfer term, for catching waves, but I’m going to try and incorporate it into my life more. I might have to ‘cowabunga’ into my seat during my next Methods for Operations Research exam.

Crucial: (adjective) incredibly radical or cool

Example: “I just got a life time supply of ice cream! Crucial!”

I don’t think I have every heard anyone use crucial with this meaning, but I like it.

Crunchy: (adjective) to be extremely jealous

Example: “Shereef just got the new pair of Air Jordans! I’m so crunchy.”

I LOVE THIS TERM! I am definitely going to incorporate it into my own lingo.

DINK: (noun) acronym that stands for "dual income, no kids"

Basically a DINK is a Yippie couple with no children and lots of money to spend on themselves. If you don’t think these yuppies exist, check out their website,


Eat my shorts!: An expression of mild contempt

First used by Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club, Bart made it even more famous as one of his catch phrases on The Simpsons.

If you like this phrase and want to show your love with some feminine flair, check out these awesome t-shirts, here

Example:  “Nice shirt, Kowalski.”
                “Eat my shorts, dude!”

Gag me with a spoon!: (exclamation) A Valley Girl expression connoting extreme disgust
Teenage angst at its worst. This phrase used to describe how unpleasant a situation was, could be, might have been at come point.
Example:  “Hey Ashley, remember when you dated John? He’s so gross!”
                 “Yeah, gag me with a spoon.”
Have a cow: (verb) to be very worried, upset, or angry about something

Another catch phrase made famous by Bart Simpson, meaning “Calm down!” or “Chill out!”.

Example: “Hey, did you hear about how Sal got bulldozed over while he was on vacation?”
               “Yeah, he’s going to have a cow when he finds out!”

No shit, Sherlock: (exclamation) what you say when someone says something very obvious
This phrase is usually followed by the retort, “F*ck you, Watson!”. This is a bit more effective in insulting someone rather than just calling him Captain obvious!
Tubular: (adjective) so totally cool as to defy description

The first time I ever heard tubular used, it was in “Up On the House Top” from Jimmy Buffet’s christmas album. The song features Buffett yelling “Tubular dude” and other such things at Ol’ Saint Nick in the most clichéd surfer voice he can manage. Again, I don’t think I’ve ever heard this term used anywhere else! I think I might leave this one where it belongs, in the eighties.



What’s your favorite eighties-ism?

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