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?

The 80s Valley Girl

HThe 1980s brought upon a new style, language, and just a way of life: the Valley Girl.

The term ‘Valley Girl’ originated in the 1970s, but was at its peak in the 1980s and it referred to a socio-economic class of middle and upper-class white women living in the San Fernando Valley, California. Over time, the traits and behaviors of Valley Girls represented a bunch of spoiled, ditzy girls most interested in shopping, appearance, and social status. They even had their own dialect, referred to as Valleyspeak. (Ex. Like, as if!)

Want to speak like a Valley Girl?! Click here for some tips on learning the lingo.

In 1981 came the release of a hit single by Frank Zappa entitled “Valley Girl,” on which Moon Zappa, Frank’s 14-year-old daughter, delivered a monologue of meaningless phrases in Valleyspeak behind the music. This song made some phrases famous, like “grody to the max”. Some of the terms used by Moon were not actually Valley phrases, but were surfer terms instead (ex. “tubular” and “gnarly”). But because of the song’s popularity, some of these surfer phrases actually entered the speech of real Valley teens.

Here’s the song:

The 1995 film, Clueless, also featured a Valley Girl in the form of the main character, Cher (Alicia Silverstone)


Cher uses the words “like,” “as if,” “whatever” and “duh” a good amount throughout the film. She also refers to attractive men and women as “bettys” and “baldwins.”

Here, we get a glimpse of some of her Valleyspeak:

Valspeak is also heard quite a lot in Bill and Ted’s Excellent AdventureBill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, and Wayne’s World.

There was also the movie, Valley Girl, which starred Nicholas Cage. It’s about Julie, a girl from the valley, who crosses, paths with a boy named Randy, a punk from the city. Their two worlds collide and love is found.

Now, clothing designers are even showcasing apparel following the Valley Girl trend…

by popular designer Wildfox

by popular designer Wildfox

Popular retailer NastyGal even did an entire Lookbook following the Valley Girl trend:

Screen shot 2014-06-07 at 11.46.21 PM

See the entire collection here!

Oh and…

Continue reading

Things Kids from the 80s Can Only Remember

The Muppet Babies….I do not know… Apparently people argue that they were better than Arthur. I would have to disagree.

That Muppet Babies is greatest cartoon of all time (sorry, Rugrats ).

He-Man and She-Ra. They are brother and sister but people thought they were sucha hot couple together….interesting.

Even though they were brother and sister, you thought He-Man and She-Ra made a hot couple.

Th Cosby Show. One of the best TV shows ever. This one is not all about the 80s kids. I think many people know this one. Great great show!

"Must-see TV" meant The Cosby Show .

This one is very sad. But remembering where you were when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded. This is very similar to the explosion of the Space Shuttle Columbia on February 1st, 2003 when it exploded on re-entry.

Remembering where you were when the Challenger disaster happened.

The caption where is got this picture of the Breakfast Club, reads, “Trying to be as cool as the teens in John Hughes Movies.” Right on with this one. John Hughes movies, especially teen movies were great, really entertaining. I would be lying if I said I did not have interest in watching more of his films.

Aspiring to one day be as cool as the teens in John Hughes movies.

Pop Star movement. yup, defiantly do not remember this. Probably would not have taken notice or part of it anyways. Haha

Being either "Team Cyndi" or "Team Madonna."

The original Transformers Movie. So apparently Optimus Prime dies in this movie. Yeah I feel bad for the kids in the 80s who had to see this. He is such a boss. He saves the day in all the transformer movies nowadays! Cannot believe he died in this movie!

The emotional blow you felt when Optimus Prime died in The Transformers: The Movie .

The collecting of Garbage Pail Kids….what? I think it is a good thing that this only lasted for a short time in the 80s…

The joy of collecting Garbage Pail Kids and putting the stickers on your bedroom wall.

Hahaha this one made me laugh. I think this personifies the 80s for kids today and what our perception is. When i think of the 80s, I think of neon colors and outfits that make you stand out. Well, here it is. the neon biker or leggings that girls wore to school.

That it’s perfectly acceptable to wear neon spandex biker shorts with just a T-shirt to school.

Continuing the trend of 80s clothing, the pegs on your jeans. A staple in the 80s and still is today for kids who try to replicate that.

Taking that little extra time in the morning to get the perfect peg on your jeans.


I Love the Smiths



If you weren’t already into the Smiths or spent your time listening to those sad songs over and over again in your room, the 500 days of Summer brought you out of the twenty first century and threw you right heart break that was the 1980s controlled by the sappy love songs of the Smiths.

The Smiths who were featured in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off while the three of them visited the art museum have also been featured in numerous other films over the years. One of the most recent coming from the movie version of The Perks of Being a Wallflower



This film in particular focused on “Asleep” which was one of Charlie’s favorite songs off of  Pony Tail Derek’s mixtapes.


The Smiths were an English Rock Band formed in Manchester in 1982 and only active for five years when they separated in 1987. Over this brief time together the band put out four albums.

Meat is murder was released in early 1985 and was ranked 295 on Rolling Stones top 500 albums of all time.

The Smiths were also a band who had very influential lyrics. My personal favorite is “There is a Light That Never Goes Out”

Take me out tonight
Where there’s music and there’s people
Who are young and alive
Driving in your car
I never never want to go home
Because I haven’t got one anymoreTake me out tonight
Because I want to see people
And I want to see life
Driving in your car
Oh please don’t drop me home
Because it’s not my home, it’s their home
And I’m welcome no more

And if a double-decker bus
Crashes in to us
To die by your side
Is such a heavenly way to die
And if a ten ton truck
Kills the both of us
To die by your side
Well the pleasure, the privilege is mine

Take me out tonight
Take me anywhere, I don’t care
I don’t care, I don’t care
And in the darkened underpass
I thought Oh God, my chance has come at last
But then a strange fear gripped me
And I just couldn’t ask

Take me out tonight
Oh take me anywhere, I don’t care
I don’t care, I don’t care
Driving in your car
I never never want to go home
Because I haven’t got one
No, I haven’t got one

And if a double-decker bus
Crashes in to us
To die by your side
Is such a heavenly way to die
And if a ten ton truck
Kills the both of us
To die by your side
Well the pleasure, the privilege is mine

Oh, there is a light and it never goes out
There is a light and it never goes out
There is a light and it never goes out
There is a light and it never goes out
There is a light and it never goes out
There is a light and it never goes out
There is a light and it never goes out
There is a light and it never goes out
There is a light and it never goes out

Even if you do not know the Smiths that well there is no doubt you haven’t herd them and as I mentioned before they are one of those ultimate break up bands.

Grease 2- the Humiliation

So this is a film class. We are watching a bunch of hits: Academy Award Nominees even, but what about the bombs of the 80’s? If we want to talk bad movies there is nothing that rivals the disappointment of Grease 2.

grease 2

Also known as the worst sequel ever made. Gone are the peppy gang and the heart winning hero and heroine. Instead we have some unmemorable performances from some unmemorable actors.

t birds

First, lets talk sequels. Sequels are not always good… in fact sometimes they are so terrible it makes you cringe to even place them in any sort of juxtaposition with their originals. Their badness taints the original just by association.Grease 2 is a perfect example.

Did you know it existed? I didn’t until like two years ago, and I watched the original maybe five thousand times as a kid. I love that movie. My love for it is ridiculous. I found the sequel because it sometimes plays on Oxygen when they run out of romcoms people actually have an interest in seeing. Or maybe Lifetime. They are sort of interchangeable.

So the one thing 1982’s Grease 2 has going for it is Michelle Pfeiffer.

Returning characters include Frenchie, Eugene, the coach, the principal, and the diner waitress, the rival gang member…. not exactly the workings of a hit. So in this movie they basically reverse the roles and Sandy’s Australian cousin who is actually pretty hot… not John Travolta,but certainly more attractive than a lot of 80;s heart-throbs, tries to get himself a pink lady, Michelle Pfeiffer, by impersonating a motorcycle rider. You don’t need to know his name because after this movie, he dropped off the face of the Earth and went wherever once promising young actors go when they die.The film was a huge flop and ruined the rest of his life not to mention his career.

Highlights of the movie include robotic exchanges between the helmeted heart-throb and a bored Michelle Pfeiffer, and a luau pool party musical scene that is unrivaled in awfulness.

grease 2 finale

If you move to the last few minutes of this clip you will see Michelle Pfeiffer singing. And the luau scene as well.

The big difference in the movie (besides the lack of great actors, convincing musical numbers, dancing ect.) is that the craze is all about motorcycles instead of cars. If there was a time machine I’m fairly certain this movie would have been unmade. Its sad and awful and makes me queasy.

Wealth and Social Status

Many of the films of the 80’s (and most from today for that matter) put a great emphasis on wealth. Wealth being the thing that controls whether one is going to be popular or well-liked. A few examples being Ferris Bueller, we can tell from his house and even Ferris’s dad’s office that the Bueller family has money. Ferris is also a very popular kid. Cameron too, he lives in a very nice house and his dad owns very nice cars and what do you know he is best friends with Ferris who is one of the most popular kids in school.

camerons-house2 ferris-bueller-250gt-804


Another example comes from Dirty Dancing in which you can see both the rich and the poor. You have Baby who comes from a very rich family and she is very pretty and all the boys want to talk to her. Her sister who is one of the most annoying characters but yet she is still popular. The father is the reason the entire movie takes place he is a well-liked man and it is a friend and patient of his that owns the resort that they go to. The other families that are at the resort are also very wealthy and you can see that this allows them to get whatever they want and in turn makes them popular around the resort. Then you have Johnny who has to work for a living and he doesn’t have money from the family and he is walked all over. His boss talks down to him and he is treated poorly.



In Sixteen Candles Jake Ryan is the most popular guy in school and what do you know he is also ridiculously wealthy. He drives a Porsche and has a huge house. A house that is sufficiently large enough to play host to party with all of the senior class along with some unwanted underclassmen. Even Jake Ryan’s girlfriend shows signs of having great wealth; from her perfect hair and perfect clothes.

Jake Ryan Jake's Girlfriend

Then from The Heathers the wealth of all the families involved is obviously the reason the Heathers and Veronica are popular. Their wealth is what gives them their social status. They have the money to have the latest clothes and the best hair products to make them the ideal women for that time period.


This can still be seen through in today’s movies as well. For examples, The Heathers sister movie Mean Girls also has very wealthy main characters–the wealth undoubtedly led to these girls becoming the “it” girls.

As you can see Regina drives the really nice car and has a really nice house and so obviously she must be the most popular girl in school.

I think the moral of this story is that you must be wealthy to be popular! Obviously because Hollywood has made this apparent for the last few decades. But according to this news story perhaps popularity is what brings the wealth not the other way around. That’s not the way Hollywood has long portrayed the role of money and wealth.



Elmore City and Footloose

The movie Footloose was actually based on a real town, a real American town in which dancing was really banned and where the high school petitioned for a senior dance. This town is Elmore City, Oklahoma. For most of the people in the world you have never heard of this town and for good reason. According to the 2012 census Elmore is home to a whopping 695 people. The total enrollment at the high school is 210 students and grand total of 20 teachers. . Let’s get a feel for this small town shall we?

Elmore City, OklahomaElmore4 Elmore5 Elmore6 Elmore7

These photos I kid you not are from the Elmore City Chamber of Commerce website, I feel as though these photos really capture the excitement of this town. Now according to google this is the only city to ever have a ban on dancing. This is not to include nude dancing, which has numerous bans. Could you imagine going through high school and not having a senior prom? NOPE! But this town didn’t have a senior prom for over 100 years. Until 1980 when the students petitioned to have a senior dance and were finally granted.


These fine folk are originials from the incredibly small town of Elmore who were among the few that attended the first senior prom in 1980! One of the things that is said is that the previous pathetic excuse for a senior event that they had consisted of a banquet followed by readings of the prophecies. After the banquet though most seniors would just jump in their trucks and leave and go get drunk somewhere. Seems counterproductive when the law against dancing was in place to prevent “the consumption of alochol, fighting, and sex.”

This town’s struggle was the inspiration for Hollywood’s Footloose.

This clip from Footloose shows the senior class carrying on and having a great time just dancing. However, this is a Hollywood version of events. According to those who were there the dancing was actually quiet limited at the first. First because almost no one knew how to dance like Willard from Footloose, but also because the room was actually filled with all kinds of news reporters, and even reporter from People magazine.


This article ran in People Magazine in May of 1980. The event also made front page news in China! Won’t bother posting that link as it is in Chinese so is therefore very unexciting.

However, to further emphasize how pathetically small the town of Elmore City is they hold a convention every year in honor of Footloose. Oh yes really really. And they take it seriously too.


Also find it humorous that this particular year is also shared a dated with 4/20, which is long been connected with the day that marjuana is “legal.” But that’s irrelevant, but this festival is so crucial to this town that it has it’s own tab on the City Commerse Page as well.

This is a video of the 2012 Footloose Convention!

I don’t think I’ve ever been so thankful that I went to Oviedo High School, even though it was a hick town school, it wasn’t nearly as small hick town as Elmore City.


Cameron’s house is for sale!


If anyone is interested, Cameron’s house from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is now for sale. Only 1.25 million.

The Heat is on!



Beverly Hills Cop, a movie from the year 1984, displayed a story about a Detroit police officer who doesn’t quite fit in with the culture in Beverly Hills when dealing with a murder case.

Before this film, Eddie Murphy was not really well known, but this movie definitely increased his popularity and portrayed his comedic genious persona.

The cop has this kind of cocky, but funny personality that amuses the audience. Murphy exudes this cheeky character, but manages to compliment this behavior with comedic instances that really entertain anyone who watches this film.

Hilarious scene from movie

In addition, like Ghostbusters, Beverly Hills Cop also has a soundtrack that became extremely popular in the 80’s and even today. When I heard the opening song to this movie, I could not believe this was where the song came from. I have heard it in recent movies and in games, but I would have never assumed it originated from this film. The song has this mixture of pop and like techno, which is odd, but it somehow manages to be really catchy (allowing it to still be popular today).

Theme song

The song is really uplifting and fun.  It’s got a tune one can easily sing and hum. The beats and tune allow it to be really different from other songs at the time, but it also becomes a bit messy and entertaining. Sort of how the main character of the film is. The theme song of this film really resembles that to Axel’s character.

It’s a shame, because I feel like Eddie Murphy’s talent is so visible in this movie and now it seems to have died down. The movies he makes today are no comparison to Beverly Hills Cop. Today, I think a lot of people would agree that this film has to be one of the best and most entertaining cop films.