The Language of the Hip

This glossary was compiled from several sources, including The Holy Barbarians, a similar list found in the booklet that comes with the Rhino Beat Generation tapes and my material for history classes on the Hip. Many additional words have been added from questions people have asked me about different aspects about the counterculture. I include it for several reasons. Seeing how our language (hip slang) evolved over the years is interesting, if not informative. The most important use though, is to help those who know English as a second language to understand the terms one is likely to encounter when reading the hip literature. After all, this is the World Wide Web, which means that just because you know what acid is, doesn't mean that someone halfway around the world does. So here goes... A rainbow

Acid: Short for LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide). You know, it's that drug that causes Hippies to glow in the dark.

Acid Gas: Empty capsulesAn empty capsule with LSD on it that have been dosed with LSD from an eye dropper. They called them acid gas because once the water evaporated, leaving only a microscopic coating of LSD, there was nothing in them but air. This was done in the very early days of the Hippies (fall, 1965) and discontinued when the police caught on. The tablets came next. 

Acid Test: A multi-media happening where everyone takes acid and becomes part of the scene.

Action: What's happening, as in "the park is where the action is." Later usage: a political demonstration or protest.

Activist: These were the political oriented Hippies, most of whom lived in Berkeley. They're the ones who got the actions together.

Axe: Any musical instrument. Any tool you use to do your art, like the computer I'm using right now. Dig?

Baby: Term of endearment, applied to cats or chicks. 

Bad acid: It was Woodstock that made this term popular. I have no idea of what went wrong (if anything) with the acid at Woodstock, but the term has become such a cliché that even outsiders (who had obviously never taken LSD or attended Woodstock) used it in the Movie Airplane II more than 10 years later. In my experience, bad acid was pretty hard to obtain. I never got any. Usually the problem was not the acid, but a problem with the psychological factors, known as set and setting.

Bad rap (or bum rap): Someone accused of false charges, such as, He's in on a bum drug rap.

Bad scene, trip: Any situation that bohemians tend to avoid. Also known as a bring-down, a bummer.

Bag(1): A quantity of drugs usually sold as a unit, such as a lid of grass.

Bag(2): (as "in the bag") A done deal. Mission accomplished.

Bag(3): Profession, work, interest, similar use as thing as in, "That's just his bag, man."

Ball: As a noun, a good time; as a verb, sexual intercourse.

Bennies: Benzedrine pills. 

Beatnik: This is the word Herb Caen coined for the Beat Generation in the spring of 1958. Of course, the Beats didn't like being called beatniks any more than the Diggers liked being called Hippies. See How the Beats and Hippies were Named for more information.

Beautiful: Another word used to describe a groovy situation or person as in, it's beautiful, man, or you're beautiful, man. See groovy

Beautiful People: Another term for the Hippies. It is believed that this term came from the letters they wrote their parents.

Berkeley: The counterculture had two epicenters. The artistic epicenter was of course, the Haight-Ashbury, but the political epicenter was Berkeley. The purpose of the Human Be-in was to bring these two factions of Hippies together.

Biker: Kind of like the opposite of a flower child, like a 200+ pound Digger on speed, with a lot of tattoos, who drinks a lot of beer and whiskey, and rides a Harley, and fights a lot. A real hot cat (see hot). What else can I say... 

Blast: Exciting bohemian happening or party.
Example: Man, the whole orchestra is tuning up for the blast. See satire page

Blotter: A type of acid in the form of a dosed blotter. This type of acid didn't appear until about 1973, after the era of Owsley acid.

Blow: To play an instrument; to depart; to make.
Examples: Wow, like that Dizzy Gillespie cat really knows how to blow. I think I'm going to blow this scene.

Blow off: To abort going somewhere or doing something.
Example: When the teens rushed the stage, the Pranksters had to blow off the Beatles concert.

Bong: A type of water pipe

Box: Record player (guess where boom box came from)

Bread: Money.
Example: Man, like can you lay some bread on me? 

Bro: Short for brother. Bikers use this a lot, but Beats and Hippies seemed to prefer man. See Man.

Bugged: Bothered, annoyed.
Example: Man, like you really bug me. 

Bummer: Any bad situation, especially a bad trip. Original Hells Angel term for motorcycle wipeout, but got a new meaning when Ken Kesey turned them on to LSD.

Burn, burned: To do someone wrong or to have been done wrong, especially concerning dope deals and artist, manager relationships. Similar to rip-off.

Bust(ed): Arrested. Replaced earlier Beat term, tapped

Casbah: Lover's Lane. (my generation never used this term)

Cap: Short for capsules. 

Cat: The wild, swinging, uninhibited, nonconformist male bohemians. Back to baby

Chick: As above, except female. 

Citizen: Biker term for 99 percenter (outsider, someone who isn't a one percenter). They got this word from the cops, who kept using it when they were balling them out, and also from the statement by the American Motorcycle Association (see one percenter)..

-City: Suffix used for emphasis similar to -Ville. Examples: drag city, surf city, squaresville, nowheresville.

Clyde: Bumpkin, square, maybe even moron.
Example: Man, like I just about had the deal in the bag when this clyde showed up and ruined everything.

Colors: A Levi jacket with the sleeves cut off and the name of the motorcycle club on the back. (or "No club" or "Lone Wolf" for bikers not belonging to any club).

Combine: Also known as the establishment. From Ken Kesey's novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The repressive force which tries to adjust individuals to the group. The exact words Kesey used in that novel were, The ward is a factory for the Combine. Of course, the mental institution is only one factory for the Combine. Others include the government, schools, the military, big business (like Microsoft) or any other institution that takes individuality away in order to be a more efficient group. This was also the theme of the song, Mr. Blue by the Clearlight.

Commune: This is where Hippies live as a group. Unlike the traditional nuclear family, consisting of husband, wife and children, Hippies tend to live in extended families. This was a result of the work that Hippies did (rock bands just about have to live as a group) and also because of the San Francisco housing situation (pads tended to be bigger than one cat and chick could handle.

Connection: Contact person for drugs. 

Cool: A cat who's laid back - like Ginsberg. You can tell he was a cool cat because he outlived most of the hot cats (like Kerouac)! Also said of anything that sends you, whether cool jazz or a cool chick-unless you like 'em hot (see Hot).

Cool it: Relax, calm down; leave, knock it off.

Cop out: To not come through for your brothers and sisters, to not do your share of the work.

Counterculture: This is the academic deodorant word for bohemians, when it was discovered that many of the Hippies resented being called Hippies, and many of the Beats disliked being called beatniks. It replaced the earlier word sub-culture, when it was discovered (at Woodstock) that the group was much larger and more widespread than first thought.

Crash: That's what you do when you call it a day and go to sleep. Also meant to come down from a drug.

Crazy: Anything that meets with a bohemian's approval. Opposite of drag.
Example: Wow, like dig that crazy chick. 

Cut out: To take ones leave, to split. Example: "Like let's cut out of here, man"

Dad, Daddy, Daddyo: Endearment for males, sometimes sarcastic like in the case of the pregnant chick in the example.
Example: Hey Big Daddy, like remember that crazy happening we dug a few months ago?

Dig: Understand, appreciate, approve of, enjoy, do you dig me, man? 

Digger: The faction of Hippies extremely opposed to any kind of materialism, the HIP merchants (see HIP) and the marketing of a Summer of Love (actually this was their paranoia because the intent was not to market it but do damage control). They were more into activism than the other Hippies, who were more into their art. 

Dose: 1. A hit of acid. 2. To spike something (usually Kool-Aid) or someone with acid.
Example: Jerry, we can't play the next set because somebody dosed Pigpen's beer and he's all flipped out.

Drag: A bore, disappointment. Anything that doesn't meet with a bohemian's approval.

Dude: This word came into being when it became impolite to call Blacks spades. It just didn't sound right to call someone a Black cat so the phrase, Black dude came into use. Today, dude and cat have about the same meaning.

Dyke: A homosexual female.

Establishment: The Beats had it easy. In their language, you were either hip or square. I'm not sure why Hippies didn't like the word square, but they seemed to prefer the word straight, or establishment, as in the establishment press, as opposed to the underground press. The establishment was another word for the combine.  

Eye, the: Television. (My generation never used this term)

Eyes: (as in "...has eyes for...") Desires; like.
Example: Boy Jerry, that Janis Joplin chick really has eyes for Pigpen.

Fag: Short for faggot. A male homosexual. (old term, Hippies used the newer, gay).

Fall by: Visit. Example: Let's fall by Ginsberg's pad and see if he's got the manuscript ready.

Fall in: Arrive, show up, make the scene.

Fall out: Pass out from an overdose of drugs. Later became nod out.

Far out: Taking things to the limits known as Edge City (as Tom Wolfe calls it). Unusual, unconventional.

Fascist: (as in fascist pig) This word came from the oppression that occurred at the Democratic Convention in Chicago. It usually referred to some authority (such as the police) politicians, or people into materialism (like Bill Graham).

Flip out: To go nuts. The men in the clean white coats have to swoop the offending person up in a butterfly net and drag them screaming and kicking all the way to that funny looking ward building with all the bars on it that goes by the name of Disturbed. Just hope that the Big Nurse isn't on duty or you just might get a little electro-shock therapy over it. See satire page.

Fix: A shot of heroin or some other drug.

Flaky: Unreliable or unpredictable performance.

Flower Children: These were the Hippies who were more into art than political activism.

Frantic: Frenzied. See Crazy.

Freak: Hippie is an outsiders name (much like beatnik), freak is the insiders name (much like beat). Note: Frank Zappa may have coined this term.  See freak out.

Freak out: Usually means a bad acid trip, but could be anything that upsets a cat or chick. Frank Zappa used the term on his first album to mean any action or happening that brings the freaks out; a gathering of freaks. Example: Boy that cleaning lady really started to freak out when she saw Colin drop that tray of food all over the carpet. See satire page.

Free love: This was one of the results of the so-called sexual revolution that happened in the 60's because of the introduction of the birth control pill. Later spin-offs of this include Gay liberation and woman's liberation.

Fucked up: Usually means intoxicated, feeling good (what you'd least expect it to mean, or at least I did)

Funky: Old French, funicle, terrible. Latin, phreneticus (see frantic). In the forties, Mezz Mezzrow defined it as stench, smelly obnoxious. Today it means "that happy-sad feeling" according to some jazz musicians.

Fuzz:. Another name for police
Example: Like I was rapping with the fuzz and they expect a million and a half people here by tonight.

Gang bang: (also gang shag) Sequential sexual intercourse of a chick by many cats.

Gas: Supreme, tops, the most, really makes it. Probably from nitrous oxide, it's a gas.

Gay: New word for homosexual. Replaced the earlier fag sometime in the 60's.

Gig: Literal meaning: musical performance. Looser meaning: your work. Even looser: your trip.

Getting off: Feeling a drug start to take effect, enjoying (digging) something.

Gone: The most, the farthest out. If you go far out enough, you're gone - "out of this world."

Grease: Money, food (yuck) (My generation never used this term)

Grass: It's not the stuff cows eat, it's the herb Hippies like to smoke - in other words, marijuana.Marijuana leifI don't think the Beats used this term.

Green: Ignorant, not in the know. I don't know where these color words for people's traits came from, but they turn up in the surfer and biker movies. (see yellow).

Grok: From the book Stranger in a Strange Land sitting in Ken Kesey's living room at La Honda. Meaning: to fully understand some concept both intellectually and intuitively. A complete gestalt, usually done at a group level.

Groovy: Also in the groove. Enjoyable, fun, a good time, swinging, opposite of bummer.

H: Short for Heroin

Hang up: Also hung up. An obstacle in the way to accomplishing your goal. Examples: Like we all have our hang ups, man. Like I tried to get to the festival man, but the traffic was like all hung up

Happening: The place where the action takes place (could be anything from a poetry reading to an Acid Test).
Example: Hey Big Daddy, like remember that crazy happening we had a few months ago. Back to Acid Test

Hassle: Any inconvenience to a bohemian, such as "scoring the acid was a major hassle" or "we were hassled by cops on the way to the festival."

Head: Another insider term for a member of the counterculture. Like with freak, sometimes a prefix is added to indicate what kind of head, as in acid head, pot head, etc. Ken Kesey seemed to prefer this word. I think Kesey coined it. It may have come from the question, "Hey man, do you think his head is in the right place?" which replaced the earlier, "Hey man, do you think he's a cool cat?"

Head shop: A place where heads shop, that sells pipes, roach clips, cigarette papers, posters, underground newspapers, Hippie attire, rock concert tickets and similar items.

Heat, the: Another name for the police.

High: In a euphoric state, from drugs or some other stimulus.

Hip: Here's the best definitions I've found on this so far (and another one that's way off base). 

HIP: Short for Haight Independent Proprietors. This is the faction of the Hippies that were always at odds with the Diggers. They tended to be optimists, who wanted to turn on the whole world to what was happening in the Haight-Ashbury. The Diggers didn't like this idea because they somehow knew what would happen if everyone came flocking down to the Haight-Ashbury for a Summer of Love. Judging from what happened when the hordes came and the Summer of Love went belly up, it looks like the Diggers were right! Back to Diggers

Hippie: This is probably one of the most difficult words in the English language to research. The place to start is The Autobiography of Malcolm X. It was a Hipster term for White Hipster wannabes, used in the late 1930's. Michael Fellon first applied the term to the San Francisco bohemians in a San Francisco Examiner article titled A New Haven for Beatniks in September, 1965. The term didn't seem to catch on until after the Human Be-In, held in January, 1967. It was the publicity of this event that probably caused every would-be bohemian to come to San Francisco in droves for the Summer of Love. When that happened, most of the original bohemians left...including the Grateful Dead... There's more about this in the article about how the bohemians were named.

Hipster: One who is in the know, a cool cat who's part of the scene. To be more precise, hipsters were the Black jazz musicians, but the Beats didn't use it that way. 

Hit: A single dose of a drug, usually acid. Back to dose

Hit up: To inject a drug

Hog: A biker's motorcycle (usually a big Harley).

Holding: In possession of drugs or a large sum of money.

Horse: Old term for heroin. Usually called smack or junk. 

Hot: A cat who does things to the max. - like Kerouac - "...burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles..." Back to biker Back to cool

Hustle: Usually refers to illegal work, like prostitution or selling drugs.

Hype 1. Old term for someone who injects drugs. Now called needle freak. 2. Excessive publicity, such as the hyping of the Summer of Love (or Windows 95, the biggest Microsoft hype yet).

In: (As in be-in, love-in, teach-in, etc.) Where it's at, where the action is, where it's happening. Usually a gathering of freaks. The word proceeding the in describes the type of gathering.

Jim: A derogatory term for cats. (My generation never used this term)

Jive: Offensive; no-good. Example: He's just giving you a bunch of jive, man.

Joint: A marijuana cigarette. Replaced the earlier term, reefer, but I have no idea when.

Key: A kilogram (2.2 pounds) of marijuana.

Kicks: Wild and crazy things that get cats and chicks high or things they dig doing. Also, bohemian's obsessions, which could be anything from goldfish swallowing (yuck) to homosexual beatniks carrying on in the dormitories of Colombia University (the crazy new kick the Dean hoped that the students will not discover).
Example: "Dig this crazy new kick," shouts Jack as he tosses a full pitcher of beer up in the air. (Kerouac actually did that) 

I'm not sure why the Hippies did not like or use this term. My peers never used it and I never encountered it before reading the Beat literature. Possibility Hippies associated  kicks with anti-social activity like stealing cars or hard drug use, but to the Beats it referred to any activity that turns one on.

Laid back: Relaxed, not in a hurry, not easily upset, a cool cat. See cool.

Later: When you're ready to split the scene, you say, "later" and cut out. When you don't want to hassle with it now, you also say "later."

Lay: To have sex.

Lay on: To give as in "Could you lay a few reds on me, man?" 

Liberate: To steal something (usually from the establishment) for the good of the group. This is opposed to ripping off, where the stealing is for the bad of the group or individual. See rip off.

Lid: An ounce of marijuana (replaced the earlier can.) Back to bag

Light my (your) Fire: To turn somebody on or to be turned on by somebody (usually sexually).

Like: The theory of relativity applied to reality. Like that's your reality, man.

LRY: Short for Liberal Religious Youth. This used to be the high school age youth group of the Unitarian Church. It was through this youth group that many of us became part of the counterculture. When the Unitarians became more conservative in the early 80's, they forced LRY to disband and replaced it with something called YRUU (whY aRe yoU, yoU). That means that today's youth have to find another route into the counterculture, which today, is usually through the music.

Make: To act, as in "make the scene, " To "make it" may be said of anything that succeeds, whether a dental appointment or a crazy chick. 

Man: The generic way of addressing a cat. Back to bro

Man, the: Another name for the police.

Meth: Short for Methamphetamine (speed)

Mike: Short for microgram. Example: How many mikes are this tab.

Mind Blowing: Anything that tends to overload the senses, such as strong acid, a light show or a situation like Woodstock, where the number of people who showed up was really mind blowing.

Most: Greatest; furthest out. Example: Like that new chick's the most.

Nutty: Also nuts. Good; wild; hip. Example: Pigpen would go nuts over a motorcycle like this.

One Percenter: After some biker trouble in Hollister, California, The spokesman for the American Motorcycle Association (who sponsored the motorcycle event) said, "99 percent of motorcyclists are law abiding citizens." The other one percent are the one percenters. It was this incident that resulted in the movie, The Wild One (1953).

Orange sunshine: A type of Owsley acid that first appeared in the early 70's.

Out of Sight: As far out as you can get. The grooviest.

Owsley: The best acid ever made. Owsley was the name of the person who manufactured it. It was around from 1965 to about 1972. It was usually in tablet form, the colors of which were changed regularly to prevent bogus acid from being sold as "Owsley" acid.

Pad: Where one crashes, a cat's home is his pad, even if it is a dormitory at Columbia University. You won't get too far trying to convince the Dean of that, though. Just ask Allen Ginsberg.

Peak: When a drug reaches maximum effect. From peak experience.


Peace symbol: Common Hippie name for the nuclear disarmament symbol coined by the British philosopher, Bertrand Russell in 1958, around Easter. It is the shape of a jet plane enclosed in a circle. What it actually represents is the composite of semaphore flag signals for the letters N (flags to the sides) and D (one flag up and one flag down) for nuclear disarmament. The event was the first march on Aldermaston nuclear base. 

Pick up on: To observe a routine you dig and add it to your way of doing things. (I think this is a musical term for when one musician synchs up to what another musician is trying to express musically and improvises to complement the other musician's playing. The second musician picks up on the first).

Pig: The final Hippie word for a cop, coined about the time of the Democratic Convention in Chicago (1968).

Plastic: A word for fake or imitation, as in plastic Hippie or plastic people. Frank Zappa may have coined this word. Used instead of  the earlier Beat Generation term, square.

Pot: I'm not sure if this word came from the Beats or the Hippies. There was a Hippie button that said, "There's a Plot against Pot," but my generation usually called it grass or the weed. Anyway, it's marijuana.

Psychedelic: Coined by Humphry Osmond, the word was originally psychodelic. He changed the psycho to psyche because psycho sounded like it had something to do with mental illness. Basically, it is thought to mean mind expanding or consciousness expanding.

Put on: To fool or kid someone.

Rap: To speak the language of hip. Bad rap: Bad situation.
Example: Like I was rapping with the fuzz and they expect a million and a half people here by tonight.

Riff: story; conversation, musical expression.

Rip off: To steal material things or ideas. I'm sure that every bohemian has ripped off a fascist pig at one time or another, but that's cool because we're just starving artists just trying to pay the bills. What's a real drag is when a square (usually a manager) rips off an artist. This happened to the Grateful Dead and a lot of my friends and to even myself. I think the Beat Generation had another word for this term. See Kesey's Cuckoo's Nest book. It's in the chapter where someone (the Big Nurse) rips off Randall McMurphy's clothes. "They boosted my threads, man," or something like that.

Ripped: Same as stoned.

Reds: You know, they're the little red capsules they like to dole out the night before shock treatment day. (Seconal)A capsule of seconal, commonly known as a red

Right on: Generally said when one bohemian approves of another's idea or action.

Reefer: This is a very old term for marijuana, which probably dates all the way back to the Lost Generation. My generation probably would have never used this term if it hadn't been for cult films like Reefer Madness.

Roach: A small butt of marijuana.

Roach clip: Instrument you use to smoke a roach.

Rush: Also rushing. Some drugs produce a rush feeling.

Salty: Rude. (My generation never used this term)

Sandoz: The name of the pharmaceutical company that first synthesized LSD. It came in the form of 25 microgram pills (not many people ever saw these) and in the form of ampoules containing 1 ml. solution containing 100 micrograms of LSD. The only way to get the LSD out of the ampoule was to break the top off.

Scoff: (also scarf) eat; food (replaced by wolf down)

Score: Succeed; acquire
Example: Like it wasn't easy, but I finally scored some acid.

Set (and setting): Both the terms were coined by Timothy Leary for the psychological factors that can influence a psychedelic experience. Set refers to the the expectations of the tripper, the mind set, uptight or relaxed, that kind of thing. Setting is the environment where the psychedelic is taken. Is it a supportive environment or a hostile one? The theory went that by controlling set and setting you could avoid bad experiences.

Short: A small foreign sports car (My generation never used this term)

Sides: Phonograph records, as in, "Let's play some sides."

Smack: Another term for heroin.

Smashed: Really stoned.

Space out: Also spaced out. To forget to do something, as in, " Like I kind of spaced it out, man." Also means not feeling quite up to par, as in, "I feel really spaced out today," or, "I feel really spacy today."

Spade: Old term for Afro-American. Replaced by the word, Black.

Speed: Methamphetamine 

Split: As in "I've got to split the scene, man." It means you've got to cut out (leave).

Stash: The place where you hide your drugs. Also, to hide drugs. Applies to other things as well, such as, "How do I stash my web site on the server?" THis term was used by both the Beats and the Hippies.

Straight: This Hippie term unfortunately replaced the earlier square but I never liked it, because it is not specific enough. Besides meaning not hip, straight could mean, not gay, not stoned and god knows what else. The Beat Generation had an entirely different use of this word. Getting straight meant getting dosed with heroin, in other words, getting stoned. Let's stick with square, because everyone knows what that means, or at least they will when they read this list.

Street theater: This is what the Pranksters did. It's where you do some kind of skit that passers-by don't know is a skit, but think it's for real. If you know what you're doing, you can really blow people's minds. This was done a lot at protests and similar actions to prove some point. One book about the Hippies calls it "instant theater."

Strobing: This is one of the visual effects produced by LSD. It is most noticeable when the drug first takes effect and again when it starts to wear off. I could be wrong about this, but I think the strobing effect is caused by the alpha rhythm of the brain modulating the visual field, which produces a flicker effect (it's about the right speed/frequency).

Stoned: Under the influence of some drug (to get technical about it).

Strung out: That's what too much speed or not enough sleep make you. A nervous wreck. 

Square: Conformist, Organization Man, solid citizen, anyone who doesn't swing and isn't with it. Also called Creep and Cornball. Man, if you still don't dig me, you'll never be anything but... Back to citizen

The Summer of Love: This term sharply divided the residents of the Haight-Ashbury. After the Human Be-in and the publicity it generated, some of the residents of the Haight-Ashbury knew that there would be an influx of young people who saw it on television or heard about it by word of mouth and who wanted to become part of the scene. They went to the city for help with dealing with this influx, but unfortunately, they didn't feel they should discourage these bohemian wannabes from coming (they felt there was no way this could be done, which they might have been right about), they felt it was best to welcome them with open arms for a Summer of Love. I think they wanted to set a good example for them. 

This Summer of Love idea couldn't have backfired on them more completely, not only with the City of San Francisco, but also with many other Haight-Ashbury residents, especially the Diggers, who didn't want to attract any more people, and who felt that the Summer of Love motto was just more hype to do just that.  I can't say for sure if things outside of San Francisco were better off or worse off because that term had been coined. It did become a badly used and misunderstood cliché, and it couldn't have gone worse for the residents of the Haight-Ashbury, who ended up having to deal with dope dealers murdering each other left and right, and a million other problems that summer of 1967, none of which had anything to do with love. It took more than a decade after that summer before the Haight-Ashbury became livable again.

Ironically, it might have taken me much longer to find my way into the counterculture if the so-called Summer of Love hadn't happened. I happened to be in San Francisco that summer and if it hadn't been for all the hype, I might have missed it, unless I just happened to wonder into the Haight-Ashbury, which wasn't very likely for anyone not knowing that that was where it was happening.  By the time I got there, you didn't have to go to the Haight-Ashbury to get the underground newspapers. They were selling them all over town, even in the square tourist shops. The sad thing I find about this is the only people who seem to know the history of all this were the people who were there or the people who knew someone who was there. I find little truth is the saying, If you remember the sixties, you weren't there. Maybe it means that if you were there you're too old to remember it, which I find offensive. In my case, I was there and there's some things I remember about it and other things I don't, since it's kind of hard to be at both the Fillmore and the Avalon Ballroom at the same time.

Swing: To let yourself go with the flow.

Tab: Short for tablet. (LSD used to come in tablets before they came out with the blotter.)

Tapped: Broke; arrested (replaced by the term busted) (My generation never used this term)

Tea: It's not the drink that Victorian squares like to serve in the afternoon, it's the herb that Beat Generation cats and chicks like to smoke. My generation never called it that.

Teeny Boppers: The Beats named us Hippies, so we returned the favor to the younger generation and named them teeny boppers They were our groupies. 

Thing: This is a word Hippies used a lot, in similar ways as trip. Used to describe someone's traits.
Examples: That's just not his thing, man. Do your own thing, man. (A Hippie's way of saying, be yourself) Back to bag

Toak (or toke): To take a drag (inhale the smoke) from a joint or pipe.

Tossed: Searched by the fuzz (you know, they toss all your stuff around, dig?)

Trip: A psychedelic experience. Later use: replaced the term, kick or used like thing.
Examples: Let's go tripping. What a trip, man. That's just his trip, man.

Turn on: To take drugs or to grok some concept.

Underground: Prefix for items having to do with the counterculture, such as underground newspaper, underground radio station, underground shop, etc. It is believed that this word came from sub-culture, which was an earlier term for counterculture. When the Summer of Love happened and Hippie became a household word, the use of the word underground was more or less dropped.

Note: Contrary to what you may read elsewhere on the Internet, almost all the so-called underground radio stations were not illegal. They had FCC licenses just like any other station. The reason they were called underground was because they played the underground music, meaning the music that was not mainstream, especially music which was longer than the three minute limit of the top 40 AM radio format. Since most of this underground music was recorded in stereo, it demanded the higher quality of the FM band. Previously, the FM band had been used for only classical music and background music.

The first such underground station was KMPX in San Francisco, where most of the underground music originated. It started as an experiment (it's previous format had failed, so they decided to try something else) and after it proved to be a success,  similar stations were started in other cities, including KNUS in Dallas, which had a jingle that said, The Sound of the Underground

The term underground as a genre of music, or as a format for radio stations didn't last very long at all (maybe a year).  As I recall, it was replaced with the term, progressive rock in the 1970's, and lord knows what replaced that term.

Uptight: Feeling uneasy or uncomfortable about something. Bugged by something. Example: Traffic Uptight at Hippie Fest. (Woodstock Headline)

Wail: Play; sing; talk. Later use: a happening, as in New Year's Wail (an event that happened in the Haight-Ashbury)

Wasted: Really stoned.

Wig: Brain; mind

Wig, to: Get very excited

Wild: About the same meaning as crazy. 

Wild Man Fischer: This one's a real gas. Wild Man Fischer was a cat who would stand on a street corner and sing songs to people for a dime. His parents didn't like him doing this, so they shipped him off to the state hospital on two occasions, to see if a little electro-shock therapy would get him to stop. Well it didn't, and they probably would have given him a lobotomy over it, but luckily, he escaped and ran into Frank Zappa. Frank was so impressed with Wild Man Fischer's songs, he took him into his studio and they made a record (actually, a double album). I don't know what happened to Wild Man Fischer after that. I'm sure his parents had a fit when the record came out. I think I heard somewhere that he died, but don't know for sure.

People either love Wild Man Fischer's songs or they hate them. I played his record at an LRY conference and they made me take it off after only 15 minutes...and I don't even want to talk about what happened when I played his record on my show on KCHU, except to say that I dang near got a pink slip from the FCC over it. One thing's for sure. Anytime you feel a need to upset the squares, all you need do is play a little Wild Man Fischer.

Way out: Variant of far out. Example: Like that's way out, man.

Wow: A word bohemians use when something gets their attention. Example: Wow, did you see that, man.

Yellow: Chicken, doesn't like risk taking or kicks, doesn't like pushing situations towards Edge City. Back to green

YIP: (or yippie) Youth International Party, founded by Abbie Hoffman and friends on January 16, 1968.

Yo-yos: Part-time Hippies who flip-flop between the worlds of hip and square. They usually have some kind of yuppie type job but think that is fashionable to be hip in their spare time. Real Hippies consider them a real drag.

Yuppies: (not to be confused with yippies above) Young upwardly mobile professional. These were the sellouts, the ones who got tired of being starving artists. Most of them, however were never bohemians in the first place. They were what the Beats and Hippies were reacting against.

Other material related to the Language of the Hip

Well folks, I had a problem. This page got so big that it started crashing both my HTML writer program and my web browser. So, the only thing I could do is break it down into three files. Well, what the heck, at least it loads a lot quicker now. Here's a list of the other two pages.

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