Here’s a list of my favourite cool cat sayings found and compiled from various sources, films and books.
Now you too can talk that rockabilly talk!
Baby – Cute girl, term of address for either sex
Back seat bingo – Necking in a car
Bad news – Depressing person
Bash – Great party
Bit – An act
Blast – A good time
Boss – Great
Bread – Money
Bug – to bother someone
Burn rubber – To accelerate hard and fast (hot-rodders)
Cat – A hip person (Beats)
Cherry – Originally, an unaltered car. Later, anything attractive (hot-rodders, originally)
Classy chassis – Great body
Cloud 9 – Really happy
Clyde – Term of address, usually for a normal person (Beats)
Cook, cookin’ – Doing it well
Cool – Indefinable quality that makes something or someone extraordinary
Cool it – Relax, settle down
Crazy – good thing
Cream – Originally, to dent a car. Later, to badly damage (hot-rodders, originally)
Cruisin’ for a bruisin’ – Looking for trouble
Daddy-O – Term of address (beatnick)
Dibs – A claim – as in “got dibs” on that seat
Dig – To understand; to approve
Drag – (greaser) A short car race; (beatnick) A bore
Eyeball – Look around
Fast – Someone who was sexually active
Fire Up – Start your engine (greaser)
Flat out – Fast as you can
Flick – A movie
Flip – To get excited – “He’s gonna flip when he hears the news.”
Floor it – Push the accelerator to the floor (greaser)
Get Bent! – Disparaging remark as in “drop dead”
Get with it – Understand
Gig – Work, job (beatnick)
Go ape – Get very excited
Goof – Someone who makes mistakes
Goose it – Accelerate the car fully (greaser)
Greaser – A guy with tons of grease in his hair, which later came to describe an entire group of people.
Grody – Sloppy, messy or dirty
Hang – As in “hang out” which means to do very little
Haul ass – Drive very fast (hot-rodders)
Heat – Police (beatnick)
Hep – With it, cool. Someone who knows the situation.
Hip – Someone who is cool, in the know. Very good.
Horn – Telephone
Kick – A fun or good thing; Also, a fad
Kill – To really impress
Knuckle sandwich – A fist in the face
Kookie – Nuts, in the nicest possible way
Later, also later, gator – Goodbye. See ya later, alligator. Response: in a while crocodile.
Lay a patch – To accelerate so hard that you leave a patch of rubber on the road.
Lay on – To give (beatnick)
Made in the shade – Success guaranteed
Make out – A kissing session
Make the scene – To attend an event or activity
Meanwhile, back at the ranch – Usually used to get a storyteller back on track.
Most – As in “the most” – high praise usually of the opposite sex
Nerd – Geek
Nod – Drift off to sleep
No sweat – No problem
Nowhere – Opposite of cool.
Nowheresville- was a boring, bad place to be. (beatnick)
Odd ball – Someone a bit off the norm
Off the line – Start of a drag race (greaser)
Pad – Home
Party pooper – No fun at all
Peepers – Glasses
Pound – Beat up
Punch it – Step on the gas (greaser)
Put down – To say bad things about someone
Rag Top – A convertible car
Real gone – in love. Also unstable.
Righto – Okay
Rock – A diamond
Rocket – A car (greaser)
Rod – A car (greaser)
Royal shaft – Badly or unfairly treated
Scream – Go fast
Screamer – A hot rod
Shot down – Failed
Sides – Vinyl records
Sing – To tattle or inform on someone (beatnick)
Sounds – Music
Souped up – A car modified to go fast
Spaz – Someone who is uncoordinated. A clutz.
Split – Leave
Square – A regular, normal person. A conformist.
Stacked – A woman with large er, ah…you know, up top!
That’s close – Something wrong or not true
Think Fast – Usually said right before someone threw something at you
Threads – Clothes
Tight – Good friends
Total – To completely destroy, most often in reference to a car
Unreal – Exceptional
Wet rag – Someone who’s just no fun
What’s a buzzin, cuzzin – What’s new?
What’s your tale, nightingale – What’s the story?
Wheelie – Left the car’s front wheels off the ground by fast acceleration