Thursday, March 03, 2011

Dig That Groovy Chick: 60s Jargon Disappears

"Oh man dig that crazy baby!" We don't use an expression like that anymore do we? A person usually speaks and uses vocabulary within a certain context or cultural surrounding. When that cultural environment disappears, the expression, jargon or slang used within that context disappears too. Below is a list of expressions and questions that are hardly used today.
1 Please switch off the transistor.
2 How many EPs can you stack on the record player?
3 I like your stylish bee-hive.
4 I go ape with the programs on Rediffusion.
5 Larry Lai's a real, cool dude.
6 Can't put anymore records in the radiogram.
7 Dig the crazy crowd at the National Theatre!
8 Little Richard, he sure likes to ball...
9 Here's a request from pen-pal Elvis Renaldo Sim for Lulu Sandra Ho...
10 I'm dialling my chick's number again.
11 Can I borrow your song book to copy, 'Rock Around The Clock?'
12 Can you do the off-beat with me?
13 Hey, where're my Beatle boots?
14 Hey, play that new 78 we just bought.
15 New typewriting ribbons to copy lines from 'Peyton Place.'
16 Let's go to the Celestial Room this weekend.
17 Wow! I like your latest beatnik look.
18 Lots of cool cats at the Hotel Prince Garni tea-dance.
19 I like your Elvis sideburns.
20 Get me some fags and a bottle of Coke.
21 This singles costs me a dollar eighty.
22 Hey, Edmundo Ros' live on radio now.
23 My black and white's in the dump.
24 Don't have bread to buy a new color one.
25 So psychedelic! I love it.
26 Teddy boys crowding the phone booth.
27 I am going steady with Jane.
28 You like some sky juice?
29 Your moon-glasses make you hip.
30 We were making out at Mount Faber.
These expressions are only a fraction of what 60s vocabulary can offer and with a little imagination and memory the list can go on. But how did it all start? The clues are below:
Lyrics (mid 50s to early 60s):
1 'Put your glad rags on and join me hon' (Rock Around The Clock)
2 'Sure like to ball, when you hear your mama call' (Good Golly Miss Molly)
3 'A movin' and a groovin' gonna satisfy my soul' (Party)
4 'Three to get ready, now go cat go' (Blue Suede Shoes)
5 'You don't like hot-rod racin', you're so square' (Baby I Don't Care)
6 'I'll be flyin' high, rock on out to the open sky' (Rip It Up)
7 'A honky tonky Joe was standin' at the door' (Party)
So like words, fashion changes too.
Image 1: A beehive hairdo.
Image 2: A hippie.
Image 3: A fashionable 60s evening gown. Not the Merlion but definitely a Merlady. Swan Records SE 4556 "Off Beat Cha Cha." with The Wedding, Dream, We Meet Again and We Need Each Other. Andy Lim Collection.


Anonymous said...

H miracle said:

That brought back a lot of memories! One word that keep coming in and out of fashion but never totally goes away is "cool"! It's still cool to use cool.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Hi H miracle,
Thanks for the interesting comment. Yes, 'cool' never goes out of fashion.

I guess the word, 'baby' is still in use to-day to refer to a girl.

Anonymous said...

8th Mar 11
'Groovy, Baby!'
Posted by noelbynature under Lifestyle. (0) Comment • (654) Reads.

In recent years, we would have heard ‘Groovy, Baby!’ because of Austin Powers, the Mike Myers comedy of the British superspy from the 1960s.

It seems like people spoke an entirely different language during that time…

Andy reflects on the complete disappearance of 60s slang, and has a list of some common phrases.

Check his list of forgotten phrases. The only thing is, can you remember what those phrases mean if translated to everyday language today?

Anonymous said...

I used to have a 45RPM record [acetate] called "Dig That Crazy Beatnik Chick" that I never found a copy of ever again. The songwriters were London & Clarke. Who knows?


Hiroshi Deguchi
I would have enjoyed exchanging those words with you if I had been in SG those days.

Andy Young
Thanks, Hiroshi. What would these phrases mean? Thanks to Ser Kiong for the response too

Hiroshi Deguchi
Can't make heads and tails of them. but I seem to figure out what DIG THat Chick.

Freda Hanum
This is fun, Andy
see if I can help out Hiroshi.
correct me if I am wrong

Cool cat - sexy and voluptuous lady?
Dig that chick - admiring, it's
Fab - fabulous

Teddy boys - playboys,
Sky juice - water,
Moon glasses - John Lennon round glasses,
Got no bread - no money.

Those days words like you mention,
groovy and fag very often used and also
these phrases

"hi sugar pie honeybun"
"go fly kite"
do you have a fag"

"he is a groovy man" and
some others I quite forgot
Real fun hehe...

Andy Young
Oh my, Freda.
If you hadn't been a musician you would've made an excellent English Language teacher.
Thank you very much.

Andy Young

Freda Hanum
Yeah A very Happy Birthday
Hiroshi Deguchi🎂🎈🎉🎊
wishing you again

Stephen Han
Fags means cigarettes

Freda Hanum
Stephen Han.. yes

Stephen Han
Freda Hanum -Thanks Freda