16 Old-School Phrases Still Trending with Boomers and Millennials

If there’s one thing that both boomers and millennials agree on, it is that slang words slay. Daily conversations will be extremely boring without the interjections of some phrases that seem unrelated to the conversation if you don’t know the context. Here are 16 old-school phrases that are still surprisingly cool today. 

1. Right On

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“Right on” is a slang phrase that shows enthusiastic agreement and also means “exactly right” or “on point.” It’s mainly used in Canada and the United States. 

Its origin has been a cause of contention for many. Some say it’s an African American slang made popular in 1925 by Odum and Johnson. Some claim its origin is military since airmen often say the phrase “right on target,” and others believe that it’s a theatrical slang form of “right on cue.” 

2. Sweet! (Suh-Weet!)

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You can use the slang word “sweet,” pronounced as “suh-weet,” when something that happened is awesome or incredible. Some say that it came from New Zealand and Australian slang, which means everything is in order. Others believe it came from the 19th-century idiom, “a sweet deal.”

3. Dude

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“Dude” is a slang word that refers to men in general, and while it’s currently still used, many are avoiding it to respect gender fluidity. Specifically, it refers to Americans who are well-dressed.

The slang became popular in the 18th century because of the phrase “Yankee doodle dandy.” People started shortening the word “doodle” to “dude” instead, and pertains to men who like to take special care of their appearance and style, trying to appear wealthier than they are. 

4. Sick

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“Sick” is a slang word that means the opposite of its actual definition. You can use it to mean that something is impressive or amazingly awesome. It is the perfect word to compliment someone. “Your fashion sense is sick!” means your style is amazing. 

Technically, it comes from “ziek” and “siech,” which is a Dutch and German term that means someone is affected by an illness. The slang word, though, is entirely different, which is derived from the 1920 jazz slang in the United States. 

5. Word

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“Word” is the shortened version of the phrase “word to your mother,” which is a phrase that became popular in the 80s and 90s as hip-hop slang. The phrase has become part of hip-hop and urban culture to show that you agree with someone. 

The slang is often used as an alternative to convince someone that you’re telling the truth. It often replaces the phrase “I swear” and shows one’s authenticity and credibility when stating something. 

6. Rad

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“Rad” is an American slang that means something is cool and very appealing. It comes from the word “radical,” which is to signify one’s extreme enthusiasm over something.

Similar to the slang words sick and sweet, you can use this word to mean that something or someone is great or amazing. 

7. Boss

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If you’re looking for a term to use for someone you respect, the slang “boss” is the best word to use. It has always been used to refer to someone who’s in charge, both in professional and casual setups.

While the word is borrowed from the Dutch, it has been used in the United States since the 60s. Casually, the slang can also now be used to mean someone powerful and capable of easily accomplishing things. 

8. Jank/Janky/Janked

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“Jank” or “getting janked” is something that can happen to you when playing a game. It means that you were defeated in the game unfairly. It is often part of the game that you find unfair, whether it is the game’s stage or a combo. You can use it to say that someone gets janked by a strong minion.  

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “jank or janky” is an American slang that means something is untrustworthy or has poor quality. It was used way back in the 1980s. 

9. Bite Me!

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“Bite me” is a slang phrase often used by a person who’s annoyed by someone and finally at the breaking point. It’s a phrase you would say when you’ve run out of patience and have become embarrassed or mad at someone. 

The phrase is derived from its longer version, “Bite me in the bottom,” which is regarded as dismissive and derogatory. The slang is often accompanied by a biting tone or eye-rolls. It can also be the alternative to the phrase “Like I care” or “I don’t care what you think.” 

10. Cool Beans

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You can use the slang phrase “cool beans” to mean that something sounds cool, okay, or good. It basically shows approval and excitement over the topic discussed.

Comedy duo Cheech and Chong are said to be the pioneers of this slang phrase which was made popular in the 80s and 90s in their skits. 

11. Okey-Dokey

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“Okey-dokey” is just a lengthened version of the word “okay” and comes in different spellings like “okay-doke” or “okee-doke.” It denotes a positive response to the situation and simply means that everything is okay.

The slang was first used in the American Speech 1932 edition and was popularized in 1957 in the book City of Spades by Colin MacInnes. 

12. Dope

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You use the slang term “dope” in the same vein you use the slang words “sick” and “rad.” The term was also used in the past to mean illegal substances.

It was also used as an insult to describe a person who lacks intelligence. It then progressed to be positive slang, transforming from an insult to a compliment. 

13. What’s Crackin?

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“What’s cracking?” is a slang phrase that was used in the 1980s and up to now to ask someone what’s going on. The word “cracking” is the combination of the words “crack” (addictive illegal substance) and “lacking” (something missing). It was first used in the 80s by hip-hop artists who were asking their fans “what’s happening.”

14. BRB

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“BRB” is a common abbreviation many use online that literally means “be right back.” It’s often used when you’re chatting online and going offline or away from your computer for some time. Today, many pronounce this slang as “berb.”

Its origin can be traced back to a 1980 chat exchange between users THE GIBBER and Deadhead13. They were going offline and away for a bit from their Apple II computers when they used this. 

15. Not!

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“…not!” is sarcastic slang used at the end of a sentence to unexpectedly turn everything you said around. In the sentence, “I trust you, not!”, you first stated that you trust someone but went 180 in an instant]. Now, the sentence simply means “I don’t trust you,” but in a theatrical way. 

The word was first used in 1893 in the Princeton Tiger Magazine. However, it was popularized in the 90s when it was used for a “Saturday Night Live” sketch. 

16. Good Grief

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You use “good grief” when you’re dismayed or alarmed about something. It is a version of the phrase “good God” and was first used in 1937 by Raymond Chandler in his short story “Bay City Blues. “Good grief! He failed the exam!” is an example of its usage.

Science Sets the Record Straight On These 10 Commonly Believed Myths

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I recently saw this question online, “What is a popular belief that is scientifically proven wrong?” 

Are you thinking of something you know now? Here are the responses that received the most upvotes.

Source: Reddit