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Dudettes and dudes, let’s take a trip back in time and crack open the vault of rad Gen X slang!

gen x slang
Every word in this Gen X Slang Guide would be overheard in this line for a concert within 3 minutes at the height of Gen X culture.

The latchkey kids who rocked out in the 80s and 90s invented a unique lingo that mirrored our lives and laid-back vibes. So buckle up, young bloods, ’cause we’re about to get totally tubular with some classic Gen X slang that’ll leave you saying, “Word!”

Dude: The importance of the word “Dude” cannot be overstated for Gen Xers. It is used as a verb, a noun, an adjective, and depending on the context, how you even utter the word “Dude” can mean entire paragraphs of information. Dude? Dude! Duuuuude! For dudes practiced in the art of Dude Speak, entire conversations can be carried using nothing more than this one word.

Chill: Remember that feeling of just floating along, cool as a cucumber? That’s “chill.” From hanging after work to dodging awkward situations, “chill” covered it all. Think, “Hey, wanna chill after work?” (relax) or “That presentation was pretty chill, man.” (no biggie).

Cool Beans: No one knows where this came from and it is impossible to know what it means other than “casually cool.” It’s like the most “whatever” of positive agreement ever. Totally neutral version of “Cool.”

Bummer: Life throws curveballs, but we face them with a sigh and a “bummer.” Unexpected downpour on a picnic? Missed our favorite show? You know, bummer times.

Lame: The opposite of “rad,” like that movie that made us barf in our brains (figuratively, of course). Think boring, uncool, or just plain disappointing.

Rad/Radical: This one’s all about awesomeness, excellence, and pure excitement. Nailed that skateboard trick? Concert so good it melted our faces? That’s rad, dude!

Gnarly: Intense, extreme, and seriously impressive. Not just for waves anymore, gnarly can rock any situation. Dude, that concert was gnarly!

Gen X Slang on Tik Tok

@nostalgic_mama Gotta love that ‘80s slang! #the80s #80sslang #80sphrases #80skid #borninthe70s #raisedinthe80s #genx ♬ Centerfold – The J. Geils Band

Psyched: Super excited, like winning the lottery or finding the last slice of pizza. “I’m psyched for the weekend!” we’d declare with fist pumps.

Bogus: Fake news before “fake news” was even a thing. Think unreliable, untrue, or just plain fishy. “That used car salesman gave us bogus info about the mileage, man!”

Tubular: Like “rad,” but a bit more dated and surfer-dude-ish. Think catching waves and catching some serious gnarly vibes. “Catch you on the flip side, tubular!” we’d yell before shredding into the sunset.

Stoked: Super pumped, hyped up, and ready to rock. Pizza night? We’re stoked!

Wicked: Not evil, but wicked good. Band playing tunes that make our hair stand on end? Wicked!

As if: When disbelief or sarcasm needed a voice, “as if” stepped up. “As if I’d wear those pants, dude!” we’d scoff at fashion faux pas.

Whatevs: Whatever, man. This one could sum up the entire Gen X attitude in a word. Indifference with a shrug. Pizza or tacos? Whatevs, we’re down for anything.

Gag me with a spoon: So gross, so nauseating, we’d rather swallow cutlery than deal with it. Extreme disgust, reserved for truly gag-worthy situations.

Word: You heard me, loud and clear. Understandment and agreement in one tidy word. “Word, I’ll be there.”

Gag order: When someone’s lips are sealed tighter than a vault.

Yo: Hey you, listen up! A classic attention-grabber. Yeah, we invented Yo.

Bodacious: Totally hot, smoking, or attractive. “Whoa, dude, that new guitarist is bodacious!”

Psychedelic: Not just about trippy drugs anymore, it could describe anything mind-blowing or awesome. “That VR game was totally psychedelic!”

Whammy: A major setback or disappointment. “My car broke down right before the road trip? Talk about a whammy!”

Heebie-jeebies: Creepy chills or unsettling vibes. “That abandoned house gives me the heebie-jeebies.”

Geek out: Get excited about something you’re really into. “I totally geeked out over that vintage comic book find.”

Grok: To understand something deeply, get it on a profound level. “I don’t think anyone truly groks the meaning of life.”

Zonked: Totally exhausted, wiped out, ready for bed. “After that all-nighter studying, I was zonked.”

Tubular bodacious: Combining gnarly coolness with smokin’ hotness, the ultimate compliment. “Dude, that surfer girl at the beach is tubular bodacious!”

Catch some rays: Soak up some sunshine, relax and enjoy the good weather. “Let’s ditch work and catch some rays at the park.”

Word to your mother: A serious declaration, emphasizing the truth or importance of your statement. “Word to your mother, that pizza was the best I’ve ever had.”

Totally tubular: Not just tubular, but tubular to the extreme, emphasizing awesomeness with gusto. “This mixtape is totally tubular, dude!”

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