7 gnarly ’80s slang we wish would make a comeback

Slang can reveal the cultural undercurrents of a time period. It’s mostly used by young people — women and Black people especially — and the 1980s were the heyday of Gen Xers.

Gag me with a spoon!

Meaning: That’s disgusting! One of the defining linguistic phenomena of the 1980s was Val-speak, a dialect of English spoken by Valley Girls.

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Meaning: amazing, awesome; or, disgusting. Val-speak wasn’t the only linguistic phenomenon coming from California. Surf slang was also making waves.

Eat my shorts!

Meaning: a crude remark to tell someone to go away, stop bothering you, etc. The insults of yesteryear can often sound ridiculous to modern ears, and “Eat my shorts!” is no exception.

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Meaning: someone who grew up in the same town as you. The word homeboy goes back to the ’80s, but technically the 1880s.

Homeboy, homegirl, homebuddy, etc.


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