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Some word we picked up back in the 'good old days' and it becomes part of our everyday colloquialisms. Maybe at one point they were common but they've lost their popularity.

Often, the words we think are 'outdated' have been shifting in and out of popular culture for decades. The meanings can change just as frequently as fashion trends.

We have things like TV, radio, and the internet to blame for the speed at which these trends fly by, but often the origins are lost. That's why we put together this list of slang words and gave a little bit of context for some of these popular words.


Redditor williamsaguaro2002 wanted to know:

"What outdated slang do you still use?"

Let's see how outdated your language really is.

"Homeslice" has a very 90s or early 2000s feel.

"I heard 'homeslice' once around 1997 and it's still a part of my daily vocabulary."

- thesuperscience

"My wife and I call each other 'home fry,' 'home skillet,' and 'home nugget'….I have no idea why. We don't say 'home slice' though and I think that's the OG."

"Is 'OG' dated?"

- pixelpusher15

"No it's totally tubular."

- AlbuquerqueBystander

The term "homeslice" actually comes from "homeboy" used in African American English Vernacular (AAVE), dating back to the 1940s.

"Gnarly" might not be mainstream, but it's still used.

"Gnarly. I like how it's spelled."

- PYRoBU

"This is still heavily used in the mountain bike and skater communities."

- engineeredthoughts

"Surfing, snow boarding, snow skiing, dirt biking, basically all the dangerous things Southern Californian's like doing."

- Unsaidbread

The word 'gnarly' doesn't have a very clear origin. Some believe it came from the surfing community in California back in the 60s and 70s (though we know that American surfing did not originate with the white folks in SoCal, but did with the Hawaiians).

Clearly, the word has evolved and taking popularity among many different extreme sport groups.

"Some of my favorite phrases as a mountain biker:"

"Shred the gnar. Gnarnia. Yeah buddy. Send it. Stoked."

- WhatIsHisFace

"There's really no other word to describe insane tech, 'Dude, that trail is so f*cking gnarly, I love it."

"'Sketch' is similar but has a bit of a negative connotation, 'That drop's pretty sketch, I'm not hitting it.'

"I love mountain bike slang."

- pakicetus_inachus

Right on!

"I heard a young man say 'Right on' at the Whole Foods in Boulder. And I thought, 'Woah, that's cool. I haven't heard that in ages."

"Then I decided to start saying it when I got back home. I only used it a couple of times when I heard my best friend say it. And then someone else from our work said it."

"I think that guy from Boulder may have brought it back. Or it never left and I just didn't notice."

- Blitzkriek

"I use 'right on' and 'far out' often. Never really stopped from the 60s-70s."

- hanneyr1

The term "far out" actually has roots in the American jazz communities of the 1940s when referring to newer music within the genre.

Totally radical.

"Rad."

- champagnepatronus

"I frequently say 'rad' and 'sick' some of my favs for sure."

- BananaStew5

"I teach middle school and get teased by students when I say 'rad' or 'radical.' At that point, there's nothing else to do except double down and just let loose with all the outdated slang."

"Radical is one I do say regularly though."

- MostGoodPerson

"Bunk" is definitely niche.

"I called something 'bunk' a week ago and then realized I haven't said that for 25 years and probably shouldn't for another 25."

- sleepingsublime

"Excuse me???? What is bunk slang for???? I call my cat bunk and bunky because his name is Binx and he's chunky."

- knifeinyourteeth

"It meant bad, sh*tty etc. 'That's bunk!' meant something more or less sucked."

- sleepingsublime

"When I was young, it was used the same way as this to describe subpar quality weed. Like, we smoked the whole bag and barely caught a buzz. Sh*t's bunk."

- ActuallyFire

The word "wit" just took on a whole new meaning.

"In Shakespearean language, 'wit' was slang for a man's penis."

"It takes a new meaning to the motto of Ravenclaw house: 'Wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure.'"

- ittleboy_xxxx

"Well then, reading the Stormlight Archive just got a bit weirder."

- blitzbom

"The King's Wit."

- ItsKnope2016

"Along the same line, 'nothing' was slang for a woman's genitals back then too. Gives Much Ado About Nothing a whole new meaning."

- Raccoon_Full_of_C**

"'Nothing' was also a homophone for 'noting,' as in paying particular attention to something or someone. So the name of the play means 'a lot of fuss about nothing,' 'a lot of fuss about female genitals,' and 'a lot of fuss about guys and girls paying romantic attention to each other.'"

"That play is 90% puns and it's my favorite of Shakespeare's works by far."

- Klutche

"If I had known in high school that Shakespeare was so bawdy, I would have paid more attention."

- LezBReeeal

"Wicked" seems to be a regional favorite.

"'Wicked' has been a mainstay of New England lexicon for at least 40 years at this point. I hear it several times a day in all manner of ways. 'Wicked sick' is probably the most common around here."

- Cookie-Jedi

"Mah boy is Wicked smaht."

- Derptholomue

"'Wicked fresh.' Drives my 13 year old mental. She has no idea what it means."

- OCDGrammarNazi

"I like 'funky fresh' but wicked is good too!"

- titus894171

"My mom still refers to everything as 'the bomb' and 'b*tchin' and I love it for her lol."

- ASingularFrenchFry

"After reading the comments, I've came to the realization I'm a living breathing personification of outdated slang."

- The1Koalaman

Though our slang and short hand feels like it's just a natural phase of certain times, and that these words can become 'outdated,' the roots are often from marginalized communities at the intersections of the LGBTQ+ community and people of color.

Subcultures started it, mainstream popularized it. But just because popular culture has moved on doesn't mean that the subcultures have taken it out of practice.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

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