14 words and slang terms that turn 50 years old in 2018
Pop culture celebrates the birthdays and anniversaries of celebrities, historic events, iconic movies, landmark albums and popular TV shows. We do it here all the time. The year 2018 promises to be a big one for anniversaries, largely because 1968 was such a groundbreaking year in all facets of society. There is a ton of stuff turning 50 years old over the next twelve months.
One thing we tend to not toast too much is our language. We take for granted terms we use every day. When you find out when they first entered the vernacular, certain words can seem surprisingly old or surprisingly young.
Thanks to Merriam-Webster's "Time Traveler" tool and a deep list at wordorigins.org, we can see what words first appeared in the dictionary or had their first known usage in 1968. Here are some you might find surprising.
Though the exercise fad — and fashion — would not explode until the 1980s, this name for the workout regimen was coined in the 1968 book Aerobics by Kenneth Cooper.
When first used in the late 1960s, "amped" referred to something loud, through an amplifier. It was not until four years later, in 1972, that some dude thought of using "amped" to mean "excited."
We can thank TV, particularly Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, for many of our favorite sayings. The pioneering comedy series coined the phrase "Sock it to me!" Another popular one to spring from the show, which kicked off its regular series run in January of 1968, was "You bet your bippy!"
Before then, parents just trusting that their whopping American cars were built like a tank.
In April 1968, the cover of Vogue featured a headline on its front page: "Cellulite, the new word for fat you couldn't lose before."
The deep-fried burrito grew beyond regional Tex-Mex cusine into a standard request of anyone who could speak English.
Just think, before 1968, all those high-rollers and prom kids had to waste precious breath saying "–usine" after "limo."
We're guessing some ad man at Crest came up with this one.
Oh, big brothers were rubbing knuckles on their siblings' heads long before this, you can bet. It was used as slang before this date, but it entered the dictionary and became okay to use in school essays in 1968.
Again, we mostly think of doctors and dealers in the 1980s when we think of pagers, but the small devices date back to the 1950s. The Oxford English Dictionary took note and added the technology to its tome in 1968.
Before reggae, there was ska. Toots and the Maytals kickstarted a whole new musical movement with their single "Do the Reggay," released in 1968.
We had to wait that long before "rip-off" was a noun? Before 1968, according the OED, the term was used as a verb. It became synonymous for "scam" in 1968.
What rhymed with bippy? Trippy, of course. The psychedelic movement spawned this one. It was a pretty apt term to describe Head, the trippy 1968 film released by The Monkees.
People were getting more expressive and emotional at the time. Probably had something to do with No. 13.