Here are all those groovy terms that hippies use and what they mean. If you have something to add to this list, please let us know.  You can search this page by going to Edit, Find on your menu bar or Cntl-F, or just click on the letter below.

Also check out Famous Hippy Quotes


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Came Down: When the drug wears off you come down.

Cannabis: Formal latin name fore marijuana.  Two main subspecies are Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica.  Indica has wide leaves and is short, while Sativa has narrow leaves and grows taller.  Hybrids from both subspecies, blending the best traits, are often grown for commercial purposes.

Cassady, Neal: The inspiration for Dean Moriarty in Jack Kerouac's On The Road and The Dharma Bums, Neal linked the beat generation with the hippies by joining Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters on their Bus trip across the U.S. (as the driver!) in 1964.  He was part of the famous "Acid Tests". Neal sought the freedom of the open road and could rap endlessly in stream of consciousness style about everything.

Castaneda, Carlos: An Anthropologist at UCLA, Carlos wrote a series of books about the shamanic tradition of the indigenous people of Mexico.  His apparently first hand accounts of life as a sorcerer's apprentice ignited decades of controversy as to their reality.  His portrayal of himself as a bumbling student of Don Juan, the powerful brujo, are now literary classics.  The journeys he took on the path of the warrior through the world of spirits inspired many to seek out what lies beyond our perceptions.  His books include: A Separate Reality, Tales of Power and The Eagle's Gift.

Cat: A male person who's hip.  Beatnik term adopted by hippies.

Centering: Figuratively, to find one's balance.  To center one's awareness.

Chakras: Yogic concept. The seven chakras are physical and vibrational energy centers associated with the human body.  The first begins at its base of the spine moving to the seventh at the top of the head.  It is believed that by raising one's awareness through the practice of Yoga one can transmute the lower energies of the first three chakras into the higher, finer vibrations of the remaining four chakras.

Charas: Hashish made by extended pressing of marijuana resin by hand, resulting in a black, cylindrical potent piece.

Chavez, Caesar:  Charismatic leader and founder of the United Farmworkers Union.  Championed the underpaid, underrepresented migrant farm worker. Organized the five year grape boycott.  Chavez helped to inspire Chicano activism of the 1960s and 1970s, combining the lessons of the civil rights movement and nonviolent protest with Mexican-American traditions and values.

Chicago 1968: Refers to the protests at the Chicago Democratic Convention where thousands of protesters, reporters and bystanders were caught up in a battle with the police.  Mayor Daly took credit for the bloodshed while millions watched on T.V.

Chicago Seven: The group of organizers of the protests at the Chicago Democratic Convention in 1968.  The Chicago Seven included Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Black Panther leader Bobby Seale and Tom Hayden. They were charged with conspiracy and defended by William Kunstler.

Chick: A girl.

Choice: Like the FDHA stamp, refers to something of quality.  "I got some choice buds for the party"

City: Following certain words indicating a profoundness or a lot of the previous word.  "John Coltrane and Miles Davis were at the concert, man it was Jazz City!"

Civil Rights Movement: Started in the 50's the civil rights movement gathered steam in the early 60's with marches, passive resistance and speeches.  Foremost among the leaders were Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers, Jesse Jackson, and Malcolm X. These protests and the non-violent means used were inspiration for the student anti-war protests that were to follow a few years later.

Clean: After prolonged drug use, a period of abstinence which allows the body to remove all traces of drugs.  A drug free state.  "I've been clean for six months now."

Commune: Word comes from Communist ideology.  Used to describe a group of people living together, and the place they live.  Communes practice self-sufficiency, often farming the land.

Conscientious Objector: A draftee could apply for 1-O status if they could prove that serving in the military went against their religious or moral beliefs.  With 1-O status your were excused from military duty, but still required to do civilian service.  During the Vietnam War, this status was rarely granted.

Contact High: An altered state of consciousness that people get just being around other people who are doing psychedelic drugs. 

Cool: Groovy, OK, farout.  "That's a real cool tie-dye!"

Cool it: Or Be Cool.  Mellow Out. Calm down or stop what you're doing.  "Hey can you cool it with the music, I'm trying to mellow out."

Co-op: Cooperative business, usually a health food store run by hippies. Members are part owners and many actively participate in the business.  Based on Marxist principles.

Cop out:  Escape from responsibility.  "Don't cop out when your bro is in need."

Cosmic: An idea or person really out there on the edge of comprehension.

Counterculture: The encompassing word for the hippie movement.  Not just a sub-culture, but an entire spectrum of individuals rejecting the values of the dominant society.  This term was far more acceptable to everyone than the word "hippies".

Coyote, Peter: Actor, author, member of the San Francisco Mime Troupe, one of the original Diggers.  His new book Sleeping Where I Fall, tells of his days in S.F.

Crash: To stay in someone else's place.  To come down off Acid or another intense drug.

Crash Pad: A place where hippies could hang out, do drugs, sleep, have sex, etc. without having to pay rent.  They would come and go, with different people staying there every night.

Crawdaddy: First magazine to cover the Rock Music scene.  Published by Paul Williams, author of Das Energi. Crawdaddy is publishing again!

Credibility Gap: This phrase was used to describe the public's growing unease with the U.S. government public statements about the war in Vietnam ("we're winning", "it'll be over soon", etc.) and the increasingly obvious truth (more troops going over, more body bags coming back).

Cronkite, Walter: Uncle Walt was considered the most believable broadcaster in U.S. history. In 1968, he broke the code of neutrality among major newscasters, by opposing the Vietnam War in a national television broadcast.  His integrity is unquestioned. 

Crosby, Stills, Nash:  They burst on the music scene at Woodstock in 1969, with their fabulous harmonies.  Many of their tunes became anthems during the anti-war movement.  These included Ohio (about the Kent State massacre), and Chicago (about the riots at the Democratic Convention in '68).  They also teamed with Neil Young on several great recordings including Deja Vu and Four Way Street.

Crumb, Robert: Famous cartoonist of the 60's and 70's, Crumb introduced the world to his somewhat depraved, yet humorous visions via Zap Comics, Mr. Natural, and Fritz the Cat.  His inspired and unique style captured the essence of the times.  Always the social critic, Crumb used his art to convey the anti-establishment sentiment that swept the country.

Cuban Missile Crisis: - When U.S. satellite photos showed Soviet missile bases in Cuba, President Kennedy ordered a naval blockade of Cuba.  The tense standoff nearly caused a nuclear war in 1962.

Da Kine: Term for top quality Hawaiian pakalolo.

Dashiki: A very colorful long sleeved African shirt.  They pullover your head and have a v-cut below the neck.  The dashiki is never tucked into your pants but worn as loose as possible.  They are cool in summer.  Hippies wore these because they have beautiful and colorful designs with African patterns.  They are still very popular with African musicians.

Dass, Ram: also known as Dr. Richard Alpert. Author of Be Here Now, Grist for the Mill. Worked with Timothy Leary at Harvard on LSD studies. Alpert was so changed by the ingestion of LSD, he left his post and wandered through India. Finding enlightenment he returned to write several books and do the lecture circuit.

Davis, Angela: Radical black teacher at UCLA.  She was dismissed from UCLA in 1969 due to her radical politics.  She was a Black Panther and made the FBI's most wanted list in 1970 on false charges.  She became an icon as an intelligent, outspoken radical young black woman.

Day-Glo: Colorful paint that glows in the dark. Popular with psychedelic art on objects and faces, especially during the Electric Kool Aid Acid Tests.

Designer Drugs: Any of a vast number of custom made drugs that are designed to be chemically different from illegal drugs, but similar in effect to those drugs. 

Dharma: Indian word for one's life purpose and work. The principle or law that orders the universe.

Dharma Bums: Jack Kerouac's book about the beat philosophy's roots in Zen Buddhism.  He chronicles his adventures in California and a trip across the country, ending in a reflective stint up on a mountain as a fire lookout. This "rucksack wanderer" sure met some interesting people on his journeys including poet Allen Ginsberg and Buddhist Gary Snyder.  This book and "On The Road" inspired many a hippy to take to the road in search of onself.

Dig: To understand. "Dig it?"  To like something.  "I really dig the Monkees."

Diggers: Group that gave away food and clothes in Haight-Asbury.  They followed the anti-materialist teachings of the English Diggers who fought against private ownership of land and property.

Dime Bag: $10 worth of dope.

Discotheques: Places to go hear rock music and see light shows and dance. Converted to Discos in the mid 70's.

DMT:  Dimethyltryptamine.  A very powerful hallucinogen that is smoked in a pipe.  It gives short intense trips of a very specific nature. Check out http://www.lycaeum.org/drugs/other/gandz/gandz.dmt.htmlfor more info.

Do your own thing!: Be yourself!  Do what you want to do.  "I got a few acres out in the country where I can do my own thing"

Donovan: With his song "Mellow Yellow", Donovan made the music scene in the 60's.  His sensitive voice, spacey lyrics, and unusual arrangements evoke a very hippie feeling.  Other hits include Sunshine Superman, The Hurdy Gurdy Man, 

Don't trust anyone over 30! - Popular saying on buttons in the 60s highlighting the generation gap.

Dope: Drugs. 

The Doors: This band from L.A. with the great Jim Morrison as lead poet, anarchist and debaucher gave the hippie movement a passionate, if somewhat psychotic visionary.  Their music, with its strong beat and Fender Rhodes chords define a certain style that meshed well with the psychedelic flower power generation.

Dose: From the word dosage, a single hit of a drug, especially LSD.  If you do too much you overdose.

Dovetail: A European styled and rolled joint, looks like a bird. 

Downer: Someone or something that brings you down, makes  you sad. Derogatory.  "It's a downer having Nixon as president!"

Downers: Any drug used as a depressant-includes Seconal, Phenylbarbitol, and others.

Draft: The mandantory call to military service for young men. All 18 year old males are required to register with the Selective Service, which maintains records of your availability to serve in the military.  It takes an act of Congress to reinstate the draft.

Draft Card: Issued by the draft board, it was usually your ticket to Vietnam. Many antiwar protesters and draft dodgers burned their draft cards in public antiwar protests. This activity sent many of them to jail.

Draft Dodger: Anyone who avoided the Vietnam era compulsory draft either by getting the draft board to declare him undesirable or by fleeing to another country, usually Canada. To be declared undesirable or 4-F, you would have to fail the physical or mental qualifications. Draft dodgers used techniques that ranged from conscientious objector (which rarely worked), to acting gay or pretending to be a junkie.

Draft Lottery: The current system whereby your birthdate determines your draft eligibilty.  A number is drawn for every day of the year.  If your birthday gets #15, then people born on your birthday will all be15th in line to be called.

Drag:  Bummer, something definitely unenjoyable.  "It's a drag that we're outta dope!"

Drop Acid: To take a dose of LSD.

Drum Circle: A fun event where hippies get together to play drums or other percussion instruments and dance.  These are reminiscent of pagan celebrations of special occasions like rites of passage or harvest.  The rhythm of the beat tunes the participant into something larger than himself.  The effect leads to a sense of community and transcendence. In other words it gets you high! Drum circles can be part of a larger event.

Dude: A cat.

Dylan, Bob: Originally from Minnesota, Dylan exploded on the music scene in Greenwich Village in the early 60's.  His blend of rock and folk ballads took everyone by storm, and in turn inspired just about every rock musician who was to follow in his footsteps.  His early songs "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They are A-Changin'" took the protest song and gave it an edge. 

Easy Rider: 1969 film starring Peter Fonda, Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper contrasting the hippie lifestyle with the more conservative American values.  Born to be Wild by Steppenwolf added to the flavor.

Ego Trip: The whole world revolves around people who are "on an ego trip".

Eldridge Cleaver: Author of Soul on Ice, written during his nine years in prison.  After his release he joined the Black Panthers and became their Minister of Information.  Involvement in a gun battle forced him into a seven year exile.

Electric Kool-Aid: Another term for LSD, coined when the Pranksters combined Kool-Aid and Acid during the Acid Tests of the 1960s.  Used in the title of Tom Wolfe's book about Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, "The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test"

The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test: Tom Wolfe's book about Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters. One of the great books about how LSD invaded America's consciousness, peaking during the Summer of Love. A tribute to Kesey, the Pranksters (including Neal Cassady, Ken Babbs, Mountain Girl and Wavy Gravy), and the whole psychedelic generation. Good insight into how the torch was passed from the Beats to the hippies. It also contrasts Kesey's "up front", experiential movement versus Timothy Leary's experimental, insightful approach to the LSD trip.

Enlightenment: Attainment of a higher awareness of the reality beyond the illusion (Maya).

E.R.A.: The Equal Rights Amendment.  Bans discrimination based upon sex. Still not law. Written in 1921 by suffragist Alice Paul it passed Congress in 1972, was ratified by 35 states, 3 short of the number needed to make it law.

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