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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Naked Lunch: William S. Burroughs' breakthrough autobiographical/Science Fiction book about drugs, murder, and homosexuality.  Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac helped Burroughs piece together the stream of consciousness fragments of prose (Kerouac is credited with the title).  Considered a landmark work of fiction, it was banned in Boston as obscene until the courts ruled otherwise creating a legal precedent for free speech.  Made into an excellent movie by David Cronenburg. 

Nehru Jacket:  Very dressy Indian made shirt/jacket with short collar turned up and rounded buttons.  Usually made with very fine material, like silk or linen.  Became popular around the time the Beatles went to India. 

NEPA: National Environmental Policy Act. In effect since 1970, it mandates that the Federal Government monitor and regulate the quality of the environment.  It was followed by the Clean Air and Water Acts.

Nepalese Temple Balls: Top quality Nepalese hashish shaped into balls.  Supposedly used by monks in Buddhist rites. 

Nickel Bag: $5 worth of dope. 

Nixon, Richard: President of the United States from 1968 until his resignation in 1973, after the Watergate scandal led to an impeachment vote.

No nukes is good nukes!: Popular bumper sticker and banner in the sixties protesting nuclear weapons. 

N.O.W.: National Organization for Women. Started in 1966 this activist organization seeks economic equality, abortion, sexual and reproductive rights for women. They also oppose racism and violence against women. One of it's founders and first president was Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique (1963).  NOW is the largest feminist organization in the world.

O'd:  See Overdose.

Off the Pigs: Radical slogan used by Black Panthers encouraging confrontation with the police.  Literally meant: Kill the Police.

OM: Also AUM. The cosmic vibration.  Used as a mantra and in affirmations and blessings.

OP Art: Optical illusion style of art.  Many artist tried this style in various mediums.  Geometric patterns that fool the eye with an illusion of three dimensions.  This style reached a peak during the hippie era.

Orange Sunshine: A type of LSD in the form of a tiny orange barrel, usually containing other adulterants like speed.  Also called Orange Barrels.

Out: Gone, no more left. "Bummer, I'm outta smoke!"

Out of it: Some one who's out there.  Not with it.  Asleep.

Outtasight!: Fantastic!

Overdose: Take too much of a drug.  "Jimi overdosed on life."  Also O'd.

Owsley: Augustus Owsley Stanley III was the man who manufactured LSD in large quantities for the market in San Francisco in the 60's.  Colorful Owsley acid is legendary for its purity.

Paisleys - These fractal like patterns appeared on clothes in the sixties and were a popular psychedelic design.

Pakalolo - Hawaiian marijuana.

Patchouli - For some reason this is the fragrance most associated with hippies, probably because it masks the smell of marijuana.  You can still smell it in most head shops.  A very strong earthy, flowery smell, usually found on hippie girls wearing long peasant dresses.  Origin - India.

Peace Now!: Rallying call to end the war in Vietnam.

Peak Experience: Refers to any intense personal experience, often drug induced.  See Peaking.

Peaking: Term for reaching the highest high on an LSD trip or other psychedelic experience.

Peace Symbol: The familiar circle with lines was originally the symbol for nuclear disarmament.  Bertrand Russell is credited with creating the symbol in 1958 from the semaphore flag signals for letters N(uclear) and D(isarmament).  It first appeared in the anti-nuclear protest of the early sixties, and was used extensively during the anti-war movement as a more generic peace symbol.

People's Park: In 1969, hippies setup camp on some vacant land near UC Berkeley and called it the People's Park.  On Memorial 20,000 appeared with flowers at the park. By July the authorities forcibly removed all the squatters and the park was closed.

Pigs: Derogatory name for police.

Plastic: Something or someone artificial, unreal.  "I hate shopping malls, they're so plastic."

Plateau: The period of maximum effect of a drug, just after the peak, and before coming down.

Pot: Marijuana.

Power to the People!: Used by Black Panthers and others to describe the need to change the existing power structure. 

Psilocybin:  A hallucinogen based on mushrooms. Raw mushrooms could be found in various places. Notably in Mexico or on  particular mountains in California. Could be eaten raw, or with tea. Or could be ingested as a pill form if processed, or smoked.

Psychedelic: Hallucinatory experience sometimes brought on by altered state of awareness, via drugs like LSD or some other experience or art work. The word originated in correspondence between Aldous Huxley and Humphrey Osmond in the 50's.  From Greek, it literally means a substance that reveals the nature of the soul.

Primo: First quality stuff.  "Those buds were primo!"

Puna Butter: The smooth, sweet, and strong marijuana grown on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Purple Haze: A type of LSD, also a famous song by Jimi Hendrix about the drug.

Purple Micro-Dot: Known for its color and considered the little sister of the legendary Purple Haze!

Put On: A joke on somebody.  "Is that story real or are you just putting me on?"

Question Authority!: Popular button in the sixties encouraging people to challenge the powers that be, particularly the government.

Rainbow Family: Group of hippy gypsies who meet up once a year for a Rainbow Gathering.  During the Gathering they live together and cooperate.  They incorporate many American Indian customs in their Gatherings. Local chapters also have events.

Rainbow Gathering: See Rainbow Family.

Rainbow People's Party: Movement and political party that grew out from the White Panther Party

Ram Dass:  Formerly Richard Albert, who along with Timothy Leary was involved with the LSD experiments at Harvard.  Albert left the school and traveled to India, where he met his Guru and changed his name.  Author of Be Here Now, and Grist for the Mill, he is an inspired Guru himself.

Rap: To have a friendly discussion.

Redstockings: Radical feminist group who published "The Bitch Manifesto." They split from the National Organization of Women (NOW) and sought to raise the consciousness of women.

Reefer: Old term for marijuana from the 30's-50's.

Reefer Madness: Term allegedly describing how crazy people get after smoking marijuana. This was typical of the propaganda promoted by the U.S. government following marijuana prohibition. This was also the title of a famous movie purporting to show the dangers of marijuana. Now more of a funny cult film.  The poster from the film was very popular in the 60's-70's.

Resin: The clear sticky liquid marijuana produces to capture pollen containing THC. Heating this resin causes it to vaporize the THC, and when inhaled it gets you high.  Resin is separated from marijuana to make hashish.  Resin is also the term for the dark, coating formed inside pipes used for smoking marijuana and hashish.

Right On!: Strong agreement, affirmative, yes! Sometimes accompanied by a clenched fist.

Righteous: Something really great.

Rip Off: To steal, or have something stolen.  "Someone ripped off my last lid!"

Ripped: Very stoned.  "I got really ripped on that Colombian last night!"

Roach: What remains of joint of marijuana when you smoke it way down.  Often saved and smoked later in desperation.  Roach Clips are small devices that hold on to a roach so it can be smoked.

Rolling Stone Magazine: Music magazine with famous covers of just about everyone in the biz.  Stories, reviews, and music calendar made this magazine a must.

Rubin, Jerry:  Co-founder of the Yippies, one of the Chicago 7. He and Abbie Hoffman pulled ourtrageous stunts to poke fun and make serious statements about our society. One such stunt was throwing dollar bills onto the floor of the NY Stock Exchange, disupting trading as brokers got down on the floor to pick up the money.

Rush: What you experience as a drug takes effect.  A quick change of consciousness that creates a dizzying sensation.  "I love it when the Dead jam, what a rush!"

Russell, Bertrand: British philosopher, anti-nuclear and antiwar activist, logician, essayist, and social critic.  In 1954 he condemned the Bikini H-bomb tests. A year later, he and Albert Einstein, published the Russell-Einstein Manifesto demanding the curtailment of nuclear weapons.  He was the founding president of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in 1958 and desgined the Nuclear Disarmament Symbol, now called the "peace symbol". 

Samadhi: Derived from Yoga, this term refers to the transcendence of personal ego to attain a state of oneness with true reality. A state of bliss.

Sandoz:  The Swiss drug company that discovered LSD-25 and made it available for psychological therapy.  A term for LSD.

Scam: A plot to defraud people.

Scene: The locale and the cool people who attend comprise the "scene".  A party with an atmosphere you appreciate.

Schwag: low quality weed, or just something that sucks in general

Score: To finally get something highly desired.  "Dude, I scored a gram of some killer Nepalese finger hash."

SCUM: The Society for Cutting Up Men. Founded by feminist Valerie Solanis, the woman who shot Andy Warhol. In 1967, she wrote the SCUM Manifesto, which delcared war against men and the male dominated society.

Screw: To have sex.  "We screwed all night".  Insult.  "Screw you!".  Screw Magazine - Pioneering Porno Magazine published by Al Goldstein.

SDS: Students for a Democratic Society.  Leftist group that organized many student protests against ROTC on campus, against the draft and the war.  Some of the more radical elements formed the Weathermen, who believed in using violent means to get their message across.  They were responsible for bombing banks and businesses of the establishment.  After an explosion at a Greenwich Village Brownstone killed several Weathermen, the remaining members went underground.

Self-Determination: The right of any people to determine for themselves who should govern them and how.  The U.S. action in Vietnam denied the Vietnamese the right of Self-Determination.

Selling Out: To sacrifice one's counter-culture ideals for acceptance by society or material gain.

Shag: To screw, have sex. (England)

Shake: Loose leafy marijuana left at the bottom of the bag after the buds have been removed.

Shankar, Ravi: Famous sitar player from India. He wooed the crowd with his mastery at the 1967 Monterey Pop festival and got a very long standing ovation and thus became a legend.  He taught George Harrison how to play the sitar in 1966.

Shit: Dope of one kind or another.  Could be called "good shit" or "bad shit", both meaning it's good.

Shotgun: To reverse the joint in ones mouth and blow the smoke into the mouth of another.

Simon and Garfunkel: Singing duo of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel.  Their close harmonies made hits out of The Sounds of Silence, Mrs. Robinson, Bridge over Troubled Waters.

Silent Majority: President Richard Nixon used this term to describe the majority of Americans who he felt supported the governments policies in Vietnam but weren't as vocal as the minority of protesters.

Sipsi or Sebsi: A long narrow pipe with a small bowl, made from wood or metal.  Used to smoke kif or hashish in Morocco.

Smashing!: From England, something really cool!

Smoking Stone: A ceramic styled small stone with an opening at both ends  to cool the heat off the weed before inhaling .

Smothers Brothers: Famous Comedians of the 60s, Tom and Dick Smothers had a top rated TV variety show until it became too controversial and was canceled by CBS.  Seems they spoke their minds too often, usually protesting the Vietnam War, police brutality and racism.

Sinclair, John: A dude from michigan who got put in prison for ten years for selling two joints to an undercover cop. His conviction was overturned thanks mainly in part to John Lennon and seven others who organized a movement to set him free. Lennon even wrote a song about it "It ain't fair, John Sinclair..."

Skunk: Descriptive term for very strong smelling marijuana.  Also a popular hybrid variety of marijuana.

Snyder, Gary: Beat Poet, Buddhist, professor.  Snyder is perhaps most famous for influencing Jack Kerouac and the Beats and turning them on to Buddhism.

Sock it to me!: A recurring segment on Laugh-In, a popular sixties comedy show.  Richard Nixon appeared on the show turning it into a question, Sock it to me? And we did!

Soul on Ice: Book written by Eldridge Cleaver, minister of information for the Black Panthers, during his imprisonment, baring his soul.

Space Cadet: Some one really spaced out on a regular basis.

Spaced Out: Not all here, possibly stoned.  Also Spacey.

Split: To leave the scene.  "I gotta split now, or my ol' lady's gonna be pissed."

Spock, Dr. Benjamin:  His baby book was The Bible to mothers of the hippy generation. He was against spanking children, and his non-violent stance carried over when those same children were sent to war.  He spoke and marched at many peace rallies and counseled draft evaders. For this he was sentenced to two years in jail.

Sproul Plaza: Rallying point on the UC Berkeley campus where students gathered to hear music and speeches during the student uprisings of the 60's.  In May 1969, Gov. Ronald Reagan ordered the gassing (by helicopter!) and disbursement of students at the plaza, wounding 60 people and setting off 17 days of street fighting where 130 were shot and wounded.  Police cordoned off the plaza prior to the gassing, trapping all the students, causing panic. "If it's a blood bath, then let it be now." - Ronald Reagan.

Square: Someone who follows all the rules or is part of the establishment.  Something uncool. 

Stash: Your hidden dope supply.  "I'll get my stash and meet you at the Be-In."

Steinhem, Gloria: Feminist author, founder of Ms. Magazine.

Sticks: Small stems from cannabis plant.  "That bag was fulla sticks, but the smoke was choice!"

Stoked: Totally happy about something.

Stoned: High, from having ingested a drug.  Common description of getting high on marijuana.  It refers to the mind numbing effects of a drug.

Stop the War!: The Vietnam War.

STP: Very strong hallucinogenic, lasting 72 hours or so. Some people never came back from that trip.

Straight: Some one who doesn't do drugs, or isn't into the "scene".  A square.  Also when you're drug free (see clean).

Strawberry Alarm Clock: No, not a fruity timepiece, but a band that recorded one big hit, Incense and Peppermints.

Strobe lights: Used at parties and rock concerts. These bright flashing lights added a groovy psychedelic effect like flash bulbs going off in sequence. It would freeze the action for a split second, allowing the camera in your mind to record the moment.

Summer of Love: The summer of 1967 when thousands of young people converged on San Francisco to experience being free.  Highlights of that summer included the Monterey Pop Festival which showcased the talents of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Jefferson Airplane and many more.  The Grateful Dead exploded on the scene and Love-Ins and Be-Ins were excuses for everyone to get high together.

STP: An extremely long-lasting and potent psychedelic drug.  Trips would last three days, and some would never come back.  Fortunately, this drug is no longer available.

Strung out: Feeling really bad because your out of dope or something else you really want. The mental stress resulting from a craving.

Student Deferment: Exemption from military service due to high school or college enrollment. This type of deferment was terminated when the draft lottery began.  Now students can only get deferments until the end of their current term, or until they graduate high school.

Synchronous/Synchronicity: When two separate events or thoughts manifest at the same time with a similar meaning.  Carl Jung gave much significance to such events and the person(s) who recognize the synchronicity.

The System: The catchall phrase for the evil power structure that oppresses the masses, controls the economics, and creates war.  Refers to capitalism.

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