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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An expanded version of this glossary appears in this Book!

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1-A: Status determined by draft board that you are currently fit  and available to serve in the military.

1-O: See Conscientious Objector.

4-F: Exemption from military service due to mental or physical disability.

Acapulco Gold: Legendary Mexican marijuana from the 60s.  Today it wouldn't be considered so special, but back then it was great!

Acid: see LSD.

Acid Tests: Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters did the first Acid Tests.  These were events were everyone dropped acid together for an extraordinary group experience.  Tom Wolfe wrote The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test about the experiences of Ken Kesey the Merry Pranksters.

Activist: A person who participates in protest actions.  Anyone involved in a cause, usually political.

Afterglow: A state of peace that can follow after a psychedelic experience when your mind is still detached from worldly concerns.  "He's bathing in the afterglow of his last LSD trip".

Agnew, Spiro T.: Vice President during Nixon's reign, he antagonized almost everyone but expecially liberals with his verbal rantings.  He claimed the antiwar movement was the work of "an effete corps of impudent snobs." He survived a bribery scandal but was convicted of income tax evasion he was forced to resign much to everyone's delight.  Recently declassifed FBI files show Agnew did receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks as Govenor and Vice President.

Allman Brothers: Southern rock Band popular in the early 70s, played the Fillmore.  Midnight Rider, Melissa, Ramblin' Man some of their hits.

Altamont: Controversial, ill fated rock concert headlined by the Rolling Stones and Jefferson Airplane at Altamont Speedway on Dec.24,  1969.  Hells Angels, acting as security, had their hands full as people kept rushing the stage. One man pulled a gun, and the Angels killed him.  The film "Gimme Shelter" documenting the concert was used in evidence to clear the Angels.

Antiwar Movement: The organized resistance by students, veterans and other activists against the draft and Vietnam War in the 1960s and early '70s. Rallies, marches, speeches, teach-ins, sit-ins, slogans, banners, and songs were some of the non-violent tactics used to get the message out.

Asanas: Sanskrit word. A series of body postures that stretch and tone muscles, increase endurance, and improve flexibility. Along with breathing and meditation they make up the practice of Hatha Yoga.

Ashram: A monastery where monks practice yoga.

Astral Plane: A dimension of existence beyond the physical world. A place where disembodied spirits dwell. Many attempt to contact the astral plane through meditation or by using psychic energy.

Babe: Affectionate term for female, now with slightly different meaning.

Baby: Similar to Babe.

Bad Acid: Poorly made LSD, probably cut with speed which causes a bad trip.  Some people at Woodstock downed some bad acid and the crowd was warned about it, making the term instantly popular.

Bad Trip: An LSD trip that goes awry.  Usually indicated by paranoia, or intense, uncontrollable feelings or rarely suicidal urges.  Also used to describe any bad experience.

Baez, Joan: Singer, songwriter, antiwar activist, Joan went to jail for her participation in antiwar rallies.

Bag: What you're into.  Your profession/obsession.  What you enjoy.  "I hear your bag's nude meditation on acid!"

Ball: To have sex. "I hear Mountain's been balling your old girlfriend Harmony."

Ban the Bomb: Slogan calling for the end of nuclear weapons.  The hippies were a generation raised in fear of THE BOMB.  Trained as children to hide under school desks in air raid drills, they grew up to understand there was no hiding from nuclear war.

Ban the Bra: Slogan symbolizing the Feminist Movement, women's rights and the sexual liberation of the 60s.

Beat Generation: See Beatniks  Term coined by Jack Kerouac.

Beatlemania: Used to describe the virtual hysteria that accompanied the Beatles on their tours.  Also refers to the successful marketing of the Beatles, their records and other products.

Beatniks: Derived from the term "beat", beatniks were the precursors of the hippies.  This tribe included authors Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs and others who believed the essence in life is to follow your desires and experience all life has to offer.  The beat music scene included jazz, folk and the emerging rock music.  Beatniks had hangouts like Greenwich Village in New York when they weren't "On the Road".  Beatniks experimented with unusual living arrangements, drugs, and innovative art.  Word attributed to Herb Caen, a San Francisco columnist describing the Beat Generation in 1958.

Beautiful People: Used to describe hippies or cool persons.

Bean bag chair: A big amorphous chair covered with Naugahyde vinyl (or leather or other material)...usually filled with little styrofoam balls.  You could sit in it and it would shape itself to you.  They were very comfortable and relaxing.

Be-In: One of the first gatherings of hippies, January 14, 1967 at the Polo field in Golden Gate Park. It was called "A Gathering of the Tribes".  In attendance were the Grateful Dead, the Jefferson Airplane, Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, and thousands of stoned hippies with painted faces, beads, bells, robes, etc.  The Diggers were there giving out free food.  There was no big reason to be there, other than to be there, hence a Be-In.  An event where you groove on everyone else.

Bellbottoms: Pants with wide bell shaped legs worn by hippies. Bought as cheap clothing at Army/Navy surplus stores, these were NAVY issued denim pants for sailors, once they caught on they were popularized to the point that major manufacturers made them.

Benzedrine:  'Bennies'..'Pep Pills' 'Uppers'.  Used as diet pills, these became abused as mood elevators.

Berkeley: The primary campus of the University of California at Berkeley.  The origin of the Free Speech movement where the students confronted the University's policies regarding the right to be vocal and politically active on campus property.  One of the centers of the protest movement in the 60's.  Sproul Plaza was a gathering place for the protests.

Birkenstocks - These are sandals that were all the rage in the early 70's.  They are shaped to your foot and toes with a fair amount of support. Unfortunately they're not for everyone, as I could never get a pair that felt right for my feet.

Black Muslim Movement:  Black separatist movement advocating racial division and separation from White society. Two of these developed. One was under Elijah Muhammed. Malcolm X was part of this movement and chose to splinter off into a separate movement when he found himself in disagreement with Elijah Muhammed over the approach to separatism, Islam, and religious philosophy.

Black Panthers: Armed, radical black political action group. Panthers were a response to the victimization of Black people by the white majority.  It's leaders were imprisoned on various charges. See Black Power

Black Power: Attributed to Stokely Carmichael who used it to encourage blacks to attain more political clout.  For a time this was a uniting theme among black people in the U.S.  It became a rallying cry for action against the racial injustice of the 50s and 60s.  Black activists were ready to fight the system.  Huey Newton, Bobby Seal, Eldridge Cleaver of the Black Panthers, Stokely Carmichael, Dick Gregory and Angela Davis were leaders in this radical movement.  Some advocated revolution and the overthrow of the U.S. government.  The Black Power movement struck fear into the heart of America's bigots and all the leaders were soon in jail, sometimes on trumped up charges, sometimes on real crimes.  In any case the movement fractured, but the legacy of radical black activism had left its mark on America's psyche.

Black is Beautiful!: Slogan used to instill pride among black Americans.

Blacklight: A special purple light that causes certain colored paint to glow brightly in the dark.  Found in head shops, they are used to add a psychedelic effect to posters and body paints.

Blast: A really great party or time.  British origin?  "We had a blast at the Stones concert!"

Blind Faith: Rock group with Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker from Cream and Steve Winwood from Traffic. Famous album cover shown.

Blotter: A type of LSD on assorted colorful paper, cut into small doses.

Blow: Cocaine. To waste something.  "Don't blow your dough on that Schwag". 

Blow Your Mind: Surprise you in a mind expanding way by something unbelievable. "She really blew my mind with that head trip."

Bong: A long cylindrical tube with a bowl, used to smoke marijuana tobacco or other substances.

Body Paint: To paint designs, words or slogans on one's body parts. Usually in wild patterns and often in paints that would glow under Blacklight. Body painting wasn't invented in the 60's. Its a very old form of decoration.

Bogart: To hog a joint while others are waiting.  Term refers to Humphrey Bogart, who usually had a cigarette dangling from his mouth.

Brand, Stewart: Produced the Whole Earth Catalog, The Trips Festival, founded The WELL, the Point Foundation, Global Business Network, the Long Now Foundation, the Co-Evolution Quarterly, on the board of directors of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Bread: Money.  "Hey man, gotta any bread for the groceries?"

Bring Down: Something or someone that ruins your day, and makes you lose your high.  "My ol' man's bringin' me down."

Bro: Used to describe any male friend.  Usually someone you can trust.  A brother.

Buds: Not beer, but cannabis flowers.

Bug: To bother someone.  "Quit buggin' me!"

Bummer: A bad thing.

Bum Trip: See Bad Trip.

Bunk: Bad drugs (fake not real like bunk doses).

Bunker: Someone who sells fake drugs, rips people off.

Burn: To get ripped off.  "I got burned on that dope deal".  Also to get mad.  "I'm all burned up about that dope deal!

Burn Baby Burn!: Slogan used to describe rioting during Black uprisings in U.S. cities during the civil strife of the late 60s. Detroit, Watts, Chicago, Cleveland and other cities experienced days of rioting and arson.  See the Hippyland Calendar for what happened when.

Burn-out: Too many drugs, unable to handle a situation that has gotten too familiar. Wasted feelings of repeatition. Inability to function.

Burroughs, William S. : Beat author wrote autobiographical "Naked Lunch" about his life as a drug addict, murderer and homosexual. Other books include "Junky" and "Queer". Burroughs' thing was personal freedom.  To him this meant breaking all the rules, which he did whenever he could. Burroughs' talent is undeniable.  Depite (or because of?) being a junkie, he was able to convey what it's like to be living on the dark edge of reality.  His intake of all sorts of drugs obviously inspired some people to experiment.  Many beats and hippies can relate to Burroughs' life situation as a social outcast from mainstream American society (remember much of this happened in the 50's).  Burroughs wrote about those things that no other writer of his time (except Allen Ginsberg) would consider suitable subjects.  Indeed the publishing and subsequent banning of Naked Lunch turned into a landmark case for free speech in America. Burroughs influenced many around him including other authors and musicians.

Busted:  To get arrested.  "Did you hear?  Joe got busted for loitering."

Byrds, The: David Crosby, Roger McGuinn, and Barry McGuire took everybody Eight Miles High while Mr. Tambourine Man played a song for us on our record players (remember them?).

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