15 Interesting Origins Of The Slang We Use Today


Nowadays, a buck refers to a dollar. The term comes from 1856, when Europeans and Natives were often trading buckskins with each other.


Simply used as a shorter version of the word ‘legitimate,’ the word ‘legit’ started appearing at the end of the 19th century by theater folks. They used it to describe “legitimate dramas” which were supposedly well-written pieces.


Dope, nowadays, is used to describe drugs, or something that is really cool. The word was originally used to describe a thick goo or lubricant in the 1800’s.


The word ‘cool’ being used as something other than a way to describe the temperature started in 1933. It is believed that the slang was used to describe something ‘fashionable’ in jazz circles. The word gained prominent popularity thanks to tenor saxophonist Lester Young.


The term ‘fly’ isn’t all that popular anymore, but boy was it big in the 80’s. It was even used back in the 1880’s and 1890’s. Back then, it meant someone who was clever and witty. It is believed that this was a reference to the fact that a fly is quick and hard to catch. In more recent years, it took on the meaning of something fashionable and cool.

To ‘deck’ someone

‘Deck’ is a popular term that describes punching or pushing someone with immense force. The term is said to have originated in the early 50’s as a way to describe someone hit so hard they hit the deck of a ship.


The word ‘Geek’ started showing up in northern Britain in around 1876. It was used to describe someone who was a fool. In the 50’s, Americans started using the word to describe someone who lacks social skills or someone who ‘works too hard’ in school. Since the introduction of computers in the 80’s, ‘geek’ has also been used to describe someone who is an expert in computers.


The term ‘dude’ has been around since the 19th century. It meant someone who was very snobby, stuck up, and particular about what he or she wears in public.


Although the term ‘groovy’ often is linked to the 60’s and 70’s, it originated in the 30’s. In jazz circle, ‘groovy’ described somebody who was really feeling the music while he or she was playing it. It referred to the grooves in vinyl records.


Kinky has gone through a few changes over the years as far as what it means to the general public. It initially meant something that was ‘bendy.’ It then became a word that represented something illegal or stolen. Nowadays, we think of frisky sexual activity when we hear the word ‘kinky.’ This is thanks to Colin MacInnes and his book ‘Absolute Beginners’ published in the late 50’s.

Top notch

When something is top notch, it means that it’s really good. The term itself refers to the top mark or slit that was used to record something. It started appearing around the early 1900’s.


When something’s gone haywire, it’s gone completely out of control. The term comes from the wire used to hold together bails of hay. The wire itself used to be quite springy and hard to control.


Booze by definition is any potable liquid. So why does everyone imagine alcohol when we hear it? Well, the term ‘booze’ being used as a slang word can be found back in the 19th century. It is believed that the term derived from the Dutch word “busen” which means’to drink heavily.’


Please wait...

And Now... A Few Links From Our Sponsors