Important Things to Know #15: The Beatnik Dictionary

From the March 1960 issue of 7-11 Magazine comes the Beatnik Dictionary.

AX- A musical instrument of any kind.

BALL-To have a good time.

BENNIES - Benzedrine pills, which are used to stimulate emotional reaction.

BREAD- Money. Used always in stead of money. For example,  "Have you -any bread? Gotta have some quick."

BUFF- A real authority on jazz music.

BUGGED-Someone who is bothered, upset, obsessed.

BUSTED-To get arrested by the police. Only a beatnik can be busted; ordinary human being always get arrested, never busted.

CAT- All the new bohemians are called cats. A cat is anyone who is uninhibited, free of all sex taboos, a complete nonconformist.

COOL - A term used for anything that is liked or greatly admired, such as a song or a woman. For example, "She's a real cool cat."

CONNECTION-This is a contact man for drugs.

COP OUT-To sell out to society and go conventional, which can mean anthing from shaving to getting a steady job to pay the rent on the same bed every night.

CRAZY- An adjective applied to anything a cat likes in any degree. For example, "Man, dig those crazy legs on the blonde cat."

DEALER- A person who sell, or pushes, drugs.

DIG-This verb is basic to the cats. It means to understand, to look at something with understanding. For example, "I don't dig this working everyday, man.

FALL IN-To arrive somewhere.

FAG- A male homosexual.

FALL OUT-To pass out from an overdose of drugs.

FAR OUT-Something very advanced, or to an extreme. Applied to any experience which is carried to an extreme that few people have knowledge of.

FIX- To get a shot of a drug.

FLIP- To, be anything from wildly enthusiastic to crazy about something. You can "flip" over a painting or a book, which means you  are enthusiastic ; or you can flip your lid and do time in a laughing academy, which means you went crazy and spent some time in a mental institution .

GAS-It means something is the greatest, the tops" the very most. It expresses the highest form of adulation for something or someone. For example, "Man, is that chick a gasser!"

GAY BOY - A homosexual.

GET WITH IT- To understand, to participate with others in some common undertaking.

GIG- Work that brings in money.

GO-To express a swingy mood. For ·example, someone caught up by jazz music is apt to scream to the musicians, "Go, go, go."

GONE-To go as far out as· possible, to reach the ultimate in an exper.ience, to pass beyond normal
understanding. For example, "That boy is real gone," which means he has lost touch with reality, is insane.

HEAD- Someone who uses marijuana.

HIGH- To be in a state of ecstasy over something like music, poetry or sex.

HIP- To know by doing; to have experienced something.

HIPSTER- The person who is hip who has experienced real bohemian emotions.

HOLDING-To have drugs on you.

HORSE- This is another name for heroin.

HUSTLE- To work for money.

HYPE -Someone who uses heroin. "Say, does that hype have any horse?" Means, in translation, "Does that heroin user have any heroin?"

HOT- A word for anything that you like or greatly admire; used interchangeably with "cool." However,
cool is preferred now by the real gone.

JOINT-This can mean a place to live, a marijuana cigarette or the male sex organ.

LAY-To give something. For example "Lay some bread on me" means "Give me some money."

NOWHERE- If you don't belong with the beat group, if you don't understand their way of life, you are nowhere, have nothing.

O.D.- Short for an overdose of drugs.

PAD- This is a cat's home.

PICK UPON-To understand with a sense of appreciation.

POT- Marijuana.

PUSH- To sell, or in some way handle drugs for money.

RELATE- To establish a personal contact, intellectually or emotionally,with someone or something. For example, "Do you relate to this idea?" means, "Do you understand this idea?" or "Do you feel a strong kinship for this idea?"

PARADE- When squares congregate at tea parties or other trite bourgeois activities·. It refers to stag parties for the unhappy bridegroom or showers for the conquering female. Bar Mitzvahs are not included

SCENE- This is the word for world. To fit into the "scene" is similar in meaning to the old phrase, "I found a place in the sun for myself."

SHACK UP- To live together without benefit of ·a marriage ceremony.

SHORT-A small foreign sports car.

SLAM- Jail.

SOUND-To give an opinion, to read poetry.

SPLIT-To take leave, to depart from a group. For example, "I've got to split now. Got a cool chick waiting' for me at the pad."

SQUARE-A conformist, a solid citizen who works regularly, eats regularly, and doesn't do anything odd.

STONED-To get loaded on alcoholic beverages.

TURN ON-To get interested in something. For example, "She turned me onto this Picasso stuff. Real cool."

WIG -The mind. For example, "Don't flip your wig, man," means, "Don't lose your mind. man."

ZEKE-Short for vegetarian. A square that believes in "live and let live" including cows. He thinks that only the good things in life are found on the farm. (this boy may be right).

1 comment:

  1. It's fascinating how many of these words would enter into the common vernacular of North American English.