That's Wumgush! Slang Words and Phrases from the '50s - Cool History Facts

That’s Wumgush! Slang Words and Phrases from the ’50s


Slang is made up of types of words and phrases regarded as informal and are more common in spoken speech rather than in writing they are often vituperative or vulgar.

There are some words that were added to various dictionaries in the 1950s that were considered slang, while others were new terms.

These are not all the slang words that were commonly used in the 1950s but rather, new words that were used too much every day, such that they became acceptable to use in any type of conversation. For example, the word “Cookout” was not a normal word to use until the ’50s.

Another word common amongst techies especially in this new digital age is “Bit” as in the computer bit, was not created until 1950. The word is ideally short for “Binary digit.”

Slang and new words created in the 1950s

  1.   Agricats: This was created from the term Washington agricultural autocrats.
  2.   A-man: A U.S. government detective.
  3.   Amble-scramble: A system of pedestrian walking allowed at street corners, which for short periods at a time allows pedestrians to walk in any direction.
  4.   Armored vest: A vest worn for protection against bullets and shrapnel.
  5.   Atomic cocktail: A dose of medicine usually containing a radioactive substance such as iodine or phosphorus.
  6.   Audrey: It is an automatic digit recognizer. It is an electronic mechanism that can recognize and record the numbers 0 through to nine when spoken.
  7.   Big labor: Means organized labor.
  8.   Bit: A binary digit. This is a standardized unit of information.
  9.   Block programming: The practice of arranging radio programs so that those that are similar fall within the same period in a day.
  10.  Book burning: Suppressing ideas.
  11.  Chain reader: Someone who reads a lot.
  12.  Countdown: An arbitrary length of time preceding the firing of a mechanism like a missile. Or the actual counting off of this time.
  13.  Deepie: A 3-D film.
  14.  Discount house: A cut price store.
  15.  Drag strip: A road set aside for teens to test their hot rods.
  16.  Egg head: A derogatory term meaning intellectual.
  17.  EP: Means extended play. It was a record made by RCA Victor, with 300 grooves to the inch.
  18.  Fair trade: Means selling something at a price no lower than the minimum set by the manufacturer.
  19.  Flatty: A 2-D motion picture.
  20.  Girlie magazine: A magazine featuring provocative pictures of girls and young women.
  21.  Guppy: The nickname of an airplane with radar in its belly.
  22.  Hidden hunger: An unfelt deficiency in nutrition.
  23.  Hollow hunger: The opposite of hidden hunger meaning a felt deficiency in nutrition.
  24.  Iron-Curtainland: A communist dominated territory.
  25.  Jet stream: A westerly wind of the upper stratosphere that sometimes attains velocities of 250 miles per hour or more.
  26.  Keep: A play in football where the quarterback holds the ball in front of him in such a way that it seems to the opponents he is going to throw a forward pass but keeps the ball instead and runs with it.
  27.  Lure girl: A female secret agent who uses her allurements as an aid in her work.
  28.  MASH: A mobile army surgical hospital.
  29.  Mighty Mite: A name given to a small jeep.
  30.  Name-dropper: One who exceedingly tries to impress people by continually revealing his acquaintance with well-known people.
  31.  Pro: Short for progressive.
  32.  Red carpet: A symbol for a hearty welcome.
  33.  Sky girl: A name given to a flight stewardess.
  34.  Smear-athon: A smear campaign.
  35.  Split level: The description of a house with three levels. One extending from a point midway between the other two, designed for both convenience and for separation of different family activities.
  36.  Sportoon: A cartoon whose main subject is sport.
  37.  Superzoom lens: A quickly adjustable television camera lens.
  38.  Telegraph: Used in a play, a motion picture or a sport to give an often obvious hint of something to come and to spoil the value of the action when it occurs.
  39.  Teleteaching: Teaching via a television.
  40.  3-D: Three dimensional. Helps to give the illusion of depth.
  41.  V.T.R: Video tape recorder.
  42.  Wumgush: Nonsense.
  43.  Xylocaine: A drug used as a local anesthetic.

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