The ’90s were the golden age of slang terms. The cool kids adopted them first, and before you knew it, everyone was using them. For teenagers and young adults alike, it was a time of experimentation and self-expression. But as the ’90s gave way to the 2000s, these slang terms faded away like the fads of that decade. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and look at some of the totally tubular slang terms from the ’90s that no one uses anymore.
Gone But Not Forgotten: Common Slang Terms from the ’90s
This whole-hearted expression of joy and victory was a favorite among the denizens of the ’90s. Popularized by the animated show “Recess,” the word’s origin can be traced back to the East Coast and its African American subculture.
The perfect come-back to one-up any opponent in a battle of wits. A simple “not” at the end of a sentence would nullify whatever was just said, turning it into a joke. Ironically, this phrase was actually popularized by the fictional character Wayne Campbell of the cult classic movie “Wayne’s World” that released in the early ’90s.
“All That and a Bag of Chips”
This expression was used to describe the abundance of something. The general consensus was, if you have “all that” then a bag of chips is just the cherry on top.
“Talk to the Hand”
This was a slap in the face to anyone who was rambling on and on about something. A mere hand gesture (as shown above) was enough to shut anyone up and let them know that what they were saying was being ignored.
A humorous way of referring to someone who’s in an age gap relationship. By drawing a parallel between a robber in a cradle and an older man dating a younger woman, this phrase was a subtle nod to the popular trend of the ‘90s.
Used to express disbelief or distrust towards whatever was said, this phrase was often followed by an eye-roll or a hand gesture. It was very much akin to the “not!” phrase introduced earlier.
The exact opposite of what it sounds like, this phrase was meant to communicate approval and admiration for something. The other person knows that you think what they said or did was so cool, it’s kinda sick.
This was a classic ’90s greeting which evolved from an informal greeting to a commercial catchphrase. The greetings was co-opted by the beer giant Budweiser in a marketing campaign, and soon it was everywhere.
Rediscovering Totally Tubular ’90s Slang
The slang terms of the ’90s have now become the stuff of popular culture and nostalgia. With so much modern lingo to choose from, it’s natural that some of the outdated phrases will be left behind. But every now and then, it’s fun to pull out some of these old expressions and phrases and surprise the younger generation with a blast from the past.
Reliving the ’90s: Final Call
For the people who lived through it, the ’90s still exist in the form of archived movies, TV shows and music, giving us a chance to take a trip down memory lane and relive the era. As the years go by, our nostalgia for the ’90s grows stronger, giving us a moment to take a break from our hectic, technology-driven life and scratch the itch that only these slang terms can.
So what are you waiting for? Put on an outfit from the ’90s, turn on some classic “Boyz II Men” or “Third Eye Blind” and start talking like a ’90s kid with totally tubular slang terms. Booyah!