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18 Old-School Sayings That Puzzle The TikTok Generation

18 Old-School Sayings That Puzzle The TikTok Generation

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Do you ever hear grandparents or parents say something their younger relatives don’t quite understand? Or are you the older one getting weird and confused looks from your child or grandchild while you’re having a conversation?

Like any generation, there are certain phrases from the Boomer generation that Millennials and younger “TikTok generations” won’t quite understand, leaving them scratching their heads about what it actually means. Let’s look at some of the most common ones and their meanings.

1. Don’t Flip Your Wig

A colleague is angry on other and two are sitting and Sad
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Meaning: Don’t get upset or angry.

Baby boomers were born when wearing wigs was a common tradition. This tradition became popular in the 1950s as a way for women to experiment with hairstyles. When someone was angry, their wig might fly off or go all crazy. People use this saying to remind people not to get too heated. With wigs no longer being a fashion staple, this phrase has lost its relevance in modern times.

2. Threads

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Meaning: Clothes or outfits 

Boomers were so serious about fashion in their younger days. It was all about expressing your style and personality through your threads. So, when they say, “Her threads are groovy,” they are just expressing their fashion preferences.

3. You Clean Up Real Fine

beautiful woman with diamond earrings rich
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Meaning: You look really nice.

It’s a boomer way to compliment you. Boomers find special ways of admiring someone when they’ve put effort into their appearance and look good. But it might not have the same effect now. People are more aware now that it’s important to appreciate someone for more than just their looks.

4. Babe, Where Are My Thongs

Woman's feet on the seashore at sunset
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Meaning: Asking where your flip-flops are.

It’s a pretty odd question for our generation if someone says it out loud in public. But we’re not talking about the underwear- just flip-flops. It’s strange for us, but boomers used to wear these casual sandals in summer on their beach outings and called them “thongs.” 

5. Cat

Happy couple talking in a city outskirts
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Meaning: Cool person.

Don’t get confused or offended when they say, “You’re a cat,” because they are not referring you to a cat. They’re giving you a green pass for your killer style and coolness. So, if a boomer calls you a “cat,” just take it as a nice compliment – they think you’re awesome!

6. Lay a Patch

Rear Wheel drive car burning tire for warm up
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Meaning: To leave quickly with a loud screech of tires.

Whenever you hear your boomer friend saying that they’re about to “Lay a patch” while driving, hold on tight because they are about to peel out in a car, making those tires screech and smoke as they speed away like a racing pro, leaving behind a trail of tire marks and excitement.

7. What’s Your Bag?

Smiling woman pulling out cash from bag
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Meaning: What do you like? Or What’s your problem?

There are two interpretations for this one. Boomers are not being literal when they say, “What’s your bag?” So don’t start to look around for your backpack or purse. They are simply curious about your interests and likes.

8. Wig Chop

Session in a hair salon with a young hairdresser with a mask cutting the hair
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Meaning: Need a haircut

Saying wig chop has nothing to do with wigs, but it means a haircut in Boomer’s lingo. Try saying, “I need a wig chop” instead of “I need a haircut” to your hairstylist, and you’ll definitely be confused.

9. Apple Butter

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Meaning: Smooth talk or flattery

Boomer calling you apple butter means you’re as smooth as an apple spread in talking or flirting. It might sound a bit cheesy to us now, but everyone always does this ‘apple buttering’ when they’re trying to hit on someone and get their attention with a compliment.

10. Cruisin’ for a bruisin’

couple in the living room frowning sad silent treatment
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Meaning: Asking for trouble

When a person is acting in a way that’s likely to get them into trouble or earn them a good old-fashioned beating, boomers would say, “You’re cruisin’ for a bruising.” It’s like a warning to stop and behave before things get messy. But in today’s “no violence” world, dropping this line might just earn you some raised eyebrows, and not in a good way. 

11. Dropped a Dime

Young blonde woman smiling confident talking on the smartphone
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Meaning: To inform on someone

Ever gossiped with your bestie on a phone call? That’s called dropping a dime. This phrase means you’re calling either discreetly or to inform her about something important. It’s just another word for good old drama and gossip.

12. Tube

Happy friends watching tv at home in evening
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Meaning: Television

Well, as weird as it sounds, ‘the b**b tube’ refers to a television. Boomers used to call someone a “b**b” if they were seen as mindless or foolish. That’s why they jokingly called the television a “b**b tube” in its earlier days because it was sometimes viewed as a mindless form of entertainment. If you want to have a bit of fun, try saying, ‘What’s on the b**b tube?’ in front of everyone. You’re sure to get some curious looks!

13. The Skinny

sneaky woman with a secret
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Meaning: The truth about something.

When Boomers offer you ‘the skinny,’ sit back and enjoy the tea because they will fill you with all the secrets and inside information. In Boomer language, “the skinny” isn’t about getting slim; they just want share the juicy details. 

14. Moo Juice

Smiling milkman delivering milk bottles to pretty female customer
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Meaning: Cow milk

Why would someone call simple and plain cow milk a “moo juice”? This is the funniest silliest slang you might’ve heard from the Boomer era. 

15. Groovy

Woman listening music with headphones. relax and unwind
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Meaning: Cool

Sure, if you’re talking about music and fashion from the 1960s and 70s- groovy is a perfect descriptor. But as a general term for something excellent? This expression has lost its popularity these days.

16. Chrome Dome

Couple with financial advisor
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Meaning: A bald person

Boomers had quite a humor. We find it a bit silly, but ‘Chrome Dome’ is a lighthearted way to poke at their bald friends and add humor to the conversation. 

17. Razz My Berries

happy woman at her desk with papers
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Meaning: When something brings excitement

Don’t judge the Boomers for sounding dirty. It’s not what it means. When they say something razzed my berries, it’s more like showing excitement and joy for something. However, it’s always better to use inclusive language everyone can understand and relate to.

18. Party at My ‘Pad’

Multiracial group of young friends playing beer pong at a party drinking
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Meaning: A party at my house

Hosting a party at your house? Why not try out the phrase from the boomer era: ‘party at my pad’ to invite your homies over to hang out? But with the rise of urban apartments and the decline of traditional suburban houses, “pad” may not accurately describe where someone lives. So, it doesn’t make sense to most of us now.

17 Insane Things That Were Acceptable for Children in the 1960s

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Many of the behaviors that were deemed ordinary for children in the 1960s would be mortifying to people today. If parents from the ’60s were to raise their children in the same manner in today’s world, they might find social services knocking on their doors. As time progresses, so do parenting methods and the level of supervision and exposure provided to children.

17 Insane Things That Were Acceptable for Children in the 1960s

16 Boomer Habits That Are Becoming Obsolete

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The youngest members of the Baby Boomer generation are swiftly approaching their 60s, and several of the once-iconic trends they championed have become unfamiliar to the younger generations.

16 Boomer Habits That Are Becoming Obsolete

17 Insane Things That Happened at Woodstock

hippie van 60s guitars
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Two things happened in 1969: The Moon landing and the Woodstock Festival. The famous Woodstock Music and Art Fair was the highlight of the 60s and a great testament to a people’s desire for fun, peace, and a little rebellion.

17 Insane Things That Happened at Woodstock


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