What’s a Hodad? And Other 60s Slang We Should Bring Back

Nowadays, every time we turn around, there’s a new word to learn in pop culture. Maybe it’s because we’re getting older, but we’re thankful for Google’s ability to translate these terms.

However, the other day, we heard someone use the term “hodad” and thought it was new. After a quick search, we discovered it’s far from being new.

Today, we’ll share this term and several others from the 60s that we think should make a comeback.

Let’s kick things off!

What is a Hodad?

The term “hodad” was used primarily in the 1960s and 1970s in the surfing community. It is someone who pretends to be a surfer or beach expert but doesn’t have the skills, knowledge, or experience.

Typically, these individuals dressed the part and learned the vocabulary but didn’t surf any waves. Modern terms may describe them as posers or wannabes.

However, within the surfing community, the term was rather insulting and used in a derogatory way.

A man holding a surf board pretending to be cool, otherwise known as a hodad.

Where Does the Term Hodad Come From?

The term hodad originated among surfers on the shores of Southern California. They used the term to point out those who were non-surfing beach bums who pretended they were surfers.

Despite some potential explanations, there’s no evidence to pinpoint where the community got it.

One explanation claims it’s related to a Spanish word for annoying, and another from the greeting “Ho! Dad!” Unfortunately, neither one has any supporting evidence. 

The most logical explanation is that “Ho” was short for Hawaiian, which closely connects to surfing. The “dad” referenced the idea of middle-aged men who are often out of touch with younger cultures.

So this combined ignorance of the sport with the surfing culture and created the word ‘hodad.”

HOT TIP
Cehck out This Is What RVing Was Like in the 60s for a groovy read.

What’s the Opposite of a Hodad?

The opposite of a “hodad” is a genuine surfer. They possess the skills, knowledge, and commitment to the sport. These individuals aren’t pretending to be something that they’re not.

Additionally, someone who is the opposite of a “hodad” also has a deep respect for the ocean and is well-versed in surfer etiquette.

It’s not just a hobby or fun activity for them, but an entire way of life. They’re into the sport and lifestyle enough that they’re willing to defend it when someone disrespects or misrepresents it.

A man on surf board riding a wave.

60s Slang We Should Bring Back

As you’ve likely experienced, words come and go all the time. However, some words from the 60s were slang and deserve a second chance. Let’s see how many of them you’ve used before.

Groovy

The term “groovy” was popular in the United States during the 1960s. It was often used as a way to describe something fashionable or appealing. Typically, you’d hear it about music, fashion, or the overall vibe of a setting.

In general, groovy was adopted by the hippie and youth culture of the time. Many relate it to the peace and love movement that the country experienced. While you may hear it occasionally today, we’d like to see it used more.

Far Out

That same crowd would also often use the term “far out.” This phrase describes things that were cool or impressive. Someone may use the word to express amazement, wonder, or enthusiasm about a situation or something they saw.

Today, someone may use an exploding head emoji or say their mind is blown. However, we like the idea of bringing this term back into everyday use and using it in conversation. Wouldn’t that be far out?

A girl in 60s clothes at a concert with her hair in the air from dancing.

Radical

The 1960s and 1970s were a time of rebellion and pushing against the norms. Many used the term “radical” to encourage pushing the boundaries, typically with political or societal movements.

Protestors often used it during anti-war demonstrations and to help with the women’s liberation movement. 

This term is still a part of many people’s vocabulary, but we’d love to hear more people using it. We believe in speaking up and fixing things when they’re not right. It may not always be easy, but being radical for a good cause is necessary.

Funky

Funky first came on the scene in the 1960s as a way to describe a musical style. Music was described as “funky” if it had a strong rhythm that caused you to want to dance. However, it eventually was adapted to anything that had a soulful quality.

Again, the term morphed and was a way to describe something cool, stylish, or somewhat unconventional. Likely, the most popular reference to it in pop culture was Wild Cherry’s song “Play That Funky Music” in the mid-1970s.

Right On

When someone wanted to show solidarity or agreement during the 1960s and 1970s, they’d used the phrase “Right on!”

It was a way to show that you aligned with the perspective or view, typically related to civil rights, social justice, or fighting against the culture.

This is another term that you’ll hear from time to time. In modern times, its meaning has stayed the same. However, it’s often a way of showing support or empathy for the individual on the other end of the discussion.

A woman walking on a dirt road dressed in 60s clothing and holding a sign that says "anywhere" with a peace sign.

Can You Dig It?

The phrase “Can you dig it?” asked if someone understood or agreed. It seems like a more fun and lively way of simply asking, “Agreed?”

It allowed both sides of the conversation to confirm that they were on the same page in the discussion or idea.

Hodad and Other ’60s Slang Deserve a Second Chance

While neither of us was alive during the 1960s, we’ve heard many of these phrases used occasionally. Some naturally by people our age and others by those who used them when they first came out.

See how many you can fit into a conversation and how people respond. Was “hodad” a new one for you, too? 

What 1960s slang did we miss that you think deserves another chance?

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