We all remember the word “groovy” even if we’d rather forget it. It was the one word that became a media cliche for everything the counter-culture movement represented, especially when it was being laughed at. But there were other words we used that had special meanings for us, and these were much harder to mock.
Here is a short list of words and how we used them, along with how the meanings have changed (sort of!):
Far Out! — Once an exclamation of excitement, wonderment, and radical possibilities. Now for many Boomers, a belt size.
Roach Clip — Once a tweezers-like holder for marijuana cigarette remnants. Now the realization that your exterminator has overcharged the hell out of you.
Right On! — Once a cry of solidarity and brotherhood. Now a shout out that your chip shot on the 11th has managed to trickle up to the green.
Establishment — Once the power, the Man, the established order you had to fight. Now the hot corner bistro you can’t afford.
Oh Wow! — Once an exclamation of joy and exhilaration. Now an apt response when you open your cable bill.
Freak Flag — Once a proud spiritual badge that proclaimed you were a long-haired member of the counter-culture. Now a United States flag with 49 stars.
The Man — Once the government, the authority, the one calling the shots. Now the bride in the wedding you attended last week.
No. 9 — Once an enigmatic phrase in a John Lennon authored recording by the Beatles. Now the second and generally one of the weakest jokes in a Letterman Top Ten List.
Power to the People! — Once a cry for freedom, justice, and equality. Now the option to select your electricity supplier.
Getting Off Now — Once the pleasured sensation that a drug experience was about to begin. Now an exhausted goodbye to your co-worker as you exit the 6:15 out of Center City.
Heavy — Once a heart-felt designation of relevance and truth. Now just about anything we Baby Boomers try to lift.
(from an article at Huffington Post)