Taking Woodstock: Impact on Language and Culture

Taking Woodstock, Ang Lee’s new feature film about the seminal event, receives its world premiere at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival (in competition), exactly 40 years after the actual phenom took place.

 

Would the movie, based on a personal memoir, leave imprint on the current cultural milieu?  You will be amused to realize that back in 1969, the following words held meanings beyond their dictionary ones:

 

Axe: Any musical instrument, or any tool you use to do your art

 

Ball:  (as a noun) A good time; (as a verb) Sexual intercourse

 

Bread: Money (“I’m broke – man, can you lay some bread on me?”)

 

Freak: Insiders’ synonym for hippie (possibly coined by Frank Zappa)

 

Fuzz: The police

 

Gas: Sublime (“They’ve never sounded better – that was a gas!”)

 

Head: Insiders’ term for a member of the counterculture (possibly coined by Ken Kesey)

 

Lid: An ounce of marijuana

 

Mike: Microgram

 

Pig: Hippies’ term for the police

 

Rap: To speak/communicate in the language of hip

 

Ripped: Under the influence of an illegal substance

 

Roach: A small butt of marijuana