Friday, June 12, 2015

80s Acronyms

80s Language

During the 80s people loved to throw acronyms around. It can make the eighties language a little confusing for the uninitiated! If you grew up in the 80s, however it can be fun to look back and remember what they were.

If I've missed out any that you used to use, please let me know towards the end of the page.


Yuppies was probably the most used acronym during the 80s and I was always under the impression that it stood for Young Upwardly mobile Professional, however it appears that the meaning could change depending on where you lived! In the States it apparently stood for Young Urban Professional.

Basically, if you were young and doing well for yourself in the city then you were a yuppie. Where the term Yuppie originated is quite a controversial area, some claim that there were mentions of yuppies during the 60s, although it's generally part of 80s pop culture.

Yuppies were the first generation to use mobile phones, although the phones they had then were more like bricks!

The Yuppie Handbook

The Yuppie Handbook: The State-of-the-Art Manual for Young Urban Professionals

Published in 1984 The Yuppie Handbook is quite fun to read now. The 80s animal kingdom of Western corporations in all of it's glory and how to succeed in it.


Yuppie-dom has spawned many other alternative acronyms for people including:-
Poupies - Porsche Owning Urban Professionals
Guppies - Greenpeace Yuppies (this is the 80s version, these days it is used to mean Gay Urban Professionals)
Buppies - I must admit I had never heard this acronym used during the 80s, but I'm assured it was and it means Black Urban Professionals.
Swell - Single Woman Earning Lots of Loot ie Miss Yuppie

Are You Single?

Acronyms were also used to denote your family situation:-

Sinkies - Single Income No Kids
Dinkies - Dual Income No Kids
Yummies - Young Urban Mothers


Bobos were often seen in the city where the young professionals worked hard and played even harder.

Bobo - Burnt out but Opulent.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was first heard of in the 1980s and before it was given a medical term people referred to it as Yuppie Flu. Some people thought it was sheer laziness and others thought it was merely burnout.

The Bobo Mug


What about the Oldies?

Yes, the 80s even had acronyms for their elders. These were the older generation that would put the "We're Off Spending Our Children's Inheritance" bumper stickers on their brand new cars!

Woopie - Well Off Older People
Jollies - Jet Setting Oldsters with Lots of Loot

Have I Missed Any Acronyms?

Please list any here that I have missed, I havent' included WASP or JAP because I thought they were being used before the 80s, feel free to correct me below.

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