Let’s face it, nothing was enough in the 80s. All those 80s fads and fashion, 80s music and movies, as big and bodacious as they were, still left us wanting more.
Everything we did and even what what we wanted was out of control in a way that was so complete, so total, that we were pushing past one hundred percent.
In 80s slang, “totally” became so frequent, so standard, that it actually lost some of its meaning. It was just some word you plugged in front of every other word. It was another word for “yes,” a way to emphasize anything under the sun, and a way to plant yourself firmly in the 80s.
You couldn’t get through five minutes of the day without hearing this 80s slang staple somewhere – at school, at work, on 80s TV, and even on the radio.
- Are you having fun? Totally!
- I’m totally obsessed with Prince!
- That is a totally rad shirt you’re wearing!
If you weren’t using the word “totally,” you were either deaf or dumb, or living on some other planet. In fact, it was so overused in 80s jargon that we actually shortened it and morphed it into some strange new 80s slang adjective.
That’s right, when “totally,” wouldn’t work, we just pulled off its last two letters and said “total” instead.
- It was not just a blast, it was a total blast.
- You are a total babe.
- I’m totally having a total meltdown.
What was it about this word that made us all want to embed it into our throats and have it permanently rolling off our collective tongues?
One thing’s for sure:
It’s a totally 80s fad. Total 80s slang.