‘Clueless’ Glossary: Buggin’, Cake Boy, & More 90’s Slang From the Film
Anna Klassen defines the ’90s slang made famous by ‘Clueless,’ released 18 years ago.
A is for audi, B is for buggin’, and C is for cake boy.
Of all the things Clueless is most remembered for (neon T-shirts, airheaded Valley girls), nothing quite tops the over-the-top slang that sparked an entirely new—and, some would say, tragic—vernacular among ’90s-era teens. One review of the 1995 cult classic said it was defined by its “bubblegum hip-hop lingo.” Roger Ebert praised for the film for its “ironic” and “airhead” dialogue, saying, “Amy Heckerling walks a fine line between satire and put-on, but she finds it, and her dialogue could be anthologized.”
And here, it has been. From Baldwins to Bettys, the complete Clueless dictionary:
Audi: Leaving, exiting, out of here. (Not to be confused with the German automobile company.)
Dionne: “I do not wear polyester hair, OK? Unlike some people I know like Shawana.”
Cher: “Dee, I'm Audi.”
Baldwin: A handsome or gorgeous man (the Baldwin brothers were hot in the mid-’90s.)
Cher: “OK, OK, so he is kind of a Baldwin.”
Betty: A beautiful, timeless woman. Derived from the 1930s film star Betty Grable, the original pin-up girl.
Cher: “Wasn't my mom a total Betty? She died when I was young, a freak accident during a routine liposuction.”
Boinkfest: A sexual encounter, perhaps an orgy.
Cher: “Here's the 411 on Mr. Hall: he's single, he's 47, and he earns minor duckets for a thankless job. What that man needs is a good healthy boinkfest.”
Buggin’: Freaked out, upset, at a loss, confused.
Cher: “I said RSVP because it was a sit-down dinner. But people came that, like, did not RSVP, so I was, like, totally buggin'.”
Cake boy: A gay man.
Murray: “Your man Christian is a cake boy!”
Cher/Dionne: “A what?”
Murray: “He's a disco-dancing, Oscar Wilde–reading, Streisand-ticket-holding friend of Dorothy. Know what I'm saying?”
Chin pubes: Facial hair, particularly in reference to a goatee.
Josh: “I'm growing a goatee.”
Cher: “Oh, that's good. You don't want to be the last one at the coffee house without chin pubes."
Hagsville: Ugly, disgusting, unattractive, grotesque.
Cher: “Let's ask a guy. Christian, what do you think of Amber?”
Jeepin’: cheating on a sexual partner.
Murray: “Where you been all weekend? What's up? You been jeepin' around behind my back?”
Loadie: Someone who does drugs, a drug addict.
Cher: “Loadies generally hang on the grassy knoll over there.”
Monet: Something that appears beautiful or attractive until you see it up close.
Cher: “No, she's a full on Monet.”
Tai: “What's a Monet?”
Cher: “It's like a painting, see? From far away, it's OK, but up close, it's a big old mess.”
Stems: Legs, particularly slender and attractive.
Christian: “Nice stems.”
Surf the crimson wave: A woman who is on her period.
Cher: “I object! Do you recall the dates of these alleged tardies?”
Mr. Hall: “One was last Monday!”
Cher: “Mr. Hall, I was surfing the crimson wave. I had to haul ass to the ladies’.”
Mr. Hall: “I assume you’re referring to women’s troubles, and so I’ll let that one slide.”
Wiggin’: To freak out.
Cher: “This Josh and Tai thing was wiggin’ me more than anything. I mean, what was my problem? Tai is my pal. I don't begrudge her a boyfriend.”