Ken Lyen's Home
Ken's Links
London Revisited 2000
Letter from London 2006
Singapore Musical Theatre
Making the Grade
Writing Musicals
Musicals from Movies
Fred Ebb
The Story of Chess
Mama Mia
Bad Vibrations
Chestnuts 2003
Chestnuts 2004
Chestnuts 2005
Incubating New Musicals
List of Musicals on Film
Is Musical Theatre Dead?
Is Classical Music Dead?
Is Poetry Dead?
Why Read Poetry?
New Words
Nothing's Wrong
Hippie Dictionary
Singlish Dictionary
Blog Dictionary
Best of the Best
English Spoke
Reading in Decline
Too Many Books
Magic of Reading
Pablo Neruda
Graphic Novels
Writers Bar
Lost For Words
Encyclopedia Wars
Library in Cyberspace
The Bridge
Growing A Film Industry
Great Levellers
Rote Rites and Rongs
Beautiful Minds
Create Talented Individuals?
Rise of the Creative Class
Perchance to Dream
Children's EQ
Gifted Education
Gifted Children
Mozart Effect
Confucius and Multiple Intelligences
Predicting Your Future
Mistyping Personality
Messy Homes
Does Age Matter?
Too Young for Philosophy?
Philosopher for Hire
Deconstructing Derrida
University Quotas
Ranking Universities
University Ranking Continued
The Future of Universities
If Thine Eye Offends Thee
If It Ain't Broke
New Exams for Old!
Too Many Test
The Sincerest Form of Flattery
Childhood Memories
Signs of Success
Follow Your Dreams
First Impressions
Handphone Etiquette
Handphones Silenced
Apple Of My i
Sex and the Media
The Greeks
Geographic Clangers
Domino Theory
Hello Kitty
Heels on Wheels
What a Racket!
Potty Training
Skip to the Loo
Corporal Punishment
Is Modern Art Rubbish?
Mona Lisa Grins
Sunday in the Park
Vision and Art
Spam Glorious Spam!
Humble Pie
Sour Grapes?
Murphy's Law Calculator
Perfect Search
False Logic
Noah's Ark
Who Discovered America?
Palaces of Dictators
Joys of Stress
Games Academics Play
Virtual Reality Treatmemt
Autistic Underconnectivity
Asperger Syndrome
Pay Attention!
Attention Deficit
Speech Delay
Almost Normal
Prozac Nation
Gilles de la Tourette
Singapore Medicine
Virtual Dissection
War Against Malaria
Into the Frying Pan
Back to Methuselah
Poetic Medicine
Far Eastern Economic Review
History of the Singapore Musical
My Research
Singapore Idle
Best Countries
Brain Drain
Greatest Happiness
Remaking Singapore
Singapore Nobel Prize
Singapore MRT Map
National Day
Caste System
Doctors' Fees
Leadership and Teambuilding
Doctor Do-Much
Play it Again, Doc
A Dose of Music
Prescription for the Heart
Multiple Personality
Fly By Night
Rape of Nanking
Iris Chang
Anne Frank
Angela's Ashes
The Notebook
Hollywood Insider
Fahrenheit 9/11 Pirates
The Front
The Barbarian Invasions
Les Choristes
The Return
Road Home
Farewell My Concubine
So You Want to be a Nurse
School House Rockz
Makan Place
e-mail me

Hippie Dictionary


Hippie Dictionary

by Kenneth Lyen

The Hippie Dictionary is a 700-page reference book written by John McCleary. It is not merely an alphabetical listing of words, but has been described as a time capsule capturing the social and political history, the language and lifestyle of the 1960s counterculture.

Yesterday’s hippies are today’s presidential candidates. Therefore it is timely to reexamine this hippie era which spans two decades beginning with the birth control pill in 1960 and ending with the death of John Lennon in 1980. It wasn’t all about sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll. Sure, the prevailing views on sexual freedoms, civil rights, anti-capitalist beliefs, pro-ecology, drugs, and the war in Vietnam bordered on the extreme.

But as McCleary writes, "society threw the baby out with the bathwater in rejecting hippie ideals; what's most important here is to recognize the 1960s as a period of experimentation, where there was a sense of community, a spiritual revolution, and an evolutionary jump in consciousness." Some now regard the sixties and seventies as "the intellectual renaissance of the 20th century."

McCleary defines "hippie" as "a member of a counterculture that began appearing in the early 1960s, which expressed a moral rejection of the established society. The true hippie believes in and works for truth, generosity, peace, love and tolerance. The messengers of sanity in a world filled with greed, intolerance and war."

"The word is in turn derived from the word "hip", meaning roughly "in the know," or "aware."

Here are a couple of words defined in the dictionary:

"Hippie chick": a free-spirited, sexually liberated young woman. There was a look and style of dress attributed to a hippie chick. Usually, she had long, loose hair; she wore beads, no bra and a lightweight blouse over a long, flowing, Indian print dress above bare feet.

"Flower power": the power of peaceful, nonviolent action. Pacifism, the turning of one’s cheek, the religion of righteousness and believing that what is right will eventually prevail. The nature of a flower is quiet tenacity, a strong self-preservation hidden by delicate beauty and sensitivity; this is the spirit of the liberal intellectual human being called the hippie.

Other words and expressions that either originated or were popularised during these two decades are:

Bash, funk, check it out, cop-out (to give into pressure), cop a feel, don't quit your day job, freak out, The Compleat Idiot's Guide, groovy, do your own thing, don't trust anyone over 30, where one's head is at, right on, golden oldie, no way Jose, wazoo, party hearty, let it all hang out, don't worry -- be happy, gorp ("good old raisins and peanuts," a hippie staple), op art (far-out, man), stratocaster (Hendrix), ripple (if you got the right month).

The Hartford Courant says it best: "The 1960s and '70s were a trip: bad as in good, heavy as in deep, cosmic as in far-out, high as in clean out of sight... In retrospect, the phrase that most accurately defines the 1960s and '70s is: astral plane."