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Dance Dinosaur Slang: Volume 1

Dance music terminology evolves just like genres do. How outdated is your EDM jive?


Dance Dinosaur

Dance dinosaurs still roam the earth, and they love to throw down ancient jive that dates them back to the dawn of house music (also known as the Vinylassic Period). Don't knock the dance dinos, because they undoubtedly know way more shit than you do, have partied harder than you have, and are still dancing next to you. 

Will you do that in your late 30s? *Cough cough*...early 40s? Let's fucking hope so, because that's what dance music does: It keeps you young.

10 Rave Flyers that Will Make You Ashamed of Liking Dance Music

How do I know this? I am one of those dance dinos, and I'm still roaming the earth. Here are some funny things you might hear a DD say, and it will almost always be a dead giveaway if they are not already grey (or showing some kind of, well, party patina). 

The Periods of Electronic Dance Music Slang

The Vinylassic Period Slang (1984 - 2004-ish) - It overlaps with the CDJassic

The CDJassic Period (2001 - 2009)

The Controllerous Period (2009 - Present)

The Bomb - This is a classic, maybe one of the all-time classics. It most likely originated in New York at The Tunnel, Paradise Garage or even Twilo. This term was often screeched in long, guttural tones to show approval of track. The pronunciation changed a bit as it migrated to the West Coast scene, but the emphasis on stretching it out stayed with it until it faded in the early aughts. 

Usage: "That track is daaaaaa Boooooommmmb Yo." 

Rinse It Out - This was a staple of the drum and bass scene and still might be popping around a bit here and there. This simply meant to keep playing that a track in question until people couldn't take it anymore.


No, not that Train Spotting, but same era.

Trainspotting or Trainspotter - When DJs used to actually DJ and used vinyl, music nerds and other DJs would often huddle around the DJ booth to get a look at the label on the record as it spun atop the turntable. DJs eventually developed anti-trainspotting technology, which was really just coasters with holes cut in them that rested on top of the actual labels. Yes, shit was serious back then.

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Crackin' - A term used to describe something that was exciting, going off, or a party that was "good" crowded. 

Slammin' - See: Crackin'.

Choon - This is a UK term that failed to fully materialize in the USA, mainly because we just sounded stupid saying it. The word was usually scribbled onto signs or screamed to indicate to the DJ that it was a great record.

Usage: "Chooooooooon."

Banger - A hard-hitting dance record that gets the floor moving and super excited.

Rewind - A call for the DJ to spin back the record from the beginning, derived from dub and early reggae sound system culture. It was primarily British, but was used by some American drum and bass fans.

club kids

Club Kids - Because you need a visual for on this one. 

Club Kids - Adult men and women that dressed up lavishly for raves and club nights. There was no absolute definitive style, but most wore high platform shoes and full face paint. They were always the life of the party and often an indicator of the quality of a party/promoter. If the club kids didn't show up, shit was whack. 

Clubber - A hardcore nightclub patron rarely seen at "raves" - or the underground parties that we used to call that, anyways.

Party People - You don't really need a definition for this do you?

Massive - A rave that was at a larger scale, usually 10,000 or more attendees. 

Gurn - A UK term referring to the contorted face one makes while rolling their balls off on ecstasy (not molly, asshole). It's still in use today, so we've heard. 

Larry Levan Gurn

Take it from the late Larry Levan: Gurns have been part of dance music since the disco days.

P.L.U.R. - A true classic that has managed to stand the test of two decades, although it's lost a bit of its luster. Peace, Love, Unity and Respect still stands for something in our opinion. 

Why Don't We Go Back to Calling All Dance Music "Disco?"

This concludes our first installment of Dance Dinosaur Slang. If you have some oldies but goodies, please send them our way with a brief definition and we will add it to this list. Let's get comprehensive together.... P.L.U.R.

Email with the subject line "Dance Dinosaur," or comment below.

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