So you want to speak like Bill & Ted? You?ve come to the right place, babes and dudes! On this webpage you?re going to find an overview of Bill & Ted?s vernacular including definitions, attitude and examples which will help you to learn to talk like the Two Great Ones.
Let?s begin by explaining that Bill & Ted Speak is not like any other language out there, slang or otherwise. Some people erroneously refer to their dialect as "surfer" or "valley" speak. It is not. Bill & Ted live in San Dimas, California, which is located well away from any beach and about 25 miles from the San Fernando Valley. While their language bears some resemblance to other teen talk of the 80's and early 90's, Bill & Ted Speak has some unique qualities and expressions which set it apart.
You may have seen guides to Bill & Ted Speak before . . . most notably the Phrasebook which was released in various forms from Orion Pictures at the time Bogus Journey was released. While some of the definitions in the Phrasebook are essentially correct, many more are completely off base; it was written by the publicity department of the film studio and as such cannot be taken at face value as a true B&T dictionary.
For our purposes, we will only refer to Speak used in the context of Excellent
Adventure, Bogus Journey and the first season of the Hanna Barbera animated
series. To our mind if Alex and Keanu spoke it while in character as Bill
and Ted it counts as true Bill & Ted Speak. Some of the evil robot
Bill & Ted Speak may also be covered but we?ll clarify when it is their
dialect we are referring to.
It?s important to have the right attitude when you talk like Bill & Ted . . . their personalities are a big part of making their Speak work. Start by relaxing your muscles . . . let your arms hang loose by your side and shake the tension from your body. It helps if you can bounce up and down a few times, working up some excited energy. Don?t think about what you?re saying too much, that is key! It should just flow naturally from your mouth. Doing a few air guitar riffs will help put you in the right frame of mind as well.
On the whole you are going to speak positively to everyone you meet. Get rid of the tendency to pre-judge people and learn to treat everyone equally and in an excellent manner. Once you?ve mastered the words and phrases of Bill & Ted speak you will want to always use them with a lot of loose energy and enthusiasm.
It?s important to realize that all of the words Bill & Ted use are straight from the dictionary . . . they have not created words unique to their universe. It?s the way they use these words that matters. Let?s take a look at some of the most common words used in Bill & Ted speak and explain their definitions as well as Bill & Ted?s definitions for them:
English definition: Being of the highest or finest quality; exceptionally good; superb.
B&T Speak: Good.
English definition: Exulting in success or victory.
B&T Speak: Good; You?ve triumphed.
English definition: Intrepidly bold or daring; audacious.
B&T Speak: Good, but with a heavy quality . . . danger almost.
English definition: Standing out among others of its kind; distinguished; excellent.
B&T Speak: Really good.
English definition: Outstanding; principal; leading.
B&T Speak: Really excellent.
English definition: Unequaled; peerless; supreme.
B&T Speak: Unbeatably good.
English definition: Filled with splendor; brilliant.
B&T Speak: Good on a high level.
English definition: Not typical; varying from the type.
B&T Speak: Weird but usually in a good way.
English definition: Counterfeit; fake.
B&T Speak: Bad.
English definition: Outstandingly bad; blatant; outrageous.
B&T Speak: Really bad.
English definition: Grossly wicked or reprehensible; abominable; odious; vile.
B&T Speak: Really really bad.
English definition: Exciting hatred or repugnance; abhorrent; offensive.
B&T Speak: Disgustingly bad.
OTHER COMMON PHRASES
Dude - A male you think is all right or cool . . . usually used when greeting someone. "Hey, dude. What?s up, dude?"
Babe - A female you think is cool or attractive.
Yes Way! - Emphatically yes!
No Way! - Emphatically no! Also used as an expression of disbelief, as in: "I?m from the future." "No way!"
How?s it hangin?? - An expression of greeting, most acceptably from one male to another.
Catch you later! - A friendly way of saying goodbye and that you?ll see the other person again in the future.
Be Excellent to Each Other! - This expression explains itself, doesn?t it?
Party On, Dude! - So does this one.
Dickweed - A word to describe someone you really don?t like because they?re stupid, rude, nasty, whatever.
Melvin - Also known as a wedgie . . . this is when you pull up the underwear of a male from behind, causing him quite a bit of discomfort.
Check it out - You say this when you want someone to take a look at something or to see what you?re seeing.
WORDS THAT BILL AND TED DO NOT SAY
There are some popular words and expressions known from the 80's which Bill & Ted have never said. Try to avoid these like the plague:
Gag me with a spoon
Rad or radical
To the max
Way (without the no)
** - Many thanks to the Mike dude for pointing out that Bill and Ted did say gnarly when they described a man in Medieval England. Bill says "How about that gnarly old goat dude?" Thing is Bill is using the word "gnarly" correctly, to mean "deformed or twisted; crab-like." "Gnarly" in surf speak means something is wickedly good, or that a surf is rough or incredible. Bill and Ted never use the slang "gnarly" to mean good (it's too surfer) but using the word for its original meaning is okay.
WORDS THAT BILL AND TED SOMETIMES SAY
We?re including some of these because they were used in first season of the the animated series or because it?s something the evil robots have said.
Chubby (only for evil robot use)
Scope it out
THE USE OF MOST AND TOTALLY
Most is used as an enhancement to emphasize other words. If something isn?t just bogus, it?s most bogus. If it?s more than excellent, it?s most excellent. Use most in front of any adjective when you want to really get your point across just how much of something that something is. You can put most in front of just about any adjective and it would be proper. Here are some examples:
"He has the most outrageous haircut."
"That was the most delectable meal I?ve ever eaten."
"You are most welcome!"
"I am most appreciative of your kind comments."
Bill and Ted take the word most most seriously. To them it?s used to take something up to another level. For example, here is how some of their most commonly used adjectives change meaning with the use of most:
Excellent = good
Most excellent = very good
Outstanding = excellent
Most outstanding = outstanding
Bodacious = most outstanding
Totally can also be used in the same way as most to emphasize adjectives. It has a slightly different connotation, meaning "all-encompassing." So for instance you could say:
"I totally believe you, dude!"
"That was totally outrageous!"
"I totally love that heavy metal album!"
THE USE OF NON
Here we get into the world of the double negative. You may remember in school your English teacher telling you that you should not have two negatives in the same sentence because they will cancel each other out. For instance, you should say "The boy does not have any beans." If you say "The boy does not have no beans" the "not" and "no" cancel each other out and you?re essentially saying the boy has beans, which is the opposite of what you mean to say.
Bill and Ted take this to the extreme and use it to their advantage to really emphasize words. If something is heinous it is bad. If it?s non-heinous that?s *one* negative and it becomes good. It?s it?s non-non-heinous then the negatives cancel each other out but the emphasis of the word heinous becomes double, so it becomes really bad.
Here?s the rule of thumb when it comes to using and understanding nons: If it?s an odd number of nons, then they mean the opposite of the word they?re emphasizing. If it?s an even number of nons then the meaning of the word stays the same. The more nons, the more emphasis on the word, be it positive or negative.
Here are a few examples:
That cheeseburger is non-non-heinous.
Two nons is an even number, hence they mean heinous, which means the cheeseburger is really bad.
That heavy metal song is non-non-non-non-bodacious.
Four nons is an even number, hence they mean bodacious, so the song is really really good!
We are having a non-non-non-odious time at the dance.
Three nons is an odd number, so they mean the opposite of odious, so they are having a really really good time at the dance.
Hades is a non-non-non-non-non-excellent place.
Five nons is an odd number, so they mean the opposite of excellent, so Hades is a really really really bad place.
You can add any number of nons to a word you want but going over five can get really confusing if spoken.
THE USE OF NOT
Using "not" is simple in both execution and explanation. You simply add the word "not" to the end of any sentence after a suitable comedic pause to take back everything you?ve just said. For instance:
"That was one of the best plays I?ve ever seen . . . NOT!!!"
The "not" should always be spoken with a great deal of energy and sarcasm.
THE USE OF STATION
Station is a Martian word which makes the word "smurf" useless by comparison. Basically you can replace any word or phrase with station and have it mean whatever you want. Some people may think Martians have an extremely limited language because of this, but quite the contrary. It isn?t what you say but how you say it and station has millions of meanings.
English: "Do you know where I put my socket wrench?"
English: "I would like to order fries with that."
English: "Have you noticed my excellent Martian butt?"
Bill and Ted adapt the word station into their own language, mostly using it to mean something that is excellent or as an affirmative. If something is outstanding, you can say "Station!" and it will mean the same thing. You can also use station as a greeting, to say hello to people (as Jim Martin does in Bogus Journey when he enters the classroom at Bill & Ted University.) Bill & Ted rarely, if ever, use the word station as a negative.
EXPANDING YOUR VOCABULARY, NOT LIMITING IT
Contrary to popular belief, Bill & Ted do not speak stupidly. In fact their dialogue is quite clever and uses many words not ordinarily used in modern speech but which are perfectly proper in the right context. They may not always use all their words correctly but they try. A lot of Bill & Ted?s charm is their attempt to sound sophisticated, especially around adults or when trying to impress people. But this flows naturally . . . they love words and they love using words and they use them to the best of their limited abilities.
So learn new words . . . soak up as many as you can. Check out the dictionary and find new ways of saying things. This will go a long way in helping you talk like Bill & Ted.
Here are some examples of how to turn every day phrases into true Bill & Ted Speak:
English: "We?ve just seen a good movie."
B&T Speak: "We have just witnessed a most bodacious cinematic masterpiece!"
English: "I feel thirsty . . . let?s go to the Circle K and get
something to drink."
B&T Speak: "I am most parched . . . let us journey to the Circle K and purchase some Frosty Slushes to quench our most odious thirst."
English: "That man is trying to kill us."
B&T Speak: "Whoa, I think that dude is totally attempting to kill us . . . bogus!"
English: "Which way is it to the Burning of Rome?"
B&T Speak: "Excuse us, dude . . . where might we witness the most historic conflagration of Rome?"
GETTING IT WRONG IS RIGHT
To really master Bill & Ted speak it helps if you have a mind for mispronunciations and malapropisms. But it has to sound as if you don?t know you have a talent for such wordplay. Bill and Ted often mispronounce names and things because they don?t know any better. To make these funny, though, you?ll need to know what you?re doing. Plus if you can make comments on things out of context you?re really on the right track. Let?s look at a few examples . . . .
Bill and Ted pronounce Socrates (Saw-cruh-teez) as So-Crates (So-crates) and Hades (Hay-deez) as Hades (Haydes). Billy the Kid becomes Mr. the Kid. Joan of Arc becomes Noah?s wife. Socratic Method becomes a person. They don?t really know, but they?re trying to be smarter by confidently forging ahead, right or wrong. (You?ll notice by the end of Excellent Adventure they pronounce Socrates' name correctly).
To come up with these things in everyday conversation, try to acquaint things with what you know they?re not but with things they sound like. For instance, if someone threatens to put you in an iron maiden, mistake that for the excellent rock band instead. If someone calls you a cretin, consider it a compliment. If someone in Medieval England says they?re going to put you in stocks, say that?s excellent because it?s probably a good time to invest.
Watch the Bill & Ted movies over and over and over again. To some extent you will naturally pick up their language skills the more you watch them.
And that?s it! You have learned what you need to know to speak like Bill & Ted!! Party on, dudes!!
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