"it was a gas" is a fun, informal way to say something was enjoyable or exciting. Originally rooted in 1960s slang, the expression gives off a sense of enthusiasm and delight. It's often heard when talking about parties, social events, or any particularly fun experience. The phrase can be used in various settings, but it's most common in casual conversations.
When someone says, "it was a gas," it means they had a great time. They found the experience thrilling or extremely enjoyable. You might hear this phrase after someone goes to a great party or concert. For instance, someone might say, "The concert last night? Man, it was a gas!"
Let's look at its main meanings and how people use it:
The informal idiom "it was a gas" emerged in the 20th century to express that something was extremely enjoyable. The term "gas" likely refers to nitrous oxide, commonly known as "laughing gas," which induces euphoria when inhaled in low concentrations. The expression "it's a gas," meaning fun, first appeared in Irish English, with its earliest recorded use in James Joyce's 1914 story collection "Dubliners." However, the phrase "it was a gas," denoting a highly enjoyable experience, didn't surface in print until the mid-20th century.
To help you better understand when and how to use "it was a gas," let's look at some examples from different situations:
This phrase also shows up in pop culture, mostly to describe fun or thrilling experiences.
Let's check out some examples:
If you're looking for different ways to express that something was a blast, here are some alternatives:
"It was a gas" is a phrase used to describe an experience that was extremely enjoyable or fun. The term is often used to convey that a good time was had by all involved.
You can use it to talk about past events that were entertaining or fulfilling. For example: "The party last night? Oh, it was a gas!" or "Going skydiving was a gas, you should try it."
The phrase is often associated with the 1960s and '70s, so it might be more commonly used by people who lived during those times. However, it's understood by many age groups.
While "gas" can literally refer to a state of matter, in this phrase, it doesn't have a literal meaning. It's just a way to say that something was a lot of fun.
Yes, you can use "it was a gas" in writing, such as in text messages or social media posts, to share that you had a great experience.
The phrase is generally more casual, so you're less likely to hear it in a professional setting. It's more common in social or informal conversations.
Yes, the phrase can describe anything that was enjoyable, not just events. For example, you can say "Reading that book was a gas" or "Trying out that new game was a gas.
The phrase is mainly associated with American English and is more commonly heard in the United States.
"It was a gas" and "it was awesome" both convey that something was enjoyable, but "it was a gas" has a retro or nostalgic flavor to it.
While the phrase is somewhat dated, it's still understood and can add a touch of retro flair to a conversation.
"It was a gas" is a great way to say that you had a fantastic time, especially if you want to add vintage or nostalgia to the conversation.
Here's a quick recap: