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If your son has the criteria for mania (and I shall list them below if you don't already have them) from the DSM-IV psychiatric manual, then he is diagnosable as bipolar.
A little bit bipolar reminds me of someone claiming that a woman is a little bit pregnant.
Diagnoses are made by meeting criteria, and if he has manic symptoms and they are not caused by a disease or by a medical condition, which apparently they are not, then he has bipolar disorder. 1.
Here are the official DSM-IV criteria for mania:
A) A distinct period of abnormally and persistently elevated, expansive or irritable mood, lasting at least 1 week (or any duration if hospitalization is necessary)
B) During the period of mood disturbance, three (or more) of the following symptoms have persisted (four if the mood is only irritable) and have been present to a significant degree:
1) inflated self-esteem or grandiosity
2) decreased need for sleep (e.g., feels rested after only 3 hours of sleep)
3) more talkative than usual or pressure to keep talking
4) flight of ideas or subjective experience that thoughts are racing
5) distractibility (i.e., attention too easily drawn to unimportant or irrelevant external stimuli)
6) increase in goal-directed activity (at work, at school, or sexually) or psychomotor agitation
7) excessive involvement in pleasurable activities that have a high potential for painful consequences (e.g., engaging in unrestrained buying sprees, sexual indiscretions, or foolish business investments)
C) The symptoms do not meet criteria for a Mixed Episode
D) The mood disturbance is sufficiently severe to cause marked impairment in occupational functioning or in usual social activities or relationships with others, or to necessitate hospitalization to prevent harm to self or others, or there are psychotic features.
E) The symptoms are not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance or a general medical condition.
I hope that this clears this up for you.