Chamblee54

Things People Used To Say

Posted in Library of Congress, The English Language, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on February 25, 2017

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A blogger named gartalker has a list of words that are becoming extinct. Maybe it is a southern thing, but PG still hears supper used. The rest of the list is amusing, and can make you feel old…even if your age is not an interstate speed limit.
A term I haven’t heard in a long time, and thinking about ‘fender skirts’ started me thinking about other words that quietly disappear from our language with hardly a notice like curb feelers. Any body remember them. And steering knobs.’ (AKA) suicide knob, Neckers Knobs. Since I’d been thinking of cars, my mind naturally went that direction first. Any kids will probably have to find some elderly person over 50 to explain some of these terms, like fender skirts.
Continental kits They were rear bumper extenders and spare tire covers that were supposed to make any car as cool as a Lincoln Continental.
Emergency Brakes At some point ‘parking brake’ became the proper term. I miss the hint of drama that went with ‘emergency brake.’
Clutch – Foot Feed – Dimmer Switch. I’m sad, too, that almost all the old folks are gone who would call the accelerator the ‘foot feed.’ Many today do not even know what a clutch is or that the dimmer switch used to be on the floor.
Running Board Didn’t you ever wait at the street for your daddy to come home, so you could ride the ‘running board’ up to the house? You felt like a real G-man. Heck, most of you most likely don’t know what a G-man is.
Store-bought Here’s a phrase heard all the time in my youth but never anymore -’store-bought.’ Of course, just about everything is store-bought these days. However, once it was bragging material to have a store-bought dress or a store-bought bag of candy.
Coast to Coast Coast to coast’ is a phrase that once held all sorts of excitement and now means almost nothing. Now we take the term ‘world wide’ for granted. I guess that soon it will be Universal.
Wall to Wall On a smaller scale, ‘wall-to-wall’ was once a magical term in our homes. In the ’50s, everyone covered his or her hardwood floors with, wow, wall-to-wall carpeting! Today, everyone replaces their wall-to-wall carpeting with hardwood floors. Go figure.
In A Family Way P G When’s the last time you heard the quaint phrase ‘in a family way?’ It’s hard to imagine that the word ‘pregnant’ was once considered a little too graphic, a little too clinical for use in polite company, so we had all that talk about stork visits and ‘being in a family way’ or simply ‘expecting. The more sophisticated town girls called it P G.
Brassiere Apparently, ‘brassiere’ is a word no longer in usage. I said it once to my daughter when she was a teen and she cracked up. I guess it’s just ‘bra’ now. ‘Unmentionables’ probably wouldn’t be understood at all.
Picture Show I always loved going to the picture show. In fact, I have written about it in this very blog. I considered ‘movie’ an affectation.
Rat Fink Most of these words go back to the ’50s, but here is a pure-’60s word I came across the other day – ‘rat fink.’ Ooh, what a nasty put-down! These two words could cut like a sharp knife.
Percolator- DynaFlo – Elevtrolux – Spectra Vision Here is a word I miss – ’percolator.’ That was just a fun word to say. What was it replaced with? ‘Coffee maker.’ How dull. Mr. Coffee.
I miss those made-up marketing words that were meant to sound so modern and now sound so retro. Words like ‘DynaFlow and‘Electrolux..’ (spell check suggestion: Electrocute)Introducing the 1963 Admiral TV, now with‘SpectraVision!’ (PG has a percolator in his camping gear. It works well over a propane stove, but the coffee is way too hot.)
Lumbago- Castor Oil -Food for thought – Was there a telethon that wiped out lumbago? Nobody complains of that anymore. Maybe that’s what castor oil cured, because I never hear mothers threatening kids with castor oil anymore.
Supper Some words aren’t gone, but are definitely on the endangered list. The one that grieves me most, ’supper.’ Now everybody says ‘dinner.’ Save a great word. Invite someone to supper.
Chimney One last thing, when I was a kid we passed a neighbors house. They had a T V antenna strapped to their Chimney. It was a cold day and smoke was bellowing out the old leaning stack. My mother said, “Look there can’t afford butane to keep warm but they got a television set.” Yes, when I was kid a sure sign of poverty was smoke coming from your chimney. Now you know you are in an up scale neighborhood. A fireplace in the den is a luxury.
This is a repost. The pictures are from The Library of Congress.

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