EDITOR’S NOTE: If you’re not yet 50, you may as well click off this post. You won’t understand it. It’s written in a lost language lots of us senior types grew up speaking. A high school classmate sent me this and when I read it, I knew I’d have to share it with all of you. Enjoy.
Would you recognize the word Murgatroyd? – Heavens to Murgatroyd!
Lost Words from our childhood: Words gone as fast as the buggy whip! Sad really!
The other day, a not so elderly 65 year old lady said something to her son about driving a Jalopy and he looked at her quizzically and said what the heck is a Jalopy? OMG (new phrase!) – he had never heard of the word jalopy!! She knew she was old but not that old.
I hope you’re Hunky Dory after you read this and chuckle.
by Richard Lederer
About a month ago, I illuminated some old expressions that have become obsolete because of the inexorable march of technology. These phrases included “Don’t touch that dial,” “Carbon copy,” “You sound like a broken record” and “Hung out to dry.”
Back in the olden days we had a lot of moxie. We’d put on our best bib and tucker to straighten up and fly right – Heavens to Betsy!
Gee whillikers! Jumping Jehoshaphat! Holy moley! We were in like Flynn and living the life of Riley and even a regular guy couldn’t accuse us of being a knucklehead, a nincompoop or a pill. Not for all the tea in China!
Back in the olden days, life used to be swell but when’s the last time anything was swell? Swell has gone the way of beehives, pageboys and the D.A, of spats, knickers, fedoras, poodle skirts, saddle shoes and pedal pushers. Oh, my aching back. Kilroy was here but he isn’t anymore.
We wake up from what surely has been just a short nap and before we can say, well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle!/This is a fine kettle of fish! – we discover that the words we grew up with, the words that seemed omnipresent as oxygen, have vanished with scarcely a notice from our tongues and our pens and our keyboards.
Poof, go the words of our youth, the words we’ve left behind. We blink and they’re gone. Where have all those phrases gone?
Long gone: Pshaw/The milkman did it/Hey! It’s your nickel. Don’t forget to pull the chain/Knee high to a grasshopper. Well, Fiddlesticks! Going like sixty. I’ll see you in the funny papers. Don’t take any wooden nickels/Heavens to Murgatroyd!
It turns out there are more of these lost words and expressions than Carter has liver pills. This can be disturbing stuff! We of a certain age have been blessed to live in changeful times.
For a child each new word is like a shiny toy, a toy that has no age. We at the other end of the chronological arc have the advantage of remembering there are words that once did not exist and there were words that once strutted their hour upon the earthly stage and now are heard no more, except in our collective memory. It’s one of the greatest advantages of aging.
See ya later, alligator.