Rose777: Old Expressions
There are some old expressions that have become obsolete because of the inexorable march of technology. These phrases included "Dont 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. Wed put on our best bib and tucker just to straighten up and fly right.
Hubba-hubba! Wed cut a rug in some juke joint and then go necking and petting and smooching and spooning and billing and cooing and pitching woo in hot rods and jalopies in some passion pit or lovers lane.
Heavens to Betsy! Gee whillikers! Jumpin Jehoshaphat! Holy moley! We were in like Flynn and living the life of Riley, and even a regular guy couldnt 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 whens 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 isnt anymore.
Like Washington Irvings Rip Van Winkle and Kurt Vonneguts Billy Pilgrim, we have become unstuck in time. We wake up from what surely has been just a short nap, and before we can say, Ill be a monkeys uncle! or 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, poof, poof go the words of our youth, the words weve left behind. We blink, and theyre gone, evanesced from the landscape and wordscape of our perception, like Mickey Mouse wristwatches, hula hoops, skate keys, candy cigarettes, little wax bottles of colored sugar water and an organ grinders monkey.
Where have all those phrases gone? Long time passing. Pshaw.
The milkman did it. Think about all those starving kids in China. Bigger than a bread
box. Banned in Boston . The very idea! Its your nickel. Dont forget to pull the chain. Knee high to a grasshopper. Turn-of-the-century. Iron curtain. Domino theory. Fail safe. Civil defense. Fiddlesticks!
You look like the wreck of the Hesperus. Cooties. Going like sixty. Ill see you in
the funny papers. Dont take any wooden nickels. Heavens to Murgatroyd! And
awa-a-ay we go (not to mention humunah, humunah, humunah!)
Oh, my stars and garters! It turns out there are more of these lost words
and expressions than Carter had liver pills. This can be disturbing stuff,
This winking out of the words of our youth, these words that lodge in our
hearts deep core. But just as one never steps into the same river twice,
one cannot step into the same language twice. Even as one enters, words are
swept downstream into the past, forever making a different river.
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
Its one of the greatest advantages of aging. We can have our cake and eat it, too.
See ya later, alligator!