Life

Lost words of our childhood

If you are old enough (ahem), you might remember a few (or most) of these expressions.


Mergatroyd!. Do you remember that word? 
Would you believe the spell-checker did not recognize the word Mergatroyd? 
Heavens to Mergatroyd!

The other day a not so elderly (I say 75) lady said something to her son 
about driving a Jalopy; and he looked at her quizzically and said "What the heck is a Jalopy?" 
He never heard of the word jalopy! 
She knew she was old. But not that old.

Well, I hope you are Hunky Dory after you read this and chuckle.

So let's illuminate some old expressions that have become obsolete 
because of the inexorable march of technology. Phrases like: 

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 willikers! 
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!” 
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, go the words of our youth, the words we've left behind. 
We blink, and they're gone. 
Where have all those great 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. 
Wake up and smell the coffee. 

It turns out there are more of these lost words and expressions 
than Carter has little liver pills. 
This can be disturbing stuff! 
(Carter's Little Liver Pills are gone too!) 

We of a certain age have been blessed to live in changeable 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.


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There are 2 comments for this item.

Posted by kluv42 at 11:42 pm (PST) on Mon December 28, 2020   
That was just the cat's pajamas! The bee's knees, too!
Posted by CJ at 2:55 pm (PST) on Wed December 23, 2020   
Well, Bless your pea-picking heart for sharing this with us.

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