Disappearing Words

“Heavens to murgatroyd” what’s happening? We all know that English is a changing or living language. Each year new words are added to our language. But as new words are added some words seem to disappear. This week I thought I would hop into my old “jalopy” and take a trip down memory lane with some words and phrases that are seldom, if ever, heard anymore. You young’uns out there might have no idea what I am talking about. Ask your parents or grandparents. Now, “don’t touch that dial” because we are about to get started.

When I was a kid I admit that there were times I could and would whine about something I just had to have. I was often told that I “sound like a broken record”. “Gee whillikers!” I never thought I was that bad. “Heavens to Betsy” all of my friends already had what I wanted. Why couldn’t I get one too? Looking back, I guess I really didn’t need what I was harping about. After all. things were good and we were “living the life of Riley”.

As a child I was labeled a finicky eater by my family. “Jumping Jehoshaphat”. Just because I would not eat liver and onions “for all the tea in China”. I tried to get support from my brothers and sister because they weren’t wild about it either, but they “hung out to dry”. “Fiddlesticks!”

One time when I did something I wasn’t suppose to do, OK, more than one time, I was told to “straighten up and fly right”. Just because I happened to not change from my Sunday clothes into play clothes before going out and playing with my friends. Whether we were playing tag, climbing trees, or just walking some dirt roads, I always managed to get my clothes dirty. I would look at myself before going home and think to myself, “This is a fine kettle of fish” I’ve gotten myself into. “Holy Moley!”

There are so many other words and phrases that have gone along the wayside. In fact, I am sure there are “more than Carter has liver pills”. But I am “hunky dory” with that. Phrases such as “Don’t be a monkey’s uncle”, “I’ll see you in the funny papers”, and “Wake up and smell the roses” are seldom, if ever, heard any more. Pity.

I will just leave you with one thought. As you ponder words and phrases from when you were “knee high to a grasshopper” that now are obsolete, just remember, “Don’t take any wooden nickels.”


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13 responses to “Disappearing Words

  1. jumpofffindwings

    Oh, this firmly dates me. I know all of these firsthand, and I will not relinquish “Holy Moley” no matter how many years go by. This so cleverly captures “the times they are a-changin.'” (Bob Dylan will always be cool!) Love to laugh on a Tuesday morning. Thanks.

  2. This dates me as well. Yes, “the times they are a-changin'” I wonder what phrases used today will be obsolete 50 years from now.

  3. That was very good 🙂 I think this is happening in most languages. We were amused when we read the word ‘ ayyo’ was being added to the Oxford dictionary.
    ‘Ayyo’- the word, has gone global – Folomojo

  4. Ok, so now you have me feeling old – well I am. These words are a delightful reminder of times gone by. Thanks!

  5. Lainie Levin

    I read this and I couldn’t stop smiling! I’ve also had my share of language that’s grown a little rusty around the edges. I’m also thinking about the catch phrases I’ve used as a teacher before moving on to the next one: “In a jiffy,” “Heavens to Betsy,” “In my happy little teacher world” are just a few…thanks for bringing me down memory lane (oops, guess that’s another!)

  6. I love using these with kids and see their reaction.

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