Thursday, March 30, 2006

Are You Old Enough To Remember???

This second little ditty is also compliments of my blogging buddy Ric.


Fender skirts
I haven't thought about "fender skirts" in years. When I was a kid, I considered it such a funny term. Made me think of a car in a dress.

Thinking about "fender skirts" started me thinking about other words that quietly disappear from our language with hardly a notice.

Like "curb feelers" and "steering 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 to you.

Remember "Continental kits"? They were rear bumper extenders and spare tire covers that were supposed to make any car as cool as a Lincoln Continental.

When did we quit calling them "emergency brakes?" At some point "parking brake" became the proper term. But I miss the hint of drama that went with "emergency brake."

I'm sad, too, that almost all the old folks are gone who would call the accelerator the "foot feed".

Did you ever wait at the street for your daddy to come home, so you could ride the "running board" up to the house?

Here's a phrase I heard all the time in my youth but never anymore - "store-bought." Of course, just about everything is store-bought these days. But once it was bragging material to have a store-bought dress or a store-bought bag of candy.

"Coast to coast" is a phrase that once held all sorts of excitement and now means almost nothing. Now we take the term "worldwide" for granted. This floors me.

On a smaller scale, "wall-to-wall" was once a magical term in our homes. In the 50's, 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.

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."

Apparently "brassiere" is a word no longer in usage. I said it the other day and my daughter cracked up. I guess it's just "bra" now. "Unmentionables" probably wouldn't be understood at all.

It's hard to recall that this word was once said in a whisper "divorce." And, no one is called a "divorcee" anymore. Certainly not a "gay divorcee." Come to think of it, "confirmed bachelors" and "career girls" are long gone, too.

I always loved going to the "picture show," but I considered "movie" an affectation.

Most of these words go back to the 50's, but here's a pure 60's word I came across the other day..."rat fink." Ooh, what a nasty put-down!

Here's a word I miss..."percolator." That was just a fun word to say. And what was it replaced with? "Coffeemaker." How dull. Mr. Coffee, I blame you for this.

I miss those made-up marketing words that were meant to sound so modern and now sound so retro. Words like "DynaFlow" and "ElectraLuxe." Introducing the 1963 Admiral TV, now with "SpectraVision!"

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 their! kids with castor oil anymore.

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. Discuss fender skirts.


8 Comments:

  1. Bernita said...
    And the loss of running boards made great difficulties for mystery/thriller writers and movie makers too.
    No longer could the intrepid reporter/dectective leap upon a passing motorist's running boards and bellow "follow that car!"
    Joe said...
    I am SO embarassed! I remember them all (except, of course, the ones I have forgotten. But I can't remember which ones those are).
    Ric said...
    very funny, Joe.

    Glad I'm able to keep Bonnie so easily amused.

    My mother had one of those percolators - I was nearly 20 before I discovered what coffee should really taste like.
    Dennie McDonald said...
    If I say no clue about any of those will you promise not to hate me....
    Dana Y. T. Lin said...
    Percolator. That's what I need to put my manuscript in so I'd stop picking at it.
    Bonnie Calhoun said...
    I probably garner the "Older than Dirt" award...but I remember every one of these...LOL...I'm with you Joe!

    Got news for ya' Ric...I've still got one in a box, somewhere in the basement, the kind that goes on a stove!. Long years ago, we used to use it when we camped...

    Dennie, you're still a pup, compared to us old farts!
    jel said...
    I guess you can add me to the list of the old, because I can remember , some of them!
    Ballpoint Wren said...
    Yeah, Bernita, without running boards, the intrepid reporter/detective has to race off with the car instead, but only just as the owner comes out of a store or a bathroom so he can shout, "Hey! That's my car!"

    We used to have a cat named Smokey Percolator, because he purred so loud. Those percolators were loud.

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