Friday, May 12, 2017

Heavens to Murgatroyd!

Freddy Emhof sent this to me. We are not quite sure who wrote it, but it is a lovely idea to remember that words DO get lost through the generations and decades. How many more words can YOU think of that might be lost as ‘time marches on’?!

Would you believe the email spell checker did not recognize the word murgatroyd?

Lost Words from our childhood-- Words gone as fast as the buggy whip! Sad really!

The other day a not so elderly (70ish) lady said something to her son about driving a jalopy and he looked at her quizzically and said "What the heck is a jalopy? Oh, Oh a new phrase!  He had 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.

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 (Ed. Note—In Maine we still do!.

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. and 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 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.

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 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.

See ya later, alligator!


Pat Herdeg said...

Thanks, Freddy! Some of these phrases are older than me, but I do know them. When I was young, if things were great, they were 'spiffy', a very cool word indeed!

Anonymous said...

Land o'goshen, what a joy to read! And shucks, a shame to lose the phrases! All Bakers will remember "Fort Knox" as being Aunt Lil's purse. Personally, I preferred it when she gave each of us a small paper sack and permission to take 10 pieces of candy from her candy counter in her store!

Thanks to Freddy!

Evelyn Taylor said...

Thanks, Freddy, for the memories! I am "Senior" enough to have used them all!!!!!


Kathryn said...

Oh my!!
I know all those phrases!!
I blame my Mom.
I was delighted when CB mentioned my Grandmother's purse, Fort Knox!
Fond memories there.
Love you all!

Tim Kinsella said...

We could do a similar article that lists Uncle Harold's saying. Some of them are politically correct but they sure are descriptive!

Susan Kinsella said...

Wait a minute - you mean these aren't used anymore? How did they get away when I wasn't looking?!?