Would you recognize the word Murgatroyd? – Heavens to Murgatroyd!
Lost Words from our childhood: Words gone as fast as the buggy whip! Sad really!
The other day, a not so elderly (65) lady said something to her son about driving a Jalopy and he looked at her quizzically and said what is
a Jalopy? – 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. 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, 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!/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/Heavens to Murgatroyd!
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 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 collective memory. It’s one of the greatest advantages of aging.
See ya later, alligator!……………In a while crocodile!
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