Monday, May 19, 2014


I am indebted to a friend, Lovable Lorinda, for forwarding the following on to me today.  I know not who the true author is but I enjoyed it.  I hope you do.

I  know some of you will not understand this message,
but I bet you know someone who might.  I came across this phrase yesterday.    'FENDER   SKIRTS'

A term I haven't heard in a long time, and 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.' (AKA) 'suicide knob,'   'neckers knobs.'

Since I'd been thinking of cars, my mind naturally went that   direction first.  Any kids will probably have to find some older 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.'  Many today do not even know what a clutch is or that the  dimmer switch  used to be on the floor.  For that matter, the starter  was down there too.
Didn't 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 '50s, 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 was 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.' 

Speaking of female items, nobody talks about 'housedresses' any more.  All the ladies wore them.  Nobody wore slacks or 'blue jeans' except if you were a farmer.

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. 

I always loved going to the  'picture show,' but I considered 'movie' an affectation.
Most of these words go back to the '50s, but here's a pure '60s  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? 'Coffee  maker.'  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  'Dyna Flow' and 'Electrolux' and 'Frigidaire.'  Introducing the 1963 Admiral TV, now  with  'Spectra Vision!'
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  kids with Castor Oil anymore.
Some words aren't gone, but are definitely on the endangered list.  The one that grieves me most is 'supper.'  Now everybody says 'dinner.' Save a  great word. Invite someone to supper. Discuss fender skirts.