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Lost Words from our Childhood

19 May 2018   (unknown author)
 
The other day a not-so-elderly lady said something to her son about driving a Jalopy and he looked at her quizzically and said “What the heck 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.
 
Murgatroyd… Do you remember that word? Would you believe the email spell checker did not recognise the word Murgatroyd? Heavens to Murgatroyd!
 
Some older expressions and phrases that have become obsolete because of the inexorable march of technology include “Don’t touch that dial,” “Carbon copy,” “You sound like a broken record” and “Hung out to dry.” 
 
Back in the olden days we’d put on our best ‘bib and tucker’ to’ go to the pictures.
 
Heavens to Betsy! Gee whillikers! Jumping Jehoshaphat! Holy moley! Snakes alive!
 
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 then, life used to be swell… but when’s the last time anything was swell? Swell has gone the way of beehive hairdos, pageboys and spats, knickers, fedoras, poodle skirts, stiffened petticoats, pedal pushers and saddle stitched pants.
 
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 have vanished with scarcely a notice from our tongues and our pens and our keyboards.
 
Where have all these phrases gone? “Let’s all go to the beach Saturday”...  What’s cookin’ good-lookin? Jeepers-Creepers!
 
Long gone: Pshaw, The milkman did it. Hey! 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. Wake up and smell the roses.
 
It turns out there are more of these lost words and expressions than Carter has liver pills. This can be disturbing stuff! (“Carter’s Little Liver Pills” are gone too!).
 
Poof, go the words of our youth, the words we’ve left behind. We blink, and they’re gone. Words gone as fast as the buggy whip! Sad really!
 
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. However, as children of the fabulous forties and fifties, at the other end of the chronological arc, we have the advantage of remembering that there are words that once did not exist, and there were words that once strutted their hour upon the earthly stage and are now heard no more, except in our collective memory. No one will ahve that opportunity again, and perhaps this is one of the greatest advantages of aging…our memories.
 
Leaves us to wonder where Superman will find a phone booth...
 
Okidoki/hunkidori.    
See ya later, alligator
 
 
 

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Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community.

Shantiji has brought the concepts and practices of a healthy body and a still mind to thousands of Australians through her Yoga and Meditation programs on national television... Read more about Shantiji's biography


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