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Does Anyone Remember These Phrases?


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#1 Sara Arell

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 05:23 PM

I got this in an email from a friend today - I remember a few of these....like "fender skirts" - bet if you don't remember them, you know someone who does!

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.


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 'world wide' 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.'

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 'DynaFlow' and 'Electrolux.' 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 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.
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#2 Becster

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 07:41 PM

Funny!!! As I was reading I was thinking about the dimmer switch on the floor, and then it popped up in your list. :) My first car (a 1973 Datsun 1200 Coupe ... ooh!) had the dimmer switch on the floor.

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#3 Cabalistic

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 08:16 PM

That's funny because I use both supper and dinner interchangeably, no rhyme or reason just whatever I feel like calling it at the time. :)
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#4 Heatheranne

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 08:43 PM

Cool list and I remember them all, except 'necker's knobs'. I must have heard them somewhere! Perhaps on tv! roflol :-)
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#5 Belle

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Posted 15 May 2011 - 11:39 PM

Wow, I'm old, I remember most of these words as well as riding on the running board. We still talk about supper and not dinner. The Castor oil thing, ugh, my mother and gran used to force us to drink a teaspoon of Castor oil every Saturday morning and then we were allowed to have one store bought sweetie afterwards. Sara, thanks for that memory. :disappearing-smilie:

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#6 B&K Mom

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 01:54 AM

Love this. Very fun. I knew a lot of these. THanks for sharing.
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#7 jhochstetler

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 07:11 PM

I loved reading this too Sara, mostly because I love listening to you OLDies rant about the way things used to be j/k LOL
I use supper and dinner depending on who I'm around, but to help out the cause I'm going to make an effort to say supper and I will teach my girls to do the same ;)
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#8 Sara Arell

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Posted 25 May 2011 - 07:21 PM

I loved reading this too Sara, mostly because I love listening to you OLDies rant about the way things used to be j/k LOL
I use supper and dinner depending on who I'm around, but to help out the cause I'm going to make an effort to say supper and I will teach my girls to do the same ;)



Supper is proper Southern talk for "dinner" Julie! bwahahaha! Teach those girls to hold their pinky finger out when drinking a cup of tea OR even a glass of milk too - I still do that today without even thinking!
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