The loss of certain things

I’ve been watching some videos of these old guys here and here on Youtube recently. It’s funny to think how I’ve changed over the years. I used to think that old people were kinda weird and I found it hard to believe that they ever thought or felt the same way you or I do. Something about them always seemed disconnected from the world. Maybe it wasn’t them that felt disconnected but society’s attitude towards them, including mine. I’m glad that my eyes are opening up and I’ve really begun to realize the value in the elderly. Sure they piss me off when they get in the left lane on the freeway and drive 13mph, or back out of their driveways without looking, but get them out of a car and they are mostly like you and me. In fact they are you and me. They often have the same fears or desires that the rest of us do, and really each and every one of them are walking history books. That last point is the one I have come to embrace in the last few years. It excites me to hear them talk about their lives but it makes me sad because old people die like flies on a windowsill, and with each one passing I feel we lose a little bit of knowledge. There will be a day when no one alive remembers living through WWII or not having indoor plumbing or hardly anyone owned a TV…etc. Even though we have videos and cameras to document the passing of things, it’s always better coming from a person that actually experienced it and to witness their eyes light up over a memory or see the sorrow when they speak of the tragedy. I feel there is a lack of respect towards old people in this country and really that is the greatest tragedy of growing old, society forgetting about you. Other cultures embrace their old ones and regard them as wise, I think we all should.

One thing that seems to change with the passing of each generation is langugage. As the death and rebirth of people ebbs and flows so does the use of words. I love listening to older folks and hearing some of the words they use to describe things, its often very different from the way we talk. After watching some of those videos and talking to my g-ma I’ve been thinking about words that I wished were used more commonly in a day-to-day basis. I sometimes feel our language is stale and we’ve let some good sayings or words fall into disuse. Plus, thanks to computers everything seems to get abbr. in our day and age. I’m guilty of this, but we should put a stop to it. Your ‘cell’ or ‘cell phone’ should rightfully be called a ‘cordless cellular telephone’ or ‘mobile cellular telephone’, I think that makes it more clear and leaves no room for confusion as to what type of communication device I’m talking about. I suppose no words can ever be lost, but close. The less we use of them the more distant they become, most people don’t use thesauruses on a regular basis so how are we to remember these oldies, but goodies?

I have compiled a list of words that I’d like to see come back in style, so if you hear me use these words you know what’s up. Oh and YOU should start using these goodies and your own as well, let’s bring ‘em back in style. If we all do it, it’ll trickle through humanity. I also asked a few friends about the words they’d like to hear again, their lists are under mine.

Davenport — A large couch. This is my favorite!
Kelvinator — What they used to called Refrigerators! I love it!
Trousers — Pants.
Jalopy — An old broke down car.
Flapjacks — Pancakes. I love this word and try to use it when I go to a breakfast joint.
Parlor — Living room. I think this just sounds so fancy, like we should put on our smoking jackets and leather slippers.
Permanent — This is more of a grandma word for ‘perm’, like when you get your hair done. Cracks me up.
Sixes and sevens — confusion or disarray. “I’m all sixes and sevens today”.
Good heavens! — Total grandma term.
Oh for Pete’s sake! — Another one from grandma, can usually be heard around the same time as ‘good heavens’.
Concur — agree.
Rest my bones — I never use this, but should, I love to rest my bones.
Out of Humor — Upset, frustrated.

My Co-Workers List:
Tomfoolery — Silly behavior
Hornswoggle — To swindle or cheat someone
Rad — Cool/Neat (This one sure did rise and fall fast eh?)

Normal Jean’s List:

From the 20’s:
And How!! ~ which means, I strongly agree.

From the 50’s:
Blast! ~ As in, that party was a blast! Super fun!
Daddy-o ~ just ’cause it’s so freakin’ cool
Fast ~ a sexually active person. And it’s so much better than Ho! Makes you sound very active. ;) That girl is fast!

From the 80’s:
Gnarly ~ very good
Barf me out ~ (variations include: Barf me out the door. And also, Gag me with a spoon.)

Also one that I cant find the origin, when someones says something amusing or tells a dumb joke i like to say, “That’s rich!”

Phil’s List:
Lazy Susan — a rotating tray on a tabletop.
Mopar — The automobile parts and service arm of the Daimler/Chrysler American brand car manufacter.

There you have it, some excellent words to use and keep alive. I’d love for all of you to come to my parlor and rest your bones on my davenport. You can take your trousers off and while you’re doing that I could make you some flapjacks and some orange juice fresh out of the Kelvinator. We could pass the food on the lazy susan and talk about how Betty is one fast cat, don’t you concur? Feel free to comment with your own antiquated words, I’d be interested in hearing some other doosies. If you have any grandparents left, don’t take them for granted, they’ve seen more than you can probably imagine, and listen to their words as they tell you about growing up in such tumultuous times, its important, if not for you, for them. Also, if you didn’t click on those videos of the old guys, you should. The man “Martin” under the second link recently died after posting 5 or 6 videos, and the last video is his wife telling the YouTubers about it. Sad. But it sounds like he lived quite a life and left a great legacy, that’s what is important. His bones are truly at rest.


  1. Phil said,

    October 17, 2006 @ 10:24 pm

    I can’t be expected to read all that. I did however see that second old guy the other day on you tube. I’ll have it read by the end of the week.

  2. Anthony said,

    October 18, 2006 @ 6:23 am

    I actually did read it all and loved everyminute of it..
    Deal with that Philio..
    I have heard just about every one of these terms except for
    Davenport —
    Kelvinator –
    and Fast for describing a SLUT…
    Interesting to say the least..
    I will hit the submit button now and watch the videos that you have proposed we watch..
    I shall return..
    ABC OUT!

  3. EsoPhil said,

    October 18, 2006 @ 10:07 pm

    I agree with your elderly sentiments. I very much appreciate them and want to do so more. I have quite a number of older friends at church. I think one important thing is to spend time with them and show sincere interest. Time may seem precious to the young and busy, but don’t use it all up and leave nothing for your elders. I think they are sometimes starving for a little time with someone. Ha, I’m just as horrible in this as anyone… making time for the important things of life. As for words, I don’t have much to contribute.

  4. normaljean said,

    October 19, 2006 @ 12:51 pm

    I’ve figured out in my ripe old age ;) that you’re ALWAYS the young “you” in your head no matter how many years you’ve been on this planet. You just happen to look older on the outside.

    So be nice to the coffin dodgers! ;P

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Comment