I haven't thought about fender
skirts in years ...
I was a kid, I considered it such a funny term. Made me think of a
car in a dress. 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."
Since I'd been thinking of cars, my mind naturally went that
direction first. Any kids will probably have to find some elderly
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."
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
"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
their hardwood floors with, wow, wall-to-wall carpeting! Today,
everyone replaces their wall-to-wall carpeting with hardwood
floors. Go figure.
When's 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 a!
bout sto rk visits and "being in a family way" or simply
Apparently "brassiere" is a word no longer
in usage. I said it the other day and a young girl cracked up. I
guess it's just "bra" now. "Unmentionables" probably wouldn't be
understood at all.
And no one is called a "divorcee" anymore
Certainly not a "gay divorcee." Come to think of it, "confirmed
bachelors" and "career girls" are long gone, too.
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?
"Coffeemaker." 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 "ElectraLuxe." Introducing the 1963 Admiral TV, now
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 their kids with castor oil any more.
Some words aren't gone, but are definitely
on the endangered list. The one that grieves me most - "supper."
Now everybody says "dinner". Save a great word. Invite someone to
"supper Discuss fender skirts.
Someone forwarded this to me, and I
thought some of us of a "certain age" would remember most of
Submitted by Andy, Gettysburg, Pa.