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Quaint Expressions

16 years ago

The other day I came face to face with the fact that many of the terms I still use are archaic. I asked my son to turn on the hi-fi, but he didn't know what I was talking about! I also told him to put the bowl of leftover pasta salad in the icebox. So what did he do? He dragged out the picnic cooler and proceeded to fill it with ice! He thought I was nuts for laughing, until I calmed down enough to explain what I really meant and then he thought it was funny too.

Since then he's been pouncing on every old-fashioned word or phrase I use -- and, boy!, there are a lot them. Here are a few terms that he caught me saying:
turn the dial for changing the station on the radio

crank the car to start the engine (I never thought of how old that expression is; I must have inherited it from my grandparents.)

ptomaine to mean food poisoning, in general

I don't use this myself, but I recall older people than me saying "holped" for the past tense of help, instead of helped. I thought it was grammatical ignorance until I learned recently that holp and holped were considered legitimate at one time.

I think we've discussed reckon and yonder before in some of our RP word threads. I'm fond of both, and I think their demise leaves a vacuum.

What about you? Do you ever notice a communication gap between you and your kids or younger folk? Do you have some pet old-time expressions? I'd love to read 'em, and I'll bet I recognize many that I use myself.

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