It was a pleasant surprise to discover my thoughts about words were shared by others.
I heard from friends and strangers alike, some sharing their love of words and how powerful words are, even if we don’t always pay attention. It was heartening to find out others like words as much as I do. You need to understand that most often when I sit down to write my column there’s a lot of free association and non-sequitur thinking going on.
Most often I don’t associate someone actually reading my column with what I write. If I thought consciously that I have an occasional audience, I probably couldn’t get any word down on paper.
But, I digress a bit.
I did hear from a former employer who has remained a friend through the years and miles. He was an English major prior to his tenure as a CEO in the banking and finance industry. He and his wife are kind enough to stay in touch and read my columns. He occasionally reminds me of my unfortunate affinity for split infinitives.
I know I have a comma fetish. Anyway, they were kind enough to remind me of words and phrases that spell-check or online Scrabble doesn’t recognize anymore. I’d hate to think what autocorrect would do with some of these words. It was a hoot to read through the list of great words and idioms that are now missing from today’s lexicon.
I thought I’d take a moment to take some of us down memory lane, and offer the younger crowd a glimpse at some words that we once heard with regularity.
Since we now have access to information and knowledge at our fingertips, if we want to partake in learning, I’ll leave rediscovering the definitions and origins to those whose interest is piqued.
Hunky Dory; heavens to Betsy and heavens to Mergatroyd; jalopy; carbon copy; holy tamoley; nincompoop; don’t take any wooden nickels; okidoki; phone booth; fedoras; knickers; pedal pushers; saddle shoes; spats (hint – not a tiff); not for all the tea in China; living the life of Riley; jumping jehoshaphat; don’t touch that dial; hung out to dry; wig chop; cruisin’ for a bruisin’; made in the shade; classy chassis; knuckle sandwich; fat city (hint – not a new diet); bust a gut; bogart; shindig; meanwhile, back at the ranch; catch you on the flip-side; cool beans; space cadet; bogue; kerfuffle; catawampus; chomping at the bit; fiddlesticks; woolgathering (hint – nothing to do with sheep); gallivant; hootenanny; apothecary; caducity; crookback; fourscore; knave; burn rubber; back-seat Bingo; ankle-biter; bees knees.
Obviously, in some instances I had to resort to phonics to put some of these words down. Microsoft’s spell-checker didn’t compute. I trust some will utilize Phonics to decipher the attempts. Oh, phonics? Does that word exist anymore, much less the practice and utilization?
I’m sure there are words and phrases unique to all parts of the country that tickle one’s fancy, that are used less and less these days. More’s the pity. Hopefully this kindled some memories of good words gone by.