Words we don't use anymore

My grandma (she’s 98) says “petrol” instead of gasoline, “icebox” for fridge, “automobile” (with the accent on the “mo”) for car.

Mom uses the word “oleo”. I hate that.

My house was built in 1914, and one of our rooms is officially called the “southeast parlor” when we’re in a pretentious mood. Otherwise, we call it “the kids’ play room”.

My grandmother called jeans “dungarees” (sp).

I do believe a House Coat is the same as a robe.

You youngsters! (And I’m only 30.) A “housecoat” is one of those zip-up (usually) floral (usually) caftan-looking mid-calf-length loose dresses that some women wear around the house to be dressed but not dressed to go out. They used to be way more popular than they are now, but you can still find them in the lingerie section of most stores – just look for the most hideous article of clothing present, and it’s likely a housecoat.

Since I say clicker instead of remote control, I refuse to believe it’s on its way out. What about “hi-fi”?

ChiefScott, Sweetheart is the word of preference at our house, when it isn’t shortened to Sweetie, that is. On the other hand, my dad always called my mom Honey, which is something I haven’t heard lately. (We always thought it was to keep from slipping up and calling her by his first wife’s name. He was a widower when they met.)
A friend of mine uses “gal” regularly, and it causes a mental double take for me every time. You just don’t hear it anymore.

On Saturday Night Live the sketch “the Nerds”

Mrs Lubner (sp??) always wore a housecoat. That is what one looks like.

The slang used in the forties is a gold mine of colorful but out of date terminology.

One of my favorites is “gams” for legs.

Hrumph! We no longer patronize ‘tonsorial parlors’; we give our custom to ‘barber shops’ (or, even worse, ‘barber shoppes’). Hrumph!

Do any teachers still use mimeographs?
My parents used to say phonograph for what I called a record player. Another one from my parents is ‘hopper’ for the toilet.
I haven’t heard anyone called ‘stout’ in a long time; now only hear stout in reference to beer.

You don’t here ‘gal’ any more?

::Feels like he’s in a time warp::

::Wimper:: I use it all the time…

Housecoat’s also in my normal vocabulary.

‘They couldn’t hit an Elephant from this dist…!’

Last words of General John Sedgwick

I have a whole bunch of them! I grew up with my grandparents and my great-aunt.
Anything that plays recorded music is a ‘victrola.’
We had something in the living-room to put your feet up on, it was called the ‘hassock.’ I guess it would be an ‘ottoman’ but that sounds old-fashioned too.
The mean old lady down the block is an old ‘battle-ax.’ She is also known as ‘a real B.I.’ and a ‘bitch on wheels’.
Any life threatening disease has ‘the’ before it, for example, The Cancer or The AIDS.
A suitcase is known as a ‘valise.’
When it is very hot in the summer, it is like ‘stepping into a hot-box’
When they were fighting, my grandfather would threaten to ‘knife’ my grandmother (he never did) :slight_smile:
If someone wasn’t an ideal spouse, they were ‘no bargain.’ Used in a sentence: " She was a drunk, but he was no bargain either".
I know there are more, but that’s all I can think of now.

“I wore an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time…”

I am not yet 40, but I use many words that are considered archaic. One I will use (especially in writing) is “whilst”. (I read too much Jane Austen.)

I call men “fellows”. Not many people do that these days.

Is this a regional thing, or an archaic term, or what? I HAVE to call drinks like Coke or Pepsi “soft drinks”. I CANNOT call them “pop” (I abhor that term) “soda pop” is very difficult to utter - same with “soda”. It must be “soft drink”. I am from L.A. but recently moved to the Midwest, where everyone says “pop”. I cringe every time I hear it.

I have no idea what “pocketbook” means, really. I guess I think it is a wallet - what the hell is it?

I’ve read “pocketbook” used interchangeably with “handbag” in a few novels to mean “purse”. Pulling out my dictionary, I find:

Also, a question:
Do people still use the word “perhaps”? My brother’s girlfriend used to make comments because everybody in my family uses it regularly in everyday conversation (where others would perhaps use the word “maybe”?)

My grandmother also called sofas davenports. She called stop signs “boulevard stops”. She took her laundry to “the chinaman”. If I got in her way or became a pest she would tell me to go outside and get the stink blown off me.

Yosemite - You can never read too much Jane Austen. I love using Whilst. " Whilst you are lounging on the couch strobing the channels, I shall remove myself from the premises."

Ergo - I love that word
Ice box
Gandy Dancers ( guys who repair the rail road ties)
I am probably remembering this wrong, but the (grimace) nuns use to call lunch - Supper or Dinner.
Peck’s Bad Boy - from an old vaudeville act where a kid is the worst kind of Dennis the Menance and in the end reforms his bad ways.
Hootch Dancer - early form of strip tease usually at a carnie show.
Girdle - now they are a waister slenderizer
Rouge - for your face ( blush)
Picture Show - and not Rocky Horror
Moxie - great word meaning, ASAIK, spirit.
Gumption - she’s got gumption IE - Nuts.
Ice Cooled - instead of Air conditioned
Milk man

I’ll think up some more later on after I ring up my Mother

Yep, my grandma also used to say “davenport”… Where did that word come from?

My mom used to tell us kids to “red up the dishes” after each meal. To “red up” the dishes was to gather them off the table and take them to the area of the kitchen sink. I’ve never heard anyone else say that.

Contestant #3

I thought supper was nightly meal and dinner could be either lunch or supper as long as it was somewhat formal.

My husband continues to call snack crackers nabs. When we met I had no clue what he meant - “I had a pack of nabs for lunch”. Occasionally you hear some oldster around our area refer to a gocery bag or the like as a poke. I find this uproariously funny, especially when they say “I traded (shopped) at Food City today, and came home with 3 pokes of oleo, but I forgot where I was going and left my pocketbook at home in the parlor on the davenport. I’ll run out later in my housecoat for a pop and some nabs, and put them in the icebox when I get back.”

There was a political cartoonist once named Homer Davenport. I don’t remember if he was from Silverton, OR, originally, but I’m pretty sure he retired there. Now every year Silverton has Homer Davenport Days, which features a carnival, a political cartoon contest (took an honorable mention once meself), and Davenport races. Gussied up Davenports racing down the street. Never witnessed it in person, but I’ve seen it on the television.

“The Superior Person’s Book of Words,” volumes I & II, are terrific sources of archaic and obscure words :slight_smile:

“I hope life isn’t a big joke, because I don’t get it,” Jack Handy


Shirley, My parents had an old book called “Peck’s Bad Boy and his Pa”. Maybe (or should I say ‘perhaps’?) there was a vaudeville act as well, but the book for sure.

And who can forget that great old song, made famous by Cab Calloway:

“Let me tell you 'bout Minnie the Moocher,
She was a low-down hootchy-cootcher …”

Bob the Random Expert
“If we don’t have the answer, we’ll make one up.”