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Saturday, February 7, 2009

23 Skidoo!

Erin’s grandma wonders where all the jalopies have gone.

Well, outside of the fact that she lives in one of the finer, wealthier areas of Chicago and a jalopy would be as out of place there as a couple of dogs humping at a polo match, I don’t know that anyone calls them “jalopies” anymore…

Ergo, there are no jalopies.

Junkers? Hoopdies? Beaters with Heaters? We have plenty of those, just no jalopies.

And so the word march goes on. We’ve run out of jalopies.

What in the wide, wide world of sports is going on here?

Grandma had a sister-in-law whose nickname growing up was “Puss” because she was such a pretty little girl. “A pretty face, just like a little cat,” Grandma said.

Now? Them’s fightin’ words.

My grandmother used to serve us “nectar”, aka “fruit juice”. She was also known to have “warshed” the car (rather than “washing” it) and say thing like “oh, for land’s sake” and “might as well, can’t dance”.

She also served “dinner” at lunchtime and “supper” at, well, what we now call “dinner”.

It gets very confusing. I have diagram I could show you later.

Hark! So many words we no longer say. So many meanings that have changed since their initial use. So much is specific to a generation and then goes away with them, once that generation is gone.

And that’s a shame, because if there’s one thing I could use nowadays would be a nice cool glass of nectar.

27 comments:

Mary Moore said...

Me too, with a shot of vodka in it, of course!

Jeanne said...

One Easter when I was a little girl, I remember my grandma telling me I looked "sniptious." A word I think that came and went only in her small world.

Pearl said...

Mary Moore, Grandma would not approve. :-)

Jeanne, but I like that word. "Sniptious". Were you being snippy? I may have to add that word to my vocabulary...

Douglas said...

Groovy! Really neato!

But I think it's Ergo" (without the "t".

I'm just sayin'

Sandi said...

My Grandma "warshed" things too and we had dinner at noon and Supper at 6pm.

I always chuckled about grandma until the day she came to see my new adopted daughter. She took one look at her and exclaimed with joy, "she is the cutest little cotton picker I have ever seen."

I damn near died, and had a nice little talk with Grandma that we don't say that anymore and she will be shot if she ever says it in my presence again.

Gotta love grandma's! Please pour me some nectar too, make mine like Mary's!

Amy@Bitchin'WivesClub said...

Sufferin' succotash, Pearl, just lie down on the davenport and stop being so persnickety, wouldja?

;-)

tentativeequinox said...

Where your grandmother said "land's sake" mine said "laws".

Those grandparents also had a game set with the name emblazoned on it (I jest not) "Chink Checkers."

Pearl said...

Douglas, oh, for land’s sake. You’re right.

Sandi, I’m glad you called her on it, even if hearing someone else’s grandma said “warshed”. I never heard her say anything even remotely racist, but Grandpa – who I only heard speak maybe a dozen times – had a theory I overheard once about how the Jews ran all the money in the world.

Amy, oh, I forgot about the davenport! How could I forget the davenport? *shakes head* No one sits on the davenport anymore that I know of.

Tentativeequinox, really? Chink Checkers. Again: *shakes head* Now that I think about it, my Grandpa never called Brazil nuts “brazil nuts”. They had a completely different name here in the rural Midwest. Something about someone’s toes.

underOvr (aka The U) said...

Pearl,

Although Grandma would not approve she would say, "might as well, can’t dance".

Me? "I'm gonna make haste to the ice box and mix me up a potion.

underOvr

Blicky Kitty said...

Heh heh, never heard any of those but I my grandmother said tom-ah-to and haaah-lf with the open a's like she was English. She used to say "My word." without the "r" too. Maybe that's just a New England thing.

Mary, I'll join you for a nice nectar with that shot of spirits!

Pearl said...

UnderOvr, you have a good point there. :-) She might've actually joined you with a glass of beer, and then there would be a game of Rummy.

Blicky Kitty, that does sound like a New England thing. :-) Ahhh. I do miss the old folks...

Irish Gumbo said...

"..dogs humping at a polo match.."

Oh, Pearl, you just made my day! THAT was a true gem, now, to clean off my computer screen...

Word confusion? Try asking to "light a fag" in group of Southern rednecks. It ain't the cigarette that will get lit, that's for sure!

Oh, and a favor, if I may? Please vote for me on the "HeBlogs/SheBlogs" contest over at The Wise (*Young*) Mommy. I'd be much obliged. And yes, this is a shameless plug. :)

Pearl said...

Irish, I went to vote for you and don't see your link!

Irish Gumbo said...

Doh! I'm sorry. Petra asked me after she wrote that post, so I didn't have a link on the page. I think what she is going to do is have people vote by e-mail or comment starting Thursday night after the last entry is posted.

And thank you! :)

Eskimo Bob said...

Darn it all - as I am well versed in the colloquial I'm not adept enough in my verbosity. Amy used davenport, that's like the only endangered word I know.

Douglas said...

In addition to jalopy (which I , sadly, remember) and icebox (which, happily, I don't), there are:

"The 4 lane" (a once modern highway)

"up yonder" (anywhere north of where you are, or just a direction).

"a passel" a bunch of...

"suicide knob" that little spinner thingie you attached to your steering wheel so you could turn corners without taking your arm off your GF's shoulders.

"thumbin'" Hitchhiking.

"goofin'" Sitting idle. As in "Whatcha doin'? "Just goofin'"

"Woody" A wood paneled station wagon. Real wood, not plastic or decal on metal.

Sweet Cheeks said...

Some of my older relatives used to say Lit-nine instead of lightening. That used to make me laugh. Of course, I had to laugh in secret, because they had no sense of humor...
:)

SweetPeaSurry said...

I could use a bit of nectar too, with a shot of something, Yeah, I'm with Mary Moore on that one.

I've used the term 'jalopie' from time to time. It's not gone, I promise. (In Omaha, there are quite a few jalopies, and hoopdies, and crap-mobiles)

Another great blog!

wesayitbetter said...

Yeah, I'm with Mary: a shot of somethin' in that nectar, please :)

And the dinner/supper thing is British, which is why only the old folk know it these days...

Kavi said...

Nectar !!

In Indian mythology, thats for the GODs !!

:)

ladyfi said...

So nostalgic those words. And yet - one of the great things about language is that it is always evolving and our new hip words will also be consigned to history by future generations...

ladyfi said...

So nostalgic those words. And yet - one of the great things about language is that it is always evolving and our new hip words will also be consigned to history by future generations...

SparkleFarkle said...

How very cool-- someone else who uses the correct word for fruit juice! My daughter, Puppet, and I have always called it that. It's one of those "if the shoe fits..." words. I don't know exactly how we came to that conclusion, possibly Erin's grandma's vibes floating over the airwaves to SparkleFarkleville? As for jalopies, I thought we were suppose to have flying cars by now. What a gyp!

Barbara Blundell said...

Ee my lordeous,I'll go to the foot of our stairs.Then I'll sit on the chesterfield in the parlour and have some lemon posset.

Michelle said...

Pearly-Q when i first read the title to this post i read it as jalapenos??? Ok so you see where my mind is right??? FOOD of course!!!

My mom says gee whiz!!! Whats up with that??? And when she says goodbye to somebody on the phone she says so long!

Weird!!!

But she makes like a song out of it.

Ok, allright, so long!!!!

:O)

Me i'm like yo bye!!

Adrian's Crazy Life said...

That brings back some fond memories. I remember my my grandmother used to send me to the store for a "box" of milk. Then "of an evening", we would sit out on the screen porch snapping beans.

SUEB0B said...

Goodness gracious! Heavens to Murgatroyd! Well, I swan! I hope that you don't run into any bounders, rounders or cads who are fast and loose with the moola, the do-re-mi! You don't want to end up sitting on the davenport (you know, the chesterfield) stuffing your face with something from the icebox!