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Monday, September 8, 2014

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.

And now? As we like to say, "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.!

26 comments:

Patricia said...

Funny. I was just thinking how the word "Foxy" -- to refer to an attractive person -- has thankfully gone the way of the nectar. I recently ran into a guy from high school who told me I was still as foxy today as I was then.

I about gagged.

Because who uses that word anymore. Gads.

Indigo Roth said...

Where I grew up, 'dinner' was in the middle of the day and 'tea' was at the end of the afternoon. 'Supper' was closer to bedtime*. None of them indicated the scale of the meal. So your main meal of the day could be in any of those three slots, and it's name did not change. So there.

*And no, I am not a Hobbit. Ask anyone who's met me.

jenny_o said...

As long as we don't lose important words like pitter-patter, chocolate, fragrance, cuddle and kitteh, I'm good.

Shelly said...

Icebox is one I still say, although I've never had to lug a block of ice to one. We don't have to roll up the windows in a car anymore, buy flashbulbs, or rewind anything, but those things will always have a spot in my archaic little brain.

Should Fish More said...

As long as we have a gay old time, who cares.....

Geo. said...

Even when I was a kid and knew what a jalopy was, it always sounded like something my Portuguese grandma might cook for supper.

Delores said...

Well I still 'hang up' the phone so what do I know?

joeh said...

I read a post today where the word "ruminate" was used.

"Let me ruminate on that," I thought what a great word hardly ever used any more. Well I'm going to put a stop to that, from now on no more thinking, but plenty of ruminating.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
Strewth, we still get nectar in the Down Unders... And the whole meal thing is a mystery. Ah, the texture of language. YAM xx

Daisy said...

No more jalopies!? Well, I'll be hornswoggled!

BLissed-Out Grandma said...

Things that make you say "hunh." I hadn't thought about jalopies in a long time. These days, I get a strange look if I mention girdles, pantyhose, or my ironing board, which I still use, though mostly as a shelf. People on Facebook share photos of ancient kitchen bowls and say "remember when your mom had one of these?" and I think, but do not say, "I still have one and use it regularly." Jalopies indeed.

Gigi said...

Language does have a way of changing on you. I was talking to someone the other day who said "...and then he said, 'Are you going to the supermarket?' WHO calls it a supermarket anymore?!"

fmcgmccllc said...

Being the queen of the cliche, our family does own a jalopy from the early 1900's and it is quite the bees knees.

Elephant's Child said...

Here in Australia a colour I grew up with as fire-engine red is meaningless. Our fire-engines are now a (vile) yellowy-greeny colour. Pillar box red is going the same way. Scarcer (but more useful) than hen's teeth.

Merlesworld said...

I also have dinner at lunch and tea at dinner time makes sense to me.
Merle.............

Chicken said...

I do mourn the loss of the word "gay" as a synonym for happy and carefree. I mean, if you are choosing a substitute word for anything, I guess it makes sense to choose one that has a positive connotation, but the transition was so complete, it totally eclipsed the original meaning. Beeper is another word that's kind of fallen by the wayside. And what were those electronic notebook thingies...they came after the cell phone but well before the ipad, and they came with a stylus. All the cool people who now walk around talking on their blue tooth walked around back then poking a screen with a stylus. What were those things?

Joanne Noragon said...

I need to throw in jalousies. Rich folks had them.

Ponita in Real Life said...

Nectar is thicker than regular juice. Up until just a few years ago (and I mean only a few ~ say 3 or 4) I could still buy apricot nectar at the grocery store. I used to use it making curried rice. Replace the water to cook the rice with apricot nectar, add some raisins and curry powder and there ya go! Nectar was way better than juice... and now? Gone.

I still say "for pete's sake" and "for crying in the sink" like my mum did.

Linda O'Connell said...

My grandma called every mechanical thing The Machine, form the car to the washer.

Catalyst/Taylor said...

Sometimes, Pearlie May, I think you've been drinkin' the Kool Aid.

sage said...

"Beaters with heaters..." I like that, but down here it would be beaters with AC

River said...

We had Lunch in the middle of the day and Tea at night or in the evening at least. Afternoon tea was a snack that kept you going after school until Teatime. Supper was what the parents had after the kids were in bed, a snack similar to what we'd had at afternoon tea.

Sioux said...

I used to wear thongs all the time. They were soooo comfortable. I'd sashay through the neighborhood in my thongs, and all the neighbors would comment on how colorful and cute they were.

Oh, they're now called "flip flops," you say? And what are "thongs" these days?

Tooth floss for underwear, you say? Good grief.

Ms Scarlet said...

I think they have always been flip-flops in the UK...
Pants are trousers and knickers are pants.
I think we should do away with dinner or lunch and just have tiffin instead.
Sx

Pat Tillett said...

Everything changes and I don't especially like it. We were in a consignment antique store a while back. My granddaughter, who is 12 and very smart called me over to another aisle and pointed at something and asked me what is was. It was a typewriter! Oh my...

Diane Tolley said...

Whatever you do, do not use the phrase 'bone the turkey'. It makes all of the twenty-somethings in your home laugh out loud. Whatever it meant to your mother and yourself, it obviously means something different now . . .