It was a perfectly normal conversation on my end when I apparently dusted off an old word, “folks.”
“No one says ‘folks’ anymore,” my wife informed me.
That’s when I realized it. I may be in my mid-40s, but my vocabulary dates to the mid-40s, as in the 1940s. I’m “no spring chicken,” but my word choices are anachronisms. I found several websites advertising phrases no one uses anymore, and I use about a third of them regularly.
My terms of endearment are all faded, when I say things like “honey,” “sweetie” and “darling.”
For crying out loud, so are my expressions of shock. “Good grief,” “goodness gracious” and “bummer” are decidedly 20th century fodder.
“Oy vey,” I’d say, except it’s apparently appropriated from old Jewish grandmothers, not middle-aged Catholic fathers.
My clothing selections are apparently misnomers too. I pull on a pair of “slacks” each day for work. Beneath them, I wear my “drawers.” On the weekends I wear my “sneakers.” I thought my wife had a “pocketbook” in her purse, but she tells me it’s actually a wallet. In the summer, I thought my girls wore kulats.
My middle daughter says her friends giggle when I roll out some of these during our basketball practices. They’re still trying to figure out what I mean when I say “six of one, half dozen of the other” and “meanwhile, back at the ranch.” They don’t understand “don’t dilly dally” or that I’m going to “give someone a buzz.” (This one’s particularly sad, since sending a text message literally gives someone a buzz in the pocket.)
Okey dokey, I’ll admit some of them are dated. There are plenty of violent ones that need to end, such as telling someone they’re “cruising for a bruising” or deserve a “knuckle sandwich.”
I thought when my “gal” and I went out to a “shindig” “over yonder,” we were “courting.” Apparently, we were just dating.
We shouldn’t call them “stories” on TV after lunch on weekdays, but they’re actually soap operas. People don’t have it “made in the shade” when life looks easy. Exciting events aren’t “nail-biters.” And toddlers aren’t “ankle biters.”
All of this has me feeling a little like I’ve had my “nose tweaked.” Is it so wrong that there were fun phrases from half a century ago? Is it so bad to be creative in expressing yourself when the dog “piddled”?
I don’t know if I’m antiquated or simply respectful of turns of phrase. So I’ll put it on my readers: “A penny for your thoughts?”