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3/11/12

Endangered retro words, terms and product names

I love uttering words and phrases that I grew up hearing my folks and Grandparents use.  I always get a kick out of blank stares I get from youngin's that aren't familiar with said expressions.  However, I'm equally as pleased with the looks of amusement I get from those who are acquainted with such sayings and terms.  Here's a few that have been running through my mind lately..

Ragamuffin
In my experiences as a boy, older folks would often refer to us kids as "Ragamuffin's" when we were dirty, messy, or shabbily dressed.  We usually heard this term after a long hard day of playing outside when an adult would say something like.. "Judas Priest! Look at the state of you little Ragamuffin's!

Kismet
Basically another word for fate or destiny.   


Tappets
Slang for the lifters inside of an engine that open the valves.  Eventually, the camshaft that moves the lifters or the valve stem can eventually wear down enough to make the lifters click.  On more than one occasion, I remember pulling up somewhere in my old jalopy, only to have an old timer tell me "Sounds like you need to adjust yer tappets son".

Beer Nuts
These are still around, but a lot of younger folks I've talked to had no clue what they were.  For my old man, Beer Nuts were the quintessential snack to eat with beer.  He used to stock pile cans of these things in the cupboard for football games and boxing matches.  I remember my Dad happily sharing his cans of Beer Nuts with me when I was a wee lad, and thinking I was getting away with something.  I simply equated that the peanuts had beer in them because of the product name.

Dungarees
Many folks used to call jeans Dungarees.  I remember getting perturbed at this when I was a kid thinking.. how dare they call my Levis 501's Dungarees?!?

Castor Oil
Ugh.. when I was a kid, many households had a bottle of castor oil on the closet or medicine shelf. I'd go as far to say that almost every household had a bottle at the ready when my parents were kids.  Castor Oil is a vegetable oil made from the castor bean, and is primarily used as a laxative.  While my parents never made me consume the stuff.. my brother once offered me 50 cents to swallow a spoonful.  I accepted his offer, and choked down the thick yellowish oil which about made me gag.  Heaven only knows how I kept the stuff down.  Later on during the night, the results were dare I say.. explosive.

Ambrosia
I've eaten countless variations of this fruit salad at get-togethers and church gatherings throughout the 70's and 80's.  My favorite salads were the ones with little marshmallows, and plenty of shredded coconut.  Oh yeah.. if you're an old cat like me and were around in the 70's, you might remember a progressive American rock band by the same name.  Big hits for the group Ambrosia were "Biggest Part of Me", "How Much I feel", and "You're the Only Woman".

Courting
Now widely referred to by most as dating.  Kids back in my day however, understood that courting was a serious thing rather than recreational. Courtship was the period in a relationship where both people are trying their best to get to know each other better, so as to decide if a progression toward marriage is in their future.

I could literally go on all day popping off endangered and extinct sayings and phrases.  I believe the topic warrants some more posts in the near future. Stay tuned..

8 comments:

  1. Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers are on NPR.

    Courting is coming back among some of the more conservative Christian demographic.

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    1. Hey! I've listened to Click and Clack before! Didn't know they were referred to as the Tappet Bros! LOL

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  2. Great stuff! Yes, my step dad loved his beer nuts, my grandmother made the best Ambrosia, but dating and courting were both out-of-style "in the world" during the 70s, although in the church you couldn't go on "recreational dates" but must have courtship in mind. Talk about pressure - a total turnoff - lol!

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    1. And don't you DARE forget the chaperone! LOL

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  3. In the the example for the term "ragamuffin" you have: "Judas Priest! Look at the state of you little ragamuffins!"
    Well not only is ragamuffin out of style but also using Judas Priest to express alarm. These days, the heavy metal band comes to mind when using the phrase.

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    Replies
    1. Ha! I know!! I think somewhere on the site I had Judas Priest listed as a forgotten or retro phrase. My friends old man used to always shout this!

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  4. Nifty, Swell and Keen, to name a few, are some other old words that have fallen out of general use. I for one am fond of hauling old words like that out and sprinkling them into regular conversations.

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  5. HA! Me too. I love throwing in the occasionally "Groovy" or "Far Out" into conversations with youngin's.

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What say you?