The other day, I was out playing with my grandkids in the yard, pushing them on a tire swing. I told them to “hang on tight or you’ll break your razoo”, and they both asked, “What’s a razoo?” I explained the difference between a razoo and a noggin, so now they’ve added both words to their ever-expanding vocabulary. Then I began thinking of other words and phrases I heard as a kid that children today may never hear, or if they do, won’t understand a bit of it.
Who recalls walking up to the TV and hearing your dad say, “Don’t touch that dial”? And if you did change the channel, you had to do some fine-tuning to get a clear picture. Tell your grandchild that, as a kid, you had rabbit ears on your TV and see her cringe at the thought of Peter Rabbit’s severed head lying on a television set.
When I was knee-high to a grasshopper, we kids played games outside like Red Rover, Mother May I, Freeze Tag and Kick the Can. I wonder how many kids today play those games out on the playground.
I can still recollect the sweet smell of mimeograph paper and getting a carbon copy of a credit card purchase of Ethyl gasoline. No kid today will experience this.
I recall being asked by my mother to “bring in the laundry” and “go see if the milkman has come”. I suppose some homes could have a clothesline today, but I doubt you can find a milkman.
I remember my grandfather would say, “Can’t see through muddy water” if you stood between him and the TV. I frequently heard “Were you raised in a barn?” when my mother entered a messy room. My grandmother would ask us boys if we wanted a Yankee dime. Ten cents was good money back then, so we’d accept her offer, only to find out a Yankee dime was a kiss. And then there was an uncle who would always come up to me and say, “Pull my finger.” This is one phrase that I hope never resurfaces in my home.
Remember rotary phones? And can you even place a collect call these days? I don’t even know if you can talk to a human operator anymore. What happens now if you press O on your phone? I’ll ask Alexa.
Due to inflation over the past few decades, Five & Dime stores have now been replaced by Dollar General. Also due to rising costs, you can no longer pay a “penny for your thoughts.”
When I was a young whippersnapper, we had lots of sayings that are now obsolete, like “I’ll be a monkey’s uncle” and “Close but no cigar.” Who recalls trying to get your little brother to do something dangerous by saying “I double-dog dare you?”
If you kept nagging someone, they might’ve said, “You sound like a broken record.” Since kids today have never owned a record player, I reckon they say, “Your ipod is on repeat mode.” Back in the day, a lady might exclaim, “Well, fiddlesticks,” where some women today use a different F-word.
We had statements concerning fashion faux pas. Pants that were a bit too short, something that I was well accustomed to during my frequent growth spurts, were called “high-waters”. And if you forgot to zip up, someone might say “your barn door is open” or “your cows are getting out.”
Something else that was commonly said back in the ‘60s was “Yes, Sir” and “Thank you, Ma’am”. I kinda miss hearing this from today’s youth.
Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m all tuckered out from our stroll down Memory Lane. I think I’ll rest my dogs and catch some z’s. So, see ya later, alligator, or as we say in this business, I’ll see you in the funny papers.