Home Columnist EVER WONDER: Lost Words from Our Childhood

EVER WONDER: Lost Words from Our Childhood


By Jacque Scott

Ever wonder about all of the sayings or words that seem to be lost as we grew older?  Lets look at a few of these words…

Do you remember the word ‘Mergatroyd’?  Spell checkers don’t even recognize that word.  Our computers are confused…  Heavens to Mergatroyd!

The other day a not-so-old lady said something to her son about driving a jalopy, and he looked at her quizzically and said “What the heck is a jalopy?”  He never heard of the word jalopy!! She knew she was old….. but not that old.

Some old expressions that have become obsolete because of the march of technology.  They include  phrases such as “Don’t touch that dial,” “Carbon copy,” “You sound like a broken record” and “Hung out to dry.”

Remember when we had lots of  ‘moxie’ and we’d put on our best ‘bib and tucker’ to’ straighten up and fly right’?

     Heavens to Betsy! Gee whillikers! Jumping Jehoshaphat! Holy moley!

We were ‘in like Flynn’ and ‘living the life of Riley’’, and even a regular guy couldn’t accuse us of being a knucklehead, a nincompoop or a pill. Not for all the tea in China!

Way back, life used to be swell, but when’s the last time anything was swell?

Swell has gone the way of beehives, pageboys and the D.A.; of spats, knickers, fedoras, poodle skirts, saddle shoes and pedal pushers…

Oh, my aching back! Kilroy was here, but he isn’t anymore.

We wake up from what surely has been just a short nap, and before we can say, Well, I’ll be ‘a monkey’s uncle!’ Or, This is a ‘fine kettle of fish’! We discover that the words we grew up with have vanished.

Poof, go the words of our youth. The words have been left behind.  We blink, and they’re gone.

Long gone are words and phrases like: Pshaw, The milkman did it. Hey! It’s your nickel. Don’t forget to pull the chain. Knee high to a grasshopper. Well, Fiddlesticks! Going like sixty. I’ll see you in the funny papers. Don’t take any wooden nickels.  Wake up and smell the roses.

It seems that there are more of these lost words and expressions than Carter has liver pills. This is disturbing!

We of a certain age have been blessed to live in changeable times. For a child each new word is like a shiny toy, a toy that has no age.

We at the other end of the chronological arc have the advantage of remembering there are words that once did not exist and there were words that once strutted their hour upon the earthly stage and now are heard no more, except in our collective memory.  It’s one of the greatest advantages of aging.

We are left to wonder where Superman will find a phone booth…  But just consider that no one will ever have the opportunity again for such a great change in wording and phrases.  We, at least most of us, are children of the fabulous 50’s.  We have been given one of life’s most precious gifts…our memories…

I still call the fridge an ice-box from time to time.  That’s what mama called it, so that’s what I call it.

The lost Words from our childhood are gone as fast as the buggy whip! Sad really!  Well, I hope you are Hunky Dory after you read this and chuckle.

See ya later, alligator! Okey-Dokey…  God bless you all.