Friday, November 14, 2014

OLD FASHIONED WORDS

ANNE GREENE here:

Do you sometimes use words or expressions that your children or your grandchildren don’t understand?

Such as, when the baby has a sagging diaper, you say, “Look who has droopy drawers.”

Drawers is a forgotten word. Years ago Queen Caroline decided that the thin skirts worn under hoop skirts were drafty. So she designed underpants. Because she drew them on, she named the underpants drawers.

During the Civil War Amelia Bloomer spoke at a women’s meeting. She dared to wear pants. Not only did she wear pants, she wore big, blousy pants. The ladies loved them. Someone named the pants after the gutsy woman who first wore them—bloomers. Back in that day bloomers came with tight elastic around the legs. If the elastic was loose, so were you. You were known as a loose woman.

And who calls a student a pupil? Do you ever call your minister or preacher a parson? Our children have no clue what a filling station is. Perhaps you don’t either. Have you or they ever heard of or used an ice house or an ice box or an ice pick?

Did you ever dry a dish on a cup towel? Or use rabbit ears? Those words are seldom used today.


 If you read a historical novel do you understand the meaning of what used to be popular words, but are now so dated a reader may not understand them? Words like bed chamber, affright, peradventure, fain.

Have you caught your grandmother using beau for boyfriend? Or lettered for educated? Or bunkum for nonsense? Have you said Walkman rather than Smart Phone? Or telephone for cell?

Nobody uses marvelous, fetch, horsefeathers, and pussy cat anymore.

What old-fashioned words or phrases do you hear or use? Leave a comment and we can discuss and laugh about how our language constantly changes. I'm sure you can think of many. Let’s talk. 

ANNE GREENE delights in writing about wounded heroes and gutsy heroines. Her second novel, a Scottish historical, Masquerade Marriage, won three prestigious book awards. The sequel Marriage By Arrangement, finalled in a number of contests. A Texas Christmas Mystery also won several awards. Look for Anne’s new World War II historical romance, Angel With Steel Wings, early in 2015. The first book in Anne’s lady detective series, Holly Garden, PI, Red is for Rookie, débuts later in 2015. Anne’s highest hope is that her stories transport the reader to awesome new worlds and touch hearts to seek a deeper spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus. Anne makes her home in McKinney, Texas. She loves to talk with her readers. Buy Anne’s books at http://www.Amazon.com. Talk with Anne on twitter at @TheAnneGreene. View Anne’s books, travel pictures and art work at http://www.AnneGreeneAuthor.com.
Learn more about Anne as well as gain tips on writing award-winning novels at http://www.anneswritingupdates.blogspot.com. Visit Anne here every 14th day of every month. She loves to hear from you.


17 comments:

  1. Love your old fashioned words, Anne, and I love finding them in historical novels. Have you ever used a 'necessary'?

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    1. Hi Davalyn, Thanks for visiting! Oh yes, I use a necessary quite often. How about you? Don't you just love those old words?

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  2. Words for soda...pop, sodie water, word for glasses to drink from...tumblers. Word for countertop....side board.
    These were all used by my grandmother. I still say side board and get some odd looks!!

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    1. Hi Lisa, thanks for visiting here! So, what words do you use for soda??? I enjoy those old words like side board. You must have loved your grandmother.

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  3. I love your post today. Words are fascinating and my, how they have changed over the years. I use britches rather than pants.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

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  4. Hi Melanie, you made me laugh!! Britches. I'll have to add that one to my list. Love it! So good to have your visit.

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  5. Interesting look back at words. How about peddle pushers, saddle shoes and bobby socks?
    Sm wileygreen1@yahoo.com

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    1. Love them all. Good to see you here, Sharon. Just think, many of us are part of history.

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  6. Love the explanation about drawers and Queen Caroline--it sounds so sensible--except it isn't true! In fact, it was Queen Caroline's daughter, Princess Charlotte, who was one of the first women known to wear drawers, (which already existed, but were commonly used only as part of the male wardrobe). The princess began wearing them, word leaked out, some people thought it scandalous, but Charlotte was a heroine of the people and eventually her precedent was copied by others. Her mother, Queen Caroline, is not known to have invented anything. If there's a source saying otherwise, please do share it! As a regency researcher, I'm always happy to learn more about the period and the people in it! Thanks for the great post. (I love old words.)

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    1. PS: I see you didn't say she invented drawers, but only named them--still not true, though. I'm not trying to be a nitpicker, but the regency is so dear to my heart I have to chime in! Your source was also wrong in that women did not wear hoop skirts at the time of Caroline and Charlotte--Charlotte died before the end of the regency, and Caroline died directly after it, in 1821. (While the long Empire-waisted gowns (hoopless) were in vogue. Just fyi!)

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  8. I love dated words and have fun working some of them into my historical romances. Oft times I have to offer an explanation--without appearing to do so, of course. Either that, or I make sure the word is clear via context alone. I've had readers remark about how fun it is to come across those antiquated terms in my stories. When I encounter them in the historicals I read, they bring a smile to my face.

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    1. Hi Keli, I love running across old fashioned words when I read too. Sometimes I jot them down to write in my own stories. I think people of yesteryears spent more time and thought on what they spoke. Conversation used to be an accomplishment that people respected. Today idioms are used so much, but they can be also be quite colorful. Thanks for visiting, Keli!

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  9. My grandma and mom used to tell me, when I was much younger, if I was acting up or getting kind of snooty the I was getting "a little too big for my britches!" (I still use that phrase and people look at me real funny!) I knew most of the above lingo except affright and peradventure, but thank goodness for the built in dictionaries that come with/in my Kindle or I'd be lost when reading some historical fiction!

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    1. And also I loved hearing my grandparents muttering about the poppycock that was being spouted at church or in town!

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    2. Hi Kam, thanks for visiting. I remember "too big for my britches" when I was young. My family today is so outspoken I don't dare say that to any of them. I'm not a person who enjoys conflict. Seems all my children are type As and I am only a type C (if there is any such thing). But its a colorful phrase that I love to use when I write.

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    3. Kam, your grandparents sound so interesting! Lucky you.

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