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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Lexicon of the Long Toothed.

Last week it occurred to me that very few people under the age of 60 seem to use the word "gal" seriously. I realize there are exceptions, but I couldn't keep a straight face or refrain from comment if a co-worker   or family member near my age or younger said "Okay,  I'm off to spend some time with the gals." That's an old person's word no matter who uses it. I decided to ask my Twitter followers which words they associated with old people. I meant to ask for the words they felt were preferred by older people, but in at least one case someone suggested actual words for old people like "wizened," "crone," "geriatric," or even "tenured." That's a decent list of synonyms for the aged. Someone else suggested the cliches of "elder language," words and phrases like "whippersnapper," or "kids these days."  To be sure, older generations have trashed the rising generation ever since Adam said to Cain, "You know I might have lost paradise and pissed off God, but I never committed murder. Kids these days."

  Then of course, it was pointed out to me that old folks like to use the diet sodas or light beers of the profanity world, including words like "dang it," "confound it," "blithering," "shoot," etc. In these United States, in that particular context, you could substitute Bible-thumpers or other fundamentalists  for old folks. The religious folk do not regularly deploy the f-bomb.

   So what are some other words I associate with  old folks? I remember my mother having a conversation in which some older woman described a younger lady as a "buxom gal." I've never again heard that word used to describe a woman with big tits. When my mother used to read Little House on the Prarie books to me, she once explained that the word "beau" meant boyfriend. Thereafter, I'd only encountered the word "beau" in bad romantic fiction (which I don't read a lot of) and when my grandmother referred to one of her "beaus."
It's obsessions like these that keep me from the more worthwhile things in life.

                   with a grain of salt,
                         Ray Ray Montoya.


  1. "... pissed of God..." really?

    and I say shoot. Shoot is simply employed by those trying not to say shit, regardless of age or religious affiliation. I used to say dang but more often would say darn.

  2. Navi,
    I have no idea what you're quoting. Secondly, there are indeed corny people who refrain from using enjoyable profanities. I mentioned that there were exceptions, but it's generally old people and Christians who talk like they're in an Archie comic strip.
    where's the love?

  3. I don't think anyone alive says whippersnapper without irony.