After my parents passed away, we siblings gathered to close down their home. It was a fraught time, my husband and I worked with a brother-in-law to set up the necessary event and most of us pitched in well, fully engaged and enthralled with the task.
Enthralled may seem a strange word, but that’s how many moments felt, as we explored the inner reaches of my parents’ lives. My father scramble-saved lumber and my mother saved all of the used homemade clothing patterns, wrapping paper, and ribbons.
History of the days of our lives.
Most endearing to me was the opportunity to peruse their crammed bookshelves, each of us allowed to gather our hearts desire. I selected several books – after all we were flying back to California and I had to be mindful of weight. One of them was a book owned by my mother’s father: Girl of the Limberlost, a book by an Indiana author, Gene Stratton Porter. I read the book, awed by the fact that on every page there was a word that had disappeared from common use. It had been 100 years since the book’s publish date. As a linguist by hobby as well as avocation, I found that peculiarly thrilling – yet not.
Relish the changes in lingo that 50 years may have wrought.
noun; bad person. Also a verb; tattle. “Did you rat on me?”
verb; tease, make fun of in a good-natured way. “The boys started to razz me and I just laughed .”
adjective; something spectacular. “Was it good? It was a riot!” (Gas, blast)
verb; groove to rock music.
noun; sunglasses. “Did you buy some new shades?”
adjective; good, great, best. “Isn’t that guy slick?”
verb; to leave, go away. “Let’s split. This is getting dull.” (Make tracks)
adjective; likes someone or something very much. “Boy, he’s really stoked on that girl.”
adjective; drunk, intoxicated. “Those three guys over there are stoned.” (Loaded, crocked, plastered)
adjective; cool, great-looking. “Isn’t that Corvette sweet?”
adjective; naive, dense, dumb. “He’s as thick as they come.”
noun; clothes. “I bought some new threads today.”
verb. An introduction to something new. “I turned him on to that new song.” Sexually attracted to someone. “That chick turns me on.” To get high on drugs. “Let’s get turned on.”
noun. Marijuana. “Do you have any weed?
noun; a nonconformist, an odd, strange, or peculiar person. “That new boy is a weirdo.”
What’s with you
What’s bothering you? “Hey, what’s with you, man. You’re really bent.”
noun; car. “I can’t take my girlfriend out tonight because I don’t have any wheels.”
noun; a person the speaker dislikes, an unattractive, clumsy person. A loser. “What a winner. He flunked all his classes.”
noun; thin pre-shaped paper to roll joints.
Smokin’ hot! I forgot that phrase, a descriptor we all longed to hear then… and now.
I also forgot Zip, which indicated na-do/nothing. I hope you got more than zip out of this series of past lingo posts.