We use these sayings all the time and never think about where they came from because those of us “of a certain age” (basically anyone born before 2000 lived through most of them. But, kids use these phrases without even knowing what they mean. They have no idea what VCRs are or what copies used to look (or smell!) like. Here are a handful of the sayings we use that most kids today will not understand.
1. “Broken Record”
Few kids today will understand the annoying sound a broken record makes, skipping on repeat. But, most kids know the phrase means someone who sounds repetitive.
2. “Roll the Window Down”
Before power-everything, we rolled down the windows of a car with a crank that rolled. Well, ok, so maybe the kids of classic car collectors will understand this one.
3. “Hang Up the Phone”
Back then you actually had to hang up the phone on the receiver in order to end the call. Kids who’ve only ever used cell phones or cordless phones won’t have a clue how we used to talk on the phone.
Ok, due to the resurgence in cassette tapes, some kids may know what this one means. Remember rewinding machines for VHS tapes? Blast from the past!
5. “Close, But No Cigar”
Once upon a time, cigars were among the prizes given out at carnivals. When you inevitably did not win, this phrase was the only consolation prize.
6. “Been Through the Wringer”
Back when washing day was an all-day affair, the clothes would need to be wrung out. Even folks who had a washing machine often did not have a dryer. Most kids today wouldn’t even know what a wringer is!
7. “On the Flip Side”
The other side of the record is something kids won’t experience (unless they’re into vinyl). They still use this term, many without understanding where it comes from.
8. “Blowing Off Steam”
Back when trains were the main form of long-distance transport for people and for cargo, the steam engines had to occasionally release steam in order to stabilize the whole mechanism. It was so much fun to ride the train back then! Kids today are really missing out.
Ditto is a popular term these days, but most kids have no idea that it refers to an early form of copy machine. Used from the 1920s to the 1980s, the small machine produced mimeograph-like copies on the cheap, and those of us who went to school during those years will never forget the smell of a fresh ditto.
10. “Drop a Dime”
Way back when people used public pay phones, you would drop a dime into the coin slot in order to make a call. It’s hard to believe sometimes that a call used to be that cheap!
11. “Johnny Law”
The hero of the day, Johnny Law, will fight for justice! The DC comic book character of Johnny Law made such an impression on us that we still use this phrase to mean police officers. In the Golden Age of comics, from the 1930s into the 1950s, Johnny Law was a role model for kids across America.
12. “Clean Slate”
Chalkboards used to be used in every single classroom. Back in the old days, they were made with slate. Thus, a clean slate is the fresh start of a new day, when the mistakes of yesterday have been erased. Kids today are used to dry erase boards and computers.
13. “Ring Up a Purchase”
Oh so many years ago, a cash register was manual and had an actual physical bell inside of it that rang when the lever was pulled for the bill total. Remember hearing that familiar sound?
14. “Stay Tuned”
Back when TV and radio stations had to be tuned to the right frequency to o get good reception and enjoy your program, before a commercial the announcer would tell everyone to “stay tuned” for the rest of the show. How long has it been since you used a tuning dial?!
It’s funny how our technology changes, yet our vocabulary still reflects a time long gone. We remember a time when records and train travel were common. Even though kids won’t know what these sayings really refer to, they’ll still be used years from now!
(This original article was written by Rose Heichelbech and published on Dusty Old Thing)
Travel to exotic worlds! Visit alien civilizations! Be the first to die!
…will sadly never understand the correlation.
Found somewhere on the interwebs and copied verbatim. Not necessarily my own choices, but I found the list interesting enough to pass on:
1. The feeling when you first wake up but don’t have to get out of bed yet.
2. It might not be sexual, but having your hair played with.
3. Taking a big poop with only a little resistance. Combined with a dry wipe and you’re winning at life.
4. Getting goose bumps from music.
5. When you’re congested and then suddenly your nostrils open up.
6. When you finally get rid of that thing stuck in your teeth.
7. Dipping your hand into a deep bag of uncooked rice.
8. Sitting down after being on your feet all day.
9. That moment right before your favorite part in the song then that motion you do afterwards.
11. Burying yourself in hot laundry fresh from the dryer.
12. Dangling a cool metal chain over your hand and slowly lowering it down so it collects in your palm.
13. Lying in the pool and smacking your arms down in the water to create a rush of tiny bubbles underneath you that envelope your entire body for a few seconds.
14. Putting on a brand new pair of socks.
15. A shower beer. I highly recommend it if you haven’t tried it.
16. Turning your pillow to the cold side.
17. Getting into my bed after I’ve washed my sheets and made it.
18. Opening a book to the correct page on the first try.
19. Twirling a q-tip in your ear right after a shower.
20. Pulling the protective plastic covers off new electronics.
I’ll admit that I’m anal retentive. It’s gotten worse as I’ve gotten older, but it’s proven a valuable asset in my career. All my supervisors have commented on how they know they can give me a task and know that it will be done—and done correctly. If I have to catalog or inventory something at work, I’m in my Happy Place.
I know at times this drives Ben to distraction (or at least bemused laughter), but at least I come by it honestly. Having been raised by an architect and an interior designer who both demanded a clean, uncluttered home environment, it left an indelible mark on this boy’s psyche. My own years in the architectural profession added to that and taught me about design, balance, and color. That is why I will get up from the sofa to straighten an out-of-kilter painting on the wall, move some object two inches to the left, or why I prefer the blinds to be pointed one direction instead of the other.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve had to learn over the past seven years with Ben, however is that I can’t always have it all my own way where matters of our domicile are concerned. Fortunately we’re both flexible and can compromise (I’m earth tones and Ben is bright colors which makes things interesting), but clutter is the one thing that still makes me crazy. There are times I look around our place and realize that there isn’t a single horizontal surface that doesn’t have something stacked on it.
Things could be worse. I could be a hoarder. Or is the fact that I’m a such neat-nick actually the polar opposite of that and in need of a television intervention?
But I digress.
One of the outlets for my obsessive compulsiveness is recreating the meme graphics I find on the internet. By the time I see them they’ve been copied and resampled dozens of times and the quality is usually pretty crappy by that point. This bothers me. I love the messages they’re conveying, but the fact that in most cases they look like shit is annoying as hell. I want to share the fun far and wide, but I’m not going to repost something that looks like that.
So I track down the original graphics and thanks to my mediocre Photoshop skills, I create a fresh copy of whatever meme it is that’s captured my attention.
Ben thinks this is all very amusing.
The first one I redid was Rupaul commenting on the 2012 election:
Then the infamous “then idiots happen.”
Sometimes I have to make compromises. Finding the original background images can be difficult. Case in point, “Dear Vladimir.” I was unable to locate the original parchment background or the matching font (at least for free), so I had to make some changes.
“OOH GIRL!” and “Bobby’s 12 Fucks” (my most recent) are two more examples. It took quite a bit of time with the Google to find the original background images for those…
Harmless fun I suppose. It allows me to channel a bit of my creativity since I still haven’t acclimated back to Phoenix summer heat enough yet that I can be out wandering around the city taking photos…as much as I’d love to.
“An unremarkable pre-FTL scarcity world in the Orion Sector. The dominant species, which calls itself Homo sapiens (a word meaning “wise” in one of its largely defunct regional languages*) has triggered a major extinction event, and the visitor (and many of their own species) may not be able to eat without access to some form of exchange. Those interested in pre-industrial ecosystems will be disappointed or deeply shocked. This is a great place to see poverty in its natural setting, but prepare to be disturbed.
Despite repeated warnings from their own scientists (many doing impressive work despite primitive technology) several delusional belief systems (see >religion< and in particular the subheading >economics<) prevent the urgent action required to prevent imminent ecosystem collapse and their own possible extinction. This species is unlikely to leave its own stellar system, and this might be your last chance to encounter them.
Travel Advisory: The scarcity economy is having its usual effects on war, and the visitor is advised to be cautious. In many areas energy, food, even water are rationed for those low on the scarcity pyramid.
*A prima facie example of just how narcissistic and delusional most of this species is.”
“Planet broke after the introduction of industrialized society. Manufacturer didn’t respond to repeated attempts at communication. Parts for repair unavailable at this time. Adaptor for connecting to other planets is not compatible with this planet. The majority of the inhabitants do not look like the pictures on the box. Produces a distinctly unpleasant odor in the early hours of Saturday mornings. Appears to have a broken thermostat. Contains more Kardashian than advertised. Is afflicted with excessive tides.
Would not buy again.”
“Make: Universal Industries. Model: Earth Mk I
Registration: P (4.5 billion BC). Mileage: 2.62 x 1018 miles (approx.)
Colour: Kingfisher Blue. No. Owners: 2
Description: Great little runner, fair economy, decent amount of storage, partial service history.
Bodywork needs some minor attention. Can run a bit hot at times—air filter may need changing. Small leak in sun roof—nothing major. Does eat some oil.”
“Scruff is where you send pictures of yourself from the waist up and Grindr’s where you send photos from the waist down.” ~ Source