Words Gone from our Childhood – The Lighter Side of Life


Words Gone from our Childhood

The Lighter Side of Life

Unknown or forgotten sources

The initial list was sent from by friend, so I decided to create a sort of senior dictionary and to add to it.

  • Mergatroyd!… remember that word? Would you believe the email spell checker did not recognize the word Mergatroyd?   Heavens to Mergatroyd!
  • The other day a not so elderly (65) year old lady said something to her grandson about driving a Jalopy. He looked at her quizzically and said “What is a Jalopy?”
  • OMG (Oh My Goodness)! He never heard of the word jalopy!!
  • I hope you are Hunky Dory after you read this and chuckle.
  • Did you remember singing along to the Flying Purple People Eater?


Here are some old expressions that have become obsolete:

  • “Don’t touch that dial,”
  • “Carbon copy,”
  • “You sound like a broken record” and
  • “Hung out to dry.”
  • Heavens to Betsy!
  • Put a cork in it!
  • Gee whillikers!
  • Jumping Jehoshaphat!
  • Holy moley!
  • Yum, Yum, Eat Em Up!
  • We were “in like Flynn”
  • “living the life of Riley” and a regular guy couldn’t accuse us of being a
  • knucklehead,
  • nincompoop or
  • pill
  • Not for all the tea in China!


If you got sick back in the day you may have,

  • The Pox,
  • A Sickness,
  • Mumps,
  • Measles,
  • The Coup,
  • The Cough,
  • Crud,


You may have gotten treated with,

  • Elixer,
  • Caster Oil,
  • Pepto Bismo,
  • Alka Seltzer,
  • Tums,
  • Rolaids,
  • Band-Aid’s,
  • A Cast,
  • Crutches,
  • Wheelchair,
  • A Cane,
  • Pulled around in a wagon,
  • Rode double on the handlebars,
  • A Bike with pegs,
  • A Big Wheel.


Back in the olden days, life used to be swell, but when’s the last time anything was swell?

  • Swell has gone the way of
  • beehives,
  • pageboys ,
  • knickers,
  • bobbysocks,
  • fedoras,
  • coonskin caps,
  • poodle skirts,
  • saddle shoes,
  • chaps,
  • pedal pushers,
  • blue suede shoes,
  • buckskin jacket with tassels,
  • moccasins,
  • We wake 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”!
  • Now I’m really “in a pickle”!
  • Turkey drivers,
  • Slow pokes,
  • That “Teflon” can’t stick,
  • Grind me off a pound of those gears.


We discover words we grew with, words that seemed omnipresent, as oxygen, have vanished with scarcely a notice from our tongues and our pens and our keyboards. Gone is:

  • Pshaw,
  • The milkman did it.
  • 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.
  • When I get around to it.
  • There are more of these lost words and expressions than Carter has liver pills.


Yes technology has changed over the years, from the party line phone where you checked to see if the line was free before dialing 0 to get the operator and giving her the number BR549.

  • Beepers,
  • Pagers,
  • Mobile phones,
  • Cell phones,
  • Phone watches,
  • iPhones,
  • Androids,
  • Flip phones,
  • Sliders,
  • Gramophones,
  • Hi Fi’s,
  • Stereos,
  • Record Players,
  • 8 tracks,
  • Cassettes,
  • Compact discs,
  • DVDs,
  • Records,
  • Tapes,
  • Television,
  • Cable,
  • Dish,
  • Over the air transmissions,
  • Radio,
  • Internet,
  • Intranet,
  • Drive Inns,
  • Movie Theatres,
  • The Picture Show,
  • FM Radio,
  • AM Radio,
  • Ham Radio,
  • Citizens Band (CB) 23 or 40 channel,
  • Single Side Band,
  • X-Ray Vision,
  • Panavision,
  • Stereoscopic,
  • Smokey,
  • Bandit,
  • 10-4,
  • Drive In Movies,
  • The Dive,
  • The Strip,
  • The Mall,
  • The Store,
  • The Fair,
  • The County Fair,
  • The State Fair,
  • Rodeo,
  • The Stampede.


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.

Leaves us to wonder where Superman will find a phone booth.

See ya later, alligator!

Okidoki Smokey

This list is in exhaustive so wrack you brain and give it a whirl. – The Real Truckmaster!


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