This Message To
Family and Friends
came across this phrase in a book yesterday "FENDER SKIRTS".
These are obviously from a '57 Chevy.
A term I haven't heard in a long time and thinking about "fender skirts".
My '54 Ford and my '61 were so equipped. It started me thinking about
other words that quietly disappear from our language with hardly a notice.
Like "curb feelers". I've been think about getting a pair of these but
couldn't find them in the Auto Parts store.
And "steering knobs." (AKA) suicide knob. I put one of these on the '54
and it quickly 'ate' through the steering wheel.
I stopped at a car wash being held by the cheer leaders of the local high
school to raise money. I specifically asked the young lady to make sure
they did a good job on the 'White Walls'. When they were done I noticed
that they had not cleaned the sides of the tires at all. I went back to
the gal and told her that I had intended giving them a nice tip but was
very disappointed that they hadn't done the 'White Walls'. She looked at
me puzzled and said... what are "White Walls"?
Since I'd been thinking of cars, my mind naturally went that direction
first. Any kids will probably have to find some elderly person over 50 to
explain some of these terms to you.
Remember "Continental kits?" They were rear bumper extenders and spare
tire covers that were supposed to make any car as cool as a Lincoln
Continental. I really wanted one but they were like 1 $150 dollars and
that was too much to put on a $300 car.
When did we quit calling them "emergency brakes?" At some point "parking
brake" became the proper term. But I miss the hint of drama that went with
I'm sad, too, that almost all the old folks are gone who would call the
accelerator the "foot feed." I love to use this word in the classes that I
teach that are filled with teens.
Didn't you ever wait at the street for your daddy to come home, so you
could ride the "running board" up to the house? We had a couple of cars
that sat in the back yard that had 'running boards' but not 'running
Here's a phrase I heard all the time in my youth but never anymore -
"store-bought." Of course, just about everything is store-bought these
days. But once it was bragging material to have a store-bought dress or a
store-bought bag of candy.
"Coast to coast" is a phrase that once held all sorts of excitement and
now means almost nothing. Now we take the term "world wide" for granted.
This floors me.
On a smaller scale, "wall-to-wall" was once a magical term in our homes.
In the '50s, everyone covered his or her hardwood floors with, wow,
wall-to-wall carpeting! Today, everyone replaces their wall-to-wall
carpeting with hardwood floors. Go figure.
When's the last time you heard the quaint phrase "in a family way?" It's
hard to imagine that the word "pregnant" was once considered a little too
graphic, a little too clinical for use in polite company. So we had all
that talk about stork visits and "being in a family way" or simply
Apparently "brassiere" is a word no longer in usage. I said it the other
day and my daughter cracked up. I guess it's just "bra" now
"Unmentionables" probably wouldn't be understood at all.
I always loved going to the "picture show," but I considered "movie" an
Most of these words go back to the '50s, but here's a pure-'60s word I
came across the other day - "rat fink." Ooh, what a nasty put-down!
Here's a word I miss - "percolator." That was just a fun word to say. And
what was it replaced with? "Coffee maker." How dull. Mr. Coffee, I blame
you for this.
I miss those made-up marketing words that were meant to sound so modern
and now sound so retro. Words like "DynaFlow" and "Electrolux."
Introducing the 1963 Admiral TV, now with "SpectraVision!"
Food for thought - Was there a telethon that wiped out lumbago? Nobody
complains of that anymore. Maybe that's what castor oil cured, because I
never hear mothers threatening kids with castor oil anymore.
Some words aren't gone, but are definitely on the endangered list. The one
that grieves me most "supper." Now everybody says "dinner." Save a great
word. Invite someone to supper. Discuss fender skirts.
Someone shared this with me.
I thought some of us of a "certain age" would remember most of these.
Just for fun, Pass it along to others of "a certain