Slang Phrases We Never Hear Anymore at All

There are a lot of phrases that we don’t hear all that often anymore. But, when we do hear them: boy howdy do they bring back memories. Every generation has their own slang phrases, a few of which happen to remain popular long after the words themselves are obsolete. Still, every year new slang words appear, replacing old ones toot-sweet. Have a look at some of the slang words and phrases we hardly ever hear anymore these days!

Best bib and tucker (noun):

Sunday best, a bib being the lace front of a man’s shirt and a tucker being the lace a woman tucked into her dress or jacket bodice around the collar line- both worn from the 17th century onward

Carbon copy (adjective):

an exact copy, from the old days when a carbon sheet at the back of log books and receipt books recorded the dealings of the day by leaving a trace of carbon where ever one had pressed with a pencil or a where a typewriter key had struck

Dipsy doodle (phrase):

a deception or manipulation, can also be used to call out a duck in football or a curve ball in baseball

Don’t touch that dial (directive):

don’t change the TV channel or radio station – back when such devices had dials that had to be adjusted to get a signal

Don’t forget to pull the chain (directive):

from the days when toilets had pull chains, it basically means “never forget to flush”

Don’t take any wooden nickels (phrase):

don’t let yourself be fooled

Fiddlesticks (exclamation):

that’s absurd

Fine kettle of fish (adjective):

a messy or awkward situation

Gee willikers (exclamation):

a polite corruption of “oh, Jesus!”

Heavens to Betsy (exclamation):

an expression of shock, a polite corruption of “oh, heavens!”

Holy Moley (exclamation):

a corruption of “holy Moses” which was a phrase popularized by Captain Marvel

In fine fettle (phrase):

to be in a state of good condition

In a pickle (phrase):

to be in sticky situation, the line is taken from from Shakespeare’s play, The Tempest

It’s your nickel (phrase):

another way of saying “whatever floats your boat” and this was back when nickels could actually buy you something

Jumping Jehoshaphat (exclamation):

an expression of surprise

Knee high to a grasshopper (phrase):

short or small, often used to describe young children

Knucklehead (noun):

an idiot, someone who is acting like a fool

Living the life of Riley (phrase):

to be having an easy go of it, comes from an early Vaudeville song and the slang was popularized among servicemen during WWI and WWII

Moxie (adjective):

the characteristic of courage or nerve

Neapolitan Knockwurst (noun):

an Italian hot dog, usually served with potatoes, peppers, and onions on a bun

Pedal pushers (noun):

short pants worn by women and girls in the 1950s and 1960s that enabled activities – like riding a bike – with ease

Pshaw (exclamation):

horsefeathers would be a good substitute for this phrase, which basically says to someone that you really don’t believe them at all

See you in the funny papers (phrase):

farewell, see you around

Shellacking (verb):

to beat someone at a sport or game, to wipe the floor with one’s opponent is to give them a shellacking

Straighten up and fly right (phrase):

the famous song by Nat King Cole popularized the saying, which is taken from an old Southern story about a buzzard who offers free rides to various animals, only to jolt them and feast on their splattered remains; the phrase is uttered by a monkey, who because of his prehensile tail, cannot be thrown from the buzzard’s back

The milkman did it (joke):

there are many variations on this old joke, all of which center around the milkman having access to a plethora of unsupervised housewives while their husbands were away at work

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