Fender Skirts
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I came across this phrase in a book yesterday “FENDER SKIRTS”. A term I
haven’t heard in a long time and thinking about
“fender skirts” started me
thinking about other words that quietly disappear from our language with
hardly a notice.
Like “curb feelers” and “steering knobs.” 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
When did we quit calling them “emergency brakes?” At some point “parking
became the proper term. But I miss the hint of drama that went with
“emergency brake.”
I’m sad, too, that almost all the old folks are gone who would call the
accelerator the
“foot feed.”
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?
Here’s a phrase I heard all the time in my youth but never anymore - “store-
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 “expecting.”
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.