When’s the last time you spoke to an octagenarian?  They know more words than you do.  Really.  This doesn’t mean they could squash your SAT Vocab score, it means that some words that were part of everyday language 60, 70, 80 years ago just aren’t around anymore.  They’re lost language.  Forgotten phrases.  Vanished verbage. 

When’s the last time you got scolded for dilly-dallying?  Lollygagging?  Have you eaten anything recently that had a more-ish taste?  Do you do anything willy-nilly? When’s the last time something gave you the heebie-jeebies?  Why don’t we call men dapper anymore (well, I still call Trey dapper)?  Are you nifty?  Spiffy?  Or are you a rag-a-muffin?  Are you a fuddy-duddy? Have you ever found something to be cattywampus or wonky? The last time you drank too much hooch, were you ossified or spifflicated?  Have you every said “that’s swell“  or been to a swanky joint? Are you highfalutin?  Cause I am. 

It makes me sad that some of these words and phrases that my grandmother uses on a regular basis will be all but erased from society before my children and grandchildren can learn them. 

What’s your favorite grandma-ism?  Mine’s got some whoppers.

5 Replies to “highfalutin”

  1. I LOVE THIS! I still use just about all those, minus the hooch related ones. Being from SC, I have a few I giggle about when I hear my elders use them. When something surprised my grandmother, she says,” Well I swanie!” Swany? Swonie? Not too sure how that is even spelled! In SC, I noticed my grandmother and great aunts use “onest” and “twicest” as in, “Onest I heard the news, I had to call you!” and “Yeah, that cat has been around onest or twicest.”

    I use dapper, nifty, spiffy, highfalutin, and more at least once every week or so! Thanks for making me feel good about it!

  2. hahaha i use most of your examples a lot of the time. i get teased because i say “oh i’m swell!” in response to “how are you?” ALL THE TIME. obv. i used willy nilly recently… i had to be creative when i taught art for 2 years because my uh, “colorful” language probably wouldn’t have gone over well with the parent circuit. but anyway, some of these words stuck, and i’m okay with that!

  3. A few months ago, David said (and I promised to print a t-shirt with the words), “I didn’t just willy-nilly buy some Kelly Clarkson.”

    He was justifying his collection by explaining how well thought-out it is. He loves him some Kelly.

  4. Ok. Actually, I use most of these. I said “cattywampus” yesterday. This doesn’t disprove your post. Rather, it proves that I am a 78 year-old woman, which I’ve been accused of on several occasions. Awesome.

    (I guess that’s why my favorite drink (of the adult variety) is a gin and tonic.)

    This is a great post. Let’s bring all of these back. Deal?
    On a somewhat unrelated note, I’ve always thought that Hugh Dancy’s name was sort of onomatopoetic, in that it sounds like a lot of his characters act. (You know who he is right? He’s married to Claire Danes.)

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