Lost words from our childhood

Regular Sunday columnist Peter Leith shares an article that revives memories of all those words that we thought were cool back in our youth but have long since ceased to be part of our vocabulary.


Murgatroyd! Do you remember that word? Would you believe the spellchecker does not recognise the word murgatroyd? Heavens to murgatroyd!

Who can dredge up those old expressions that were so common when we were kids but have become obsolete because of the inexorable march of technology? Phrases such as: ‘don’t touch that dial’, ‘carbon copy’, ‘you sound like a broken record’ and ‘hung out to dry’.

Who used to say: ‘heavens to Betsy!’, ‘gee whillikers’, ‘jumping Jehoshaphat’ and ‘holy moley’?

We were: ‘in like Flynn’ and ‘living the life of Riley’. Were you ever accused of being a knucklehead, a nincompoop or a pill. Not for all the tea in China?

Did you ‘mind your Ps and Qs’ at the dinner table?

We wake up 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!’ we discover that the words we grew up with, the words that seemed omnipresent as oxygen, have vanished with scarcely a notice from our tongues and our pens and our keyboards.

What happened to: ‘knee high to a grasshopper’ and fiddlesticks? In fact what happened to the game called Fiddlesticks? So many questions.

Well, I hope you are hunky dory after reading this.

See ya later alligator! In a while crocodile. Okidoki?

What words do you remember from your youth that have passed into the ‘museum’ category?

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Written by Peter Leith

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