About Me

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What I am: Complicated. A mom. A wife. A thinker. A seeker. A 'musician'. One of the volunteer executive directors of a niche music festival. An administrative business owner who set up shop in a senior's condo. Oh the stories!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Way-Back Words

Some of you may have noticed my latest Facebook status.  I reported that I came in to work yesterday morning and one of the seniors informed me that I looked like a ragdoll and that I needed to visit the beauty parlour!   Thanks, man, always a pleasure... Later on, as I combed through my hair with a plastic fork (I could find nothing else suitable in my desk to remedy a ragdoll day), I practiced witty retorts in the mirror to this particularly biting comment. "Yes, maybe I should visit the BEAUTY PARLOUR, do I need more Final Net on my Permanent??" or "1951 called, it wants its description of a salon back!" Ha!!  Truthfully though, it was hard to be offended, so amused was I over the use of this great term, Beauty Parlour!  I love these old timey words!  People have told me that I am a bit old-fashioned at heart, and I would agree that I probably am. 

Everyone's a critic, though.  My daughter has several rules for me when it comes to the words I say.  If I go too far back, she rolls her eyes and groans, "Motherrrr, why are you talking like that? No one says words like 'gals' and 'fellows' anymore!"  What??? Gals and fellows are how I describe nice people.  On the other hand, in my failed attempts to be cool and keep up with the latest, I'll throw down a saying that has some legit street cred (she's gonna kill me for that one).  My husband will say something terribly obvious, and I'll reply, "Thanks, Tips!" or "What would we do without Captain Obvious here?"  At this, she buries her head in her arms on the table and emits a muffled, whining, "MU-UM!  You can't say that!!  That's what kids my age say!"  Ok, I've gone Too Far. Damned if you do...know what I'm saying?

Thinking back though, I was the same way.  My sister and I have fits of giggles at the words my parents and grandparents used.  I recall when I was practicing my driving, my Dad would be in the passenger's seat shouting, "Ease off the foot feed!!"  What the what???  "The foot feed!!"  This was his word for the accelerator.  I found this to be hilarious.  My mother was only slightly better, she called it the 'gas', but pronounced it the way most adults in my French Canadian town did, "You're Giving It Too Much GAZZ!"  Again, hilarious.  It's a wonder I learned to drive at all.

I would go over to my grandparent's house to sell tickets for some event or another, and my grandfather would call to my grandmother,"Aurore, get my purse!"  I did not actually have a  transvestite for a grandfather; the words 'purse' and 'wallet' were interchangeable in his generation.   Ticket book plastered to my mouth, I would try to suppress all manner of snorts and giggles. 
Other phrases heard about town by the previous generations included: 
  • If you don't clean your room, I'm going to haul it all to the nuisance grounds!
  • Oh, he's not well at all, dear. He's got the Sugar Diabetes.
  • I just have to shampoo my carpets and then all my spring cleaning will be done.
  • Your grandfather was never one to sit in the Beer Parlour (there were far more parlours back then).
  • Those crazy buggers were doing power turns on main street all night long. (just Leoville?) 
  • I've booked the tickets on my Mastercharge.
 Oh my stars, I could indeed go on... perhaps I'll start a trend.  Some of these phrases are so priceless, I think it's just a waste not to use them.  I've saved my all-time favourite for last. You ready?....It is "Full of Piss & Vinegar."  Isn't that hysterical?  I love it!  Apparently piss, when properly combined with vinegar, can produce much the same effect as a Redbull. Who knew?


  1. Oh gosh...this made me think of a few. Richard's dad says "you're so thin you're looking like a hockey stick with hair!" And my dad has always used the expression "Don't take any wooden nickels!" And my favourite of all time from my mom "Don't try and blow sunshine up my ass!" She always thought she was being duped. Is duped still a word??? Keep writing Tracy!

    1. A hockey stick with hair?! I laughed out loud at a Very Serious Meeting when I read that.

  2. Thanks for the laugh...now I have to use the "biffy".

    1. For some reason I can hear your mom saying "Biffy"!

  3. Werd....

    My mom and her family have weird pronunciations (probably from a life lived German!) such as Turn up the radjo and there were eighteeyen dionozoars!! We nearly pee ourselves laughing! Anyway, gotta go, time for night lunch!


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