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.