Wednesday, March 23, 2016

61. More Slang from the Forties

In one of our most popular posts on this blog, Nancy and I wrote about the slang words people used when we were growing up in Gettysburg  in the Forties. Here are a few more words and phrases from that decade that we don’t hear any longer

One slang word I will never forget, because I heard it often is knucklehead. According to the Urban Dictionary, a knucklehead was a “person of questionable intelligence whose brain was the size of his knuckle.”

I was familiar with the word because it was  the favorite expression of the Gettysburg High School football coach when someone, like me, failed an assignment. Strangely, I don’t remember what we were called when we did something right and well. I don’t think he had a word for that.

Back in the Forties, people were permitted on the Battlefield after dark, and Nancy and I remember a night when we parked on Oak Ridge to discuss the  news of the day. When we were ready to leave, I turned the key to start the car, and it broke off in my hand. In that awkward situation, I might have said, "Now this is a fine kettle of fish," meaning, "We have a problem!” No one talks about fish in a kettle in  situations like that any longer.

People don’t talk about jalopies any more either. Back in the Forties, an old car in poor condition was referred to as a jalopy, and there were a lot more on the road than we see today.  

We have barely scratched the surface remembering  slang from the Forties, so our readers can look forward to more posts on the subject in the future. 


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