Gransnet forums


Our changing language.

(53 Posts)
Flossieturner Sat 16-Nov-19 09:15:56

I started a thread recently asking for the meaning of ‘woke’
I really enjoyed reading the posts. There were likeminded people who shared my frustration and those who very generously explained the term for me. It completely changed my perception of these new words.

So p, just for fun, what words do you use that would have baffled your grandparents and parents? Conversely what words did you use in your the younger days that would baffle today’s young ones.

Oopsminty Sat 16-Nov-19 09:19:13


Witzend Sat 16-Nov-19 09:23:53

Not a word of mine really, but I still love 'floozie' as occasionally used by my mother.


Eloethan Sat 16-Nov-19 09:58:33

I liked it. I liked her hair too. I did think she looked 60.

gullygran Your post really made me laugh. Thanks for that.

MiniMoon Sat 16-Nov-19 10:09:39

Tech words would mean nothing to my grandparents.

Email, internet, online,

I still refer to "floozies"!

fourormore Sat 16-Nov-19 10:56:35

DH and I only mentioned this morning why we need to put an 'up' or 'down' when we are going somewhere?
Not quite the same as the OP mentions but we always say we are going UP to Morrisons (other supermarkets are available!grin) when our neighbour always has to go DOWN to Morrisons. To be honest there are a few hills in between but they mean you travel up and down!
Why do we need 'up' or 'down' anyway - what's wrong with "I'm going to Morrisons"?
I too love the word 'Floozie'
I'll never forget many years ago we had to break it to my mother that our daughter had got herself pregnant (GNHQ - we need a shock/horror emoticon!!!!!)
Mum calmly looked at us both and said "Are they going to get married or just shack up together?"
We never knew that she knew that word grin

Flossieturner Sat 16-Nov-19 11:00:36

Our generation changed the meaning of Square, Mod and Rocker.

Urmstongran Sat 16-Nov-19 11:07:19

Our daughters (41y and 39y) wondered what on earth we meant when we said that whilst we were courting (they laughed at that word too - we got married in 1974) we used to buy something each week for our ‘bottom drawer’. Puzzled looks from them! When I explained, they said ‘how boring, going into Manchester on the bus on a Saturday, choosing something and bringing it home - my parents house - for when we’d be married?’

I couldn’t convince them that we found it exciting. It does seem archaic now!

ninathenana Sat 16-Nov-19 11:48:51

Eleothan I'm taking a wild guess that that post was meant for the thread about Gold Digger 😀

fourormore I'd have been surprised at my grannie using that expression. Shacking up used to be called "living over the brush" in my grandmother's youth.

Theoddbird Sat 16-Nov-19 11:50:47

I still refer to the tv as 'the box'.

ninathenana Sat 16-Nov-19 11:53:33

I used to love adding to my "bottom draw" which was actually an ottoman which was kept on the landing. I would sometimes open it just to look and dream about using the contents.

00mam00 Sat 16-Nov-19 12:15:40

Pull the chain, it took me years to change to ’flush the toilet’.

We take delight in using old expressions and rhyming slang. And one of the things I loved about bringing up our children was explaining the meaning or origin of words which our DD and DS are familiar with but not the DGs.

Urmstongran Sat 16-Nov-19 12:36:49

Me too ninathenana! I used to be excited over some new table mats! Oh and a set of glasses from the garage - in hose days a tankful of petrol entitled you to a voucher and if you saved a few up you got a tumbler or wine glass. Happy days! We didn’t have spare money as we were saving hard for a deposit on a house.

Craftycat Sat 16-Nov-19 12:41:59

Practically anything my DGSs say would have been unrecognisable to my grandparents- Dude!!!

Nightsky2 Sat 16-Nov-19 12:51:04

Yep for yes. One son very fond of this word.

nanamac77 Sat 16-Nov-19 12:54:26

I like the fact that language adapts and changes, but its much harder to cope with when not working and so not talking to many people , especially younger ones who use the new words effortlessly. I can't tell my memes from my tropes, for example!
But i loathe some of the trends - using 'gifted' instead of 'given', for example.
Quite a few years ago I wrote the following, Expect the words in it will no longer seem new!

With gritted teeth and raised BP I’ve learned to compromise
When hearing words like DIGIVERSE, CHILLAX and DIARISE,
And not directly have a fit when listening to the news
For language changes all the time, though it may not me amuse!

My moisturiser’s not just smooth, it soothes and MATTIFIES
For it’s a COSMACEUTICAL, the label states - whatever that implies.
Men aren’t just mates, or drinking pals, but now they may be labelled
As having a BROMANCE, by trendy types, like an imaginary fable!
But worse maybe is a FRENEMY with which they could contend
For that’s a secret rival, who is pretending to be a friend.

And as though we need more labels there’s the DEMITARIAN
Who eats a little bit of meat but is mainly vegetarian!
I’ve also learned of a new disease – AFFLUENZA it is named,
Caught by bankers and their like, who claim they can’t be blamed
For earning obscene money and spending like a drain
Which causes them anxiety and intensely nervous strain.
It would make it even worse if chased by VIDEORAZZI
Who are video operating types of the old fashioned paparazzi!
And they all feed the appetites of star crazed groups of FANDOMS
Who stalk their admired target literally in tandem.

I can’t leave out the lazy words, coined by the younger speaker-
Who put two words together to make them short and sleeker.
LATERS and AMAZEBALLS are self explanatory
But MAGHAG may be less so, and also defamatory,
For it refers to a female editor of American magazines
(She probably encourages FANDOMS and publishes FANZINES!)
Worst of all, and finally, there are words akin to slush
If I actually had to say one I would unquestionably blush,
ADORBS, UNFRIEND, EMOJI are words I just can’t stick
In fact I’d not just blush, I’d physically be sick!

Funnygran Sat 16-Nov-19 12:58:37

My adult children laugh when I talk about going to the pictures instead of the cinema. The grandchildren tell me they’re watching a movie.

grandtanteJE65 Sat 16-Nov-19 13:04:11

I completely flabbergasted a young colleague when I said of a child we both taught that he was one of those who had been inoculated with a gramaphone needle.

She got the point eventually, as the child never stopped talking.

Alexa Sat 16-Nov-19 13:06:47

I said 'Moog synthesizer' to my musical son and he was quite surprised .

Urmstongran Sat 16-Nov-19 13:15:44

I like that my uncle who is 78y and lives in Oldham still calls children ‘nippers’! It makes me giggle inwardly.

SueDonim Sat 16-Nov-19 13:50:04

My mum is 92 and uses modern language. I'm trying to get her to stop saying 'twat' in public! 😳

I use 'frock' when talking about clothes with my DDs. It reminds me of my dad, who used that term, although not often, it must be said.

Bottom drawer. I'd forgotten that. Also 'layette' for your expected baby.

Words that seem to be going out of fashion are 'twice' as people more and more say two times, and fortnight.

According to my son-in-law, I use a lot of 'street talk' and it makes him laugh. grin

Flossieturner Sat 16-Nov-19 13:58:57

Bloomers, Drawers or unmentionables make my GC giggle. This thread is bringing back so many memories,

I still say that I am taping a programme rather than recording.

My FiL baffled everyone with Dhobiing for washing and Scrape and panny for butter on bread. Prunes were always referred to as Number 9s.

SueDonim Sat 16-Nov-19 14:07:41

Oh yes, Flossieturner, my dh was in the services and has all sorts of terms that baffle the. youngsters! grin

nanasam Sat 16-Nov-19 14:12:46

My kids laugh when we call a mean person 'mingy'

Hazeld Sat 16-Nov-19 14:18:01

Whilst on the subject of 'twats' could you please tell me if this is a not very nice word, in fact is it a swear word? I say it is but my DH says it isn't. I dread that he might say it out loud in public sometime.