Sunday, June 26, 2011

Slang from the bad old days

Do you ever think back to expressions popular in your childhood? In my case, that's the 1950s. If you write about an era, it's good to recall the jargon people used then. My childhood was surrounded by blatant racism. Back then blacks were widely called negroes, and anyone who thought they had any rights was likely to be labeled a nigger lover. An important secret, especially an unsavory one, was the nigger in the woodpile, but if you did someone a kindness, that was mighty white of you. If you asked too many questions, you might be asked in return if you were writing a book. Of course, we all knew there was a sucker born every minute, so you shouldn't take any wooden nickels. If you were lazy, you'd better get on the stick, and if you said something stupid, your friends would want to know if your mother had any kids that lived. And you didn't want to call that palooka a homo, because he'd have a cow. Then you'd be cruisin' for a bruisin' and hurtin' for certain. You'd wind up with a knuckle sandwich, maybe even be pushin' up daisies.

How about you? What were your decade and the expressions you wouldn't touch today with a ten-foot pole?


LynNerd said...

Wow, the racist comments were pretty bad back then. When I was a kid, we'd call each other a retard, or MR and everyone loved to tell Pollock jokes. Some people called cops, "pigs." I wasn't one of them. I'm sure there's tons more. Some of your jargon was still my jargon in the '60s and '70s. Some things are better left buried in the past. They're still a bummer, man. I wonder what people say today that won't be cool to the next generation. Like, pop a squat! I heard my daughter say that one time. She explained that when you go camping and there's no rest room, you might have to pop a squat. That one cracked me up!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I can think of some disco-era jargon that's best not repeated here. Not obscene, just might make my eyes bleed to see it in print!

Bob Sanchez said...

Oh, and speaking of racist comments, when we kids played baseball and a batter hit a ball that went backwards, that was a Chinese home run.

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Bob Sanchez said...

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Cinders said...

You brought back some memories. I still say "have a cow" sometimes!

Su said...

My uncle held onto "Are you writing a book?" until... actually, he probably still uses that one.

Gabrielle Evelyn said...

It seems that I dont have such memory in my past 22 years.Hehe.

karen millen