11 old-fashioned sayings to bring back

Slang comes and goes with each generation, but some expressions are just too good to lose. Here are a few from generations past that should make a comeback.

My grandma uses wonderful phrases and expressions.

Like most grandmas, she entertains us grandchildren not only with memories and funny stories about our parents, but also with her delightful vocabulary.

A few Christmases ago, Grandma said one of her gifts was so great it was “the cat’s pajamas.”

She refers to my friends as the people I “chum” with, and when I tell her a story and she can’t believe the ending, she’ll say, “Well, I’ll be.”

Vocabulary and slang change from generation to generation, and I know my future grandchildren will think the things I say are funny, too. But some sayings from generations past are too good to go away, and they deserve a second wind.

Here are some phrases—including a few from Grandma—that I think society should bring back:

1. To cut a rug: to dance well

Ex: Uncle Frank cut a rug at the wedding last night.

2. Heavens to Betsy: an exclamation of shock or surprise

Ex: The high today is 100 degrees. Heavens to Betsy, that’s hot!

3. Oh, my stars: synonym for “oh my goodness”

Ex: Oh, my stars, look at the time!

4. The bee’s knees/the cat’s pajamas: the absolute best, a form of praise

Ex: Your new shoes are the bee’s knees!

5. To be sweet on someone: to have a crush on someone

Ex: Did you hear that Tommy is sweet on Kate?

6. Not my speed/not my cup of tea: something that is not your taste

Ex: That movie was not my speed.

7. Well, I’ll be: an exclamation of shock or disbelief

Ex: You wore those high heels all night, and your feet didn’t hurt? Well, I’ll be.

8. Golly gee: an exclamation of amazement

Ex: Golly gee, Jenna. Your haircut is cute.

9. Weak in the knees: to feel an emotion so strongly you feel unstable on your feet

Ex: His smile made me go weak in the knees.

10. Whizbang: something that has a startling effect, is top-notch

Ex: He’s a whizbang navigator.

11. Freshen up: to clean up

Ex: I need to freshen up before we go to dinner.

Do you use any of these sayings? What expressions would you like people to start using again?


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