Posted tagged ‘Outdated Words and Phrases’

Outdated Words and Phrases from Classic Books

July 15, 2011

My chums and I donned our coats and piled into the family roadster to post some letters. “Hypers,” you say. “What is this person talking about?” I’m talking about outdated words and phrases from The Dana Girls Mystery Stories and Nancy Drew Mystery Stories written by Carolyn Keene.   

Once again, I was in the basement perusing my wall of books, trying to decide how to condense them when I pulled out some old copies of Nancy Drew and The Dana Girls. These books had been passed along to my sisters and me when we were young. I considered these books classics and devoured them. I was convinced I wanted to be a detective when I grew up. I even carried around a pocket knife, matches, and little flashlight in my purse – always ready in case a mystery happened along.

I thought the author was the bee’s knees, until I found out, much to my dismay, that “Carolyn Keene” was a pen name for the many different authors who wrote both series.  

Through the years, many of these books have been updated, but I still love the originals. The outdated language is a hoot. I browsed through the books and chortled as I came across words and phrases that are not often heard in America today. The word chums has been replaced by friends and roadster by car. We no longer post a letter, we mail a letter. Instead of the word rouge, today’s woman calls this cosmetic blush. And what about these phrases – a delightful colored woman, a young Negro maid, a woman of foreign birth? Would we consider these phrases politically correct today?  

Sitting By the Light of the Study Lamp, I donned my glasses and had a swell time searching for outdated words and phrases. Do you have any you’d like to share?

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