THE FIVE TOP: “Pencil me in” and 50 other phrases that have changed their meaning.

Today we Google, Tweet, text, IM, and post. We stream video, upload photos and order online. These are all words that would mean nothing if we time-traveled back 20 years ago. Which got me thinking of the words and phrases that have lost their meaning due to the technological and social advances of today. 

What phrases do we still use, but have now strayed from their original meaning?

  1. Roll-up the window
  2. Dial a phone
  3. Pencil you in
  4. Crank up the volume
  5. Put on an album
  6. Brush-up
  7. Pick up the tab
  8. Cash-out
  9. Check your Rolodex
  10. Go up to the chalkboard

What common practices no longer exist?

  1. Winding a watch
  2. Running out of film
  3. Adjusting the rabbit ears
  4. Unfolding a map
  5. Listening to a clock (tick-tock, tick-tock)
  6. Getting a busy signal
  7. Changing the ribbon
  8. Whiting-it out
  9. Getting rid of waxy-yellow build-up
  10. Turning on your answering machine

What can we no longer do?

  1. Keep banker’s hours
  2. Get something out of the icebox
  3. Scratch a record
  4. Listen to the flipside
  5. Give them a ring
  6. Be on a party line
  7. Percolate coffee
  8. Bang erasers
  9. Rewind the cassette
  10. Read the classifieds

What other activities are gone?

  1. Collecting soda ring-pulls
  2. Waiting for the paperboy
  3. Getting something out of the icebox
  4. Letting the ink dry
  5. Checking in with your phone service
  6. Untangling the phone cord
  7. Hanging up clothes to dry
  8. Waiting for the bank to open
  9. Wearing slacks
  10. Putting the phone back in the cradle

What phrases do we no longer hear?

  1. “You have a call on line-one”
  2. “Smoke if you got-em”
  3. “London’s calling”
  4. “I’ll give you a call when I get to a phone”
  5. “Light up a Cuban”
  6. “Let’s pick up a video for this weekend”
  7. “Shall I type that up?”
  8. “The picture tube is broken”
  9. “Can you spare a dime for a cup of coffee?”
  10.  “Give it to the hat-check girl”
Now it is your turn. What words and phrases would you add to this list?



blog comments powered by Disqus

The Featured Five