Certain words are the domain of old men. Like “gangbusters” and “rutabaga” and “poppycock.” These words should stay there; they suck.

“WHIPPERSNAPPERS!!!”

Others, however, are not only fun to say but perfectly define a certain situation or emotion. So today I’m casting my vote to wrestle a few of these suckers back from the weak-armed and incontinent; to restore their rightful place in the vernacular. Thus I present to you:

Seven Awesome Old Man Words

7. Lily-livered. adj. Cowardly; timid.

Fifty years ago if a fist-shaking old codger called you a “lily-livered so-and-so” you’d have no choice but to roust that bugger and give him the whatfor. Today’s kids? They’re just confused. I mean, is it bad to be lily-livered? Lilies are pretty and smell good. Is it better to be shit-livered?

This is why we need to rescue this abandoned little orphan. Even if it doesn’t make sense, calling somebody “lily-livered” gets the point across in a way that a “coward” or “pussy” simply doesn’t. Plus it lends itself so readily to the word “cuss” it’s gotta be good.

6. Hullabaloo. n. loud noise and confusion; hubbub

Little known rule: If the word used to define a word is as stale and old-man-like as “hubbub” — you got yourself a keeper. And, let’s be honest, who among us hasn’t hoped to raise a hullabaloo or two?

5. Slugabed. n. A lazy person who stays in bed when he or she should be up.

Slugabed might be the coolest, most useful word I’ve run across in a long time. Speech would be simpler if became popular again. Look at that definition. What other word so succinctly defines that idea? A lazy son of a bitch? Nope. A worthless so-and-so? Not quite there. A lazard? Actually that’s pretty close to tell you the truth but it simply lacks the imagery of calling somebody a slugabed.

Let’s break this word down: What’s the laziest, slowest, most worthless creature on the planet? “A sloth!” you say. Not even close Jimmy. It’s the slug. He’s slow. He’s lazy. He’s inedible. He’s gooey. He’s fat. He’s uncouth. And he’s even got a drinking problem. The slug is one slovenly mollusk. Add the word bed on the end and what do you have? A lazy SOB who won’t get out of bed.

Nailed it.

4. Sneakers. n. Another word for a shoe.

Sneakers may not be great but it sure the hell beats “tenny-runners” and “trainers” doesn’t it? The fact is we never really came up with an acceptable substitute for the sneak. Tennis shoes? I haven’t played tennis since I was eight. Cross-trainers? Too corporate speak. Joggers? (Okay I made that one up).

Just bring back the sneak you whippersnapper.

3. Crapulence. Excessive indulgence, or the sickness resulting from same.

Do I really need to justify this one? You drank too much. Now you feel crapulent. Is there any other word that embodies not only your feeling but the effect? I doubt it.

2. Cockamamy. v. Trifling; valueless; ludicrous.

Old men use this one like they did your grandma. A LOT. Why? Because it’s easy (like your Grandma), ugly (like your Grandma), and it’s got “cock” in it (yup…you guessed it…just like your Grandma).

And, no, it’s not spelled “cockamanie.” That’s ludicrisp.

1. Hornswoggle. v. To bamboozle; deceive.

What makes this word cool is that it is completely made up…by cowboys. Check it:

We do not know the origin of hornswoggle. We do know that it
belongs to a group of “fancified” words that were particularly popular
in the American West in the 19th century. Hornswoggle is one of
the earliest, first appearing around 1829. It is possible that these
words were invented to poke fun at the more “sophisticated” East. Some
other words of this ilk are absquatulate, also first appearing in the 1820s, skedaddle, first attested in 1861 in Missouri, and discombobulate, first recorded in 1916.

Don’t let it die.

 

Advertisements