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Neighbors: Gee willikers, and other phrases from childhood that have become obsolete

Bob Lind, Neighbors columnist.

Neighbors, would you believe the email spellchecker didn't recognize the word "Mergatroyd?" Heavens to Mergatroyd!

Well, there you have another word from the childhood of many of us that have no meaning to the younger generations.

Katherine Tweed, Fargo, came across a list of lost words and phrases on the web and sent it to Neighbors. Here you go:

The other day, a not-so-elderly woman (maybe in the 65-75 range) said something to her son about driving a jalopy. He looked at her quizzically and said, "What the heck is a jalopy?"

He'd never heard of a jalopy.

Here are more expressions that have become obsolete due to the the march of technology: "Don't touch that dial!" "Carbon copy." "You sound like a broken record." "Hung out to dry."

Back in the olden days, we had a lot of moxie. We'd put on our best bib and tucker to straighten up and fly right. Gee willikers!

We were in like Flynn and living the life of Riley, and even a regular guy couldn't accuse us of being a knucklehead, a nincompoop or a pill. Not for all the tea in China!

Back in the olden days, life used to be swell, but when's the last time anything was swell? Swell has gone the way of pageboys, spats, knickers, fedoras, poodle skirts, saddle shoes and pedal pushers. And don't forget saddle-stitched pants.

Oh, my aching back!! Kilroy was here, but he isn't anymore.

Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle! This is a fine kettle of fish!

Knee-high to a grasshopper. Fiddlesticks! Going like 60. I"ll see you in the funny papers. Don't take any wooden nickels. Wake up and smell the roses.

Yes, there are more words and expressions that have disappeared than Carter has liver pills.

Well, Neighbors hopes you are hunky dory after reading this.

See you later, alligator!

After a while, crocodile!


One last thought: Kathy adds a definition of old age to her email.

"Old age is when you still have something on the ball but you're too tired to bounce it."

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107, fax it to 701-241-5487 or email