Don’t get salty, but slang isn’t new.
You might think the idioms you use today are the GOAT, but they could easily go out of fashion in just a few years. Phrases, just like fitness or food trends, come and go.
Let’s look at 8 vintage slang terms that no one uses anymore. Some of these phrases date back to the 17th century but these could easily work in today’s vernacular.
Yes, even the proper 17th-century Englishmen were using slang terms. Check out a few of our favorites:
Fiddlesticks: exclamation to express anger, joy, or frustration
Fiddlesticks were violin bows, but we assume this became a slang term simply because it’s fun to say.
How to use it today: “Oh, Fiddlesticks! I forgot to charge my AppleWatch last night.”
A good voice to beg bacon: a phrase that means the same as today’s “don’t quit your day job”
All we can say is this is one is brutal.
How to use it today: “You think you are going to make it as an Instagram influencer? At least you have a good voice to beg bacon.”
Let’s jump ahead to Victorian times.
Gigglemug: someone who is always smiling
This one feels right to the point.
How to use it today: “I’d probably be a gigglemug too if I were as rich and successful as Julia Roberts.”
Fly rink: a bald head
Victorian people must have thought that flies like to land and skate around on bald heads?
How to use it today: “The Rock has a nice fly rink.”
Early 1900s Slang
The Jazz Age seemed so fun. It’s almost the 20s again, so maybe we can justify bringing these back?
The Cat’s Pajamas: awesome
Why not? Cats probably would have pretty awesome pajamas.
How to use it today: “I can’t get enough of Game of Thrones, it’s the cat’s pajamas!”
Happy Cabbage: a sizeable amount of money spent on fun (but unnecessary) items
The older version of treat yo’ self!
How to use it today: “Sure, I spent a happy cabbage, but I needed some retail therapy.”
Late 1900s Slang
Now we are getting into familiar territory. If you are a millennial you’ve probably heard (or even said) these before.
Catch you on the flip side: a phrase meaning “see you later”
70’s kids loved saying this phrase to their friends at the end of a school day. It refers to the other side of a record, you know, that thing people used to listen to music on.
How to use it today: “I’ve got to go, my phone is about to die, catch you on the flip side!”
Skinny: details or gossip
Maybe this evolved from the naked truth or maybe it’s just fun to say.
How to use it today: “Check your messages, I just sent you the skinny on the upcoming season of Stranger Things.”
Which of these phrases are you going to bring back?
Check out the ALTA Beyond Words Blog to learn more about unique slang terms.
Stephanie Brown is a New York City-based travel blogger and freelance content creator. You can find her at The Adventuring Millennial.