I came across this phrase in a book yesterday "FENDER SKIRTS". A term I haven't heard in a long time and thinking about "fender skirts" started me thinking about other words that quietly disappear from our language with hardly a notice.
Like "curb feelers" and "steering knobs." Since I'd been thinking of cars, my mind naturally went that direction first. Any kids will probably have to find some elderly person over 50 to explain some of these terms to you.
Remember "Continental kits?" They were rear bumper extenders and spare tire covers that were supposed to make any car as cool as a Lincoln Continental.
When did we quit calling them "emergency brakes?" At some point "parking brake" became the proper term. But I miss the hint of drama that went with "emergency brake."
I'm sad, too, that almost all the old folks are gone who would call the accelerator the "foot feed".
Didn't you ever wait at the street for your daddy to come home, so you could ride the "running board" up to the house?
Here's a phrase I heard all the time in my youth but never anymore - "store-bought." Of course, just about everything is store-bought these days. But once it was bragging material to have a store-bought dress or a store-bought bag of candy.
"Coast to coast" is a phrase that once held all sorts of excitement and now means almost nothing. Now we take the term "world wide" for granted. This floors me.
On a smaller scale, "wall-to-wall" was once a magical term in our homes. In the '50s, everyone covered his or her hardwood floors with, wow, wall-to-wall carpeting! Today, everyone replaces their wall-to-wall carpeting with hardwood floors. Go figure.
When's the last time you heard the quaint phrase "in a family way?" It's hard to imagine that the word "pregnant" was once considered a little too graphic, a little too clinical for use in polite company. So we had all that talk about stork visits and being in a family way" or simply "expecting".
Apparently "brassiere" is a word no longer in usage. I said it he other day and my daughter cracked up. I guess it's just "bra" now. "Unmentionables" probably wouldn't be understood at all.
I always loved going to the "picture show", but I considered "movies" an affectation.
Most of these words go back to the '50s, but here's a pure 60s word I came across the other day - "rat fink." Ooh, what a nasty put-down!
Here's a word I miss - "percolator." That was just a fun word to say. And what was it replaced with? "Coffee maker." How dull. Mr. Coffee, I blame you for this.
Some words aren't gone, but are definitely on the endangered list. The one that grieves me most "supper." Now everybody says "dinner." Save a great word. Invite someone to supper.
Fender skirts, known in Australia as spats, are pieces of bodywork that cover the upper portions of the rear tires of an automobile. They are typically detachable to allow for tire changes. They are implemented for both aesthetic and aerodynamic reasons. Rather than air flowing into and being trapped in the rear wheel well, it flows smoothly over the bodywork. Automakers have also experimented with front wheel fender skirts, but with success limited by the fact that the front wheels must pivot for steering. Fender skirts were first seen on the Chrysler Airflow and spread to many American cars in the 1940s. By the 1970s, they began to disappear. Fender skirts remained for some time longer on a few cars, particularly large American luxury cars.