PianoMan

Nitrous
Joined
Apr 1, 2006
Messages
1,247
Location
Overland Park, Kansas USA
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." (AKA) suicide knob. ince 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 the 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 "movie" 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.

I miss those made-up marketing words that were meant to sound so modern and now sound so retro. Words like "DynaFlow" and Electrolux." Introducing the 1963 Admiral TV, now with "SpectraVision!"

Food for thought - Was there a telethon that wiped out lumbago? Nobody complains of that anymore. Maybe that's what castor oil cured, because I never hear mothers threatening kids with castor oil anymore.

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 and discuss fender skirts.
 

Jamie

Living Legend
Joined
Mar 7, 2006
Messages
2,359
Location
Geneva Switzerland
Great post:bch:


Talking about retro tech language: "Hydra-Matic" was GM's auto trans trade-mark. Although Buick had its own design, the " Dynaflow". Chrysler, in response, came up with "Fluid-Drive". Studebaker with "Twin-Ultramatic". Packard with (single?) "Ultra matic" . And Ford with "Ford-O-Matic" (although I think it was made by Borg-Warner:confused: , at least initially) and then with "Cruise-O-Matic" ... De Soto added push-button selection to parent Chrysler's "Fluid-Drive" and called it "Powerflite".

Pontiac rechristened its engines "strato-streak" :) Nash' instrument panel was called "Uniscope". Olds marketing motto was "Futuramic-" (styling, chassis, interior, etc.). Buick's punched holes in the front wings of its cars and called them "ventiports", which the bying public translated as portholes. Someone (Cadillac) :confused: came up with the "autronic eye" (an automatic headlight dimmer) . Even moribund Willys called its short-lived compact "Aero-Ace"...

Jamie
 

PianoMan

Nitrous
Joined
Apr 1, 2006
Messages
1,247
Location
Overland Park, Kansas USA
Go Both Ways

Jamie...... I used to cruise around town with a fellow who I believe had a old Plymouth or Dodge that had 3 on the column. The weird thing was you could either shift gears using the clutch (which was like pushing air) or you could leave it in 3rd and it became an automatic. Can't remember what they called that?

My first car was a '49 Chevy Deluxe Sedan and it not only had skirts but a visor over the windshield. There was so much room inside the hood you could crawl in, stand on either side and work on the engine. Ah, the old "Shade Tree Mechanic" syndrome .
 

Jamie

Living Legend
Joined
Mar 7, 2006
Messages
2,359
Location
Geneva Switzerland
PianoMan said:
Jamie...... Can't remember what they called that?

My first car was a '49 Chevy Deluxe Sedan and it not only had skirts but a visor over the windshield. There was so much room inside the hood you could crawl in, stand on either side and work on the engine. Ah, the old "Shade Tree Mechanic" syndrome .
My Dad's car in 1950 was a 1949 Chevy Styline ... convertible .... and yellow :( . He had bought it second- hand upon moving from Canada, where I was born, to residential Washington DC. Where it did not fit at all. And which my Mum hated. The Chevy was thus swiftly replaced by a new (straight 6) Pontiac Chieftain sedan ... and dark maroon:eek: . Yeah, the one with the five parallel chrome bars running on the hood and the trunk and an Indian chief mascot over the grille. Talk about blitz or bling.

Back to retro tech hype (back then: gimmicky names): That Chieftain, besides chrome embellishments (?) galore, had a "Craddle Ride" chassis, a " Safe-T- View" two-piece windsheld , a "Carry-More" trunk and "Tru-Arc Safety Steering" :eek: (my memory is not THAT good, PianoMan. I confess I have looked up Q. Willson's "Classic American Cars" book for excerpts of those vintage ads)

I'll research the Dodge or Plymouth trans enigma. Jamie;)
 

Sidecar Flip

Living Legend
Joined
Jul 16, 2006
Messages
6,361
Location
20150 Mc Carty Rd. Deerfield, Michigan 49238
PianoMan:

Around here, 90% of your lost terms aren't lost at all. We still use 'em. Guess that's the difference between the country and the city.

Jamie:

I had a buddy with a '49 Plymouth sedan with a Red Ram Hemi and a TorqueFlite tranny that had pushbottons on the dash. Was called a "Typewriter Tranny".

I still remember the PoerGlide rubber band trans. No shift points. Still a favorite with drag racers.
 

asderff_9

.020 Over
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Messages
25
Location
Lindsay, CA
I used have a 1953 Desoto with the auto+clutch transmission. Ran pretty good until I cleaned all the old non-detergent oil out........passed a car at about 60mph and blew the poor old hemi up. :eek:
 

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