Say What?


•Do you find the evolution of our vocabulary to be a little extra?

•Does the fact that emojis have now officially replaced complete sentences leave you shook?

•Are you hip to all of the advances in communication and think it is truly outta sight?

In lieu of’s recent addition of “supposably” and “finna” to its list of new words for 2021, we started reminiscing about the evolution of our vocabulary. Did we even know what we were saying “back in the day?” Do you?

Brooke (60-Something Baby Boomer)

Hey, Lindsey, Amanda and Karen – take this fun quiz!

Identify these terms. Score yourself one point for each correct answer.


•Submarine Races




•Cootie Catchers


How did you do? Did I trip you up on the last one? Nooo, not underwear. In my youth this was the common term for flip flops. While I get super annoyed with the ubiquitous Facebook memes showing obsolete items with the rhetorical “who remembers this?” I was struck while researching this topic by the number of everyday items from my era that have gone the way of the dinosaur:

•Cursive – we called it longhand, but whatever.

•Handwritten checks – if you write more than three paper checks per year, you might be a dinosaur.

•Encyclopedias – all you Boomers just sang that in Jiminy Cricket voice, right?

The difference lies in whether or not my fellow Boomers still use these items. You may have seen this one which pops up with irritating frequency on the Book of Faces:

I’m always curious about those Boomers who post, with great pride, “All of them!” I have none of them. The past belongs in the past. It’s like pointing to your state-of-the-art butter churn when friends come calling. We are fast becoming obsolete ourselves. Why hasten the process by ignoring, nay eschewing, progress? Why hold fast to your takeout menus when you have DoorDash? A wall calendar? Seriously? Do you work at a “filling station”?

The secret to eternal youth is to avoid making a showy display of your complete dissociation with anything after the Nixon Administration. Music, fashion, art and technology – ESPECIALLY technology – should be explored and embraced. There was a lot of great stuff that came out of the Boomer Era but let us grab our aluminum walkers and move on. I have, and believe my life is richer for it. I promise you, if one more Boomer says, “Oh, I ask my grandson” for even the most basic technology assistance, I will beat them with my thong.

Lindsay (Fabulous 40’s)

Brooke, you had me stumped on a few. Much like today’s slang, I needed some assistance from google. My generation was a bit more obvious, and even the youth of today can understand my old slang which earns me the side eye, followed by an eye roll and occasionally a sigh. As if!

Rather than screaming at parents, we used our creative slang to get our points across. Don’t have a cow, mom. Duh, mom, don’t be such a dork. Or you would just diss your parents ‘cuz they were total goobers. Mom, pay attention . . .hello McFly? Oh mom, take a chill pill. My favorite saying of all time was “that was then and this is now”. I was known for this being my come back to everything my parents said that seemed heinous.

With my friends, I was jonesing for a killer burger and stoked to hang out. I would tote around my legit boom box filled with 4 huge D batteries so we could listen to tunes anywhere. Like, if you didn’t have one you were so lame. No one wanted the friend who was a total spaz or a complete Dufus.

I am officially resurrecting some of these terms today. F*ckin A, right!

Karen (F’ing Fifties)

Sweet! I passed Brooke’s Boomer Term test, I scored a most triumphant 6 out of 7.  I couldn’t remember what “Fink” meant. Duh! I’m a total space cadet.

What I do remember, however, is why the spoon was the chosen utensil of choice to gag myself with when I heard or saw something totally grody or how gnarly it was to put on my Walkman and listen to some Kick Ass tunes!

There were a lot of things that would barf me out, like taking care of Madoner, my weekend “egg baby” (aka my High School Health Class homework assignment designed to curb my desire to be 16 & Pregnant long before MTV made it a prerequisite to becoming an Instagram Influencer). Unlike parenting an egg baby (which was hella hard), I was totally stoked to resurrect my awesome 80’s lingo. But now, in retrospect, OMIGOD, I feel like a total geezer. Gag me!

Amanda (30-Something Millennial)

My Generation has so much slang that they’ve created the Urban Dictionary to catalog the language of Millennials and Gen Z. But maybe that’s not even cool anymore – which, btw, is now called cheugy. I’m not even sure if my era has slang as much as we just use emojis or shorten everything for the sake of a #hashtag…

•Szn = Season

•Sus = Suspect

•Tea = Hot Gossip

•TBH = To Be Honest

•Bae = Before Anyone Else


Were you too cool for school?

Do you need a translator to communicate in this day and age?

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7 thoughts on “Say What?

  1. My random thoughts (and I DO mean random)…

    One, I almost breezed through Brooke’s quiz, but “padiddle” had me stumbling. I suppose I could Google it, but I’m just going to assume that it’s sexual in nature, as I generally assume that most things are, in one way or another. (“I’m gonna get ya, get ya, get ya!”, as Blondie crooned.)

    Two, Brooke’s “that was then…this is now” quote made me immediately think of the S.E. Hinton novel of the same name. She’s from Tulsa (me too!) and she attended the University of Tulsa (me too, albeit later). I’ve always had a platonic crush on her since I first padiddled with a typewriter as a budding novelist. I wanted to be just like her, with certain variations…

    Three, I was taught “cursive” and not “longhand”, even though I am technically a Baby Boomer, although at the very end of the generally-accepted time frame. And I suppose it doesn’t matter what I call it, because I can’t do it anymore. When I try to join my letters, it looks like a doctor’s prescription, and not a good one. I usually print in all caps in those rare moments when I have to physically write something…

    Four, I’m a bit jealous that Lindsay was able to use slang with her parents, either as a diss or in general conversation. My parents didn’t play, and if I got all street with them I would be quickly knocked off that street with a swift backhand. But I certainly remember “lame” and “spaz” and “dufus”, probably because those terms were often hollered at me in school hallways. I was a major geek, fully admit, clueless in the social mores of the time and too poor to succeed even if I HAD known how to act.

    Five, the last point sounds a little sad, upon re-reading. I managed to enjoy myself in those formative years, but I was certainly a square peg that somehow became popular, eventually. Different strokes…

    Six, I didn’t actually take the class that Karen mentions, but we certainly had the same procedure in high school. In our case, the “parents” had to haul around a five-pound bag of flour instead of an egg. Said bag was obviously nowhere near as delicate as an egg, but that’s how they did it in Oklahoma. Even in those rare moments when they tried to teach you about life, they only half-ass did so.

    Seven, the rest of Karen’s list of phrases? I knew them well, poor Yorick…

    Eight, Amanda is absolutely right. The Millennials have a language all their own, usually abbreviated to the point of (for me) mystification. Then again, back when I was a doofus in high school, I thought everyone over 25 was beyond redemption. The cycle and the miscomprehension continues…

    Nine, I’m saving this comment to my massive “inspiration” folder, as there are at least 27 launch points for future blog posts at Bonnywood.

    Ten, thank you for letting me ramble and reflect. I enjoyed it, even if nobody else did.


    1. A few random thoughts regarding your random thoughts:

      One, we are saving your comment as it is an inspiration to us, too!  We are now on a mission to resurrect “padiddle” but with your assumed definition.  Yes, we are assuming what your assumption was and we assume you are ok with it.

      Two, why do I now have an image of S.E. Hinton padiddling with a typewriter in my head?

      Three, your parents may not have appreciated your attempts at getting all street with them, but I bet they’d be as stoked as I was to see a reference to Blondie, Square Pegs and Diff’rent Strokes all in one comment! 

      Four, I wonder if S.E. Hinton had an Oklahoma flour bag baby? 

      Five, what would I have named my flour bag baby?  Ponyboy has a nice ring to it.

      Six, thank you for rambling and reflecting, we enjoyed it immensely and can’t wait to see what transpires in your upcoming Bonnywood blogs!

  2. I dig this blog topic. I really thought I was a cool cat, that is, until Brooke called me a dinosaur for still having a wall calendar.

    1. Not cool. We still think you are outta site (as long as that wall calendar is, too)!

  3. Yo! I don’t know about “Cheugy” but the kids here in the UK describe something cool as “Sick”. As in “Yes bruv that’s well sick!”

    I didn’t get any of Brooke’s quiz, but I think that’s not only generational but due to being in a different country.

    I don’t really take up any of Gen Z speak as I think it reads and sounds like dumbed down baby speak. But being on the cusp of Gen X and Millenial, myself, I tend to use both here and there.

    1. You should feel proper chuffed just for getting thru Brooke’s list (we often have to look up some of Brooke’s everyday words and those are spoken in proper American English, if there is such a thing)! 

      I think most of us agree with you about GenZ  speak, it went all to pot. Periodt.

      Ok, please excuse my attempt at British slang, I only have Love Island UK as my primary source of reference but I don’t think I should use any of those words here. Bollocks!

      1. No apologies, you got it about right! Just don’t ask me to give any examples of my native Yorkshire….. it requires translating!

        I’m totally going to use Lindsay’s “That was then, this is now” and see how that works.

        Guilty of using a calendar at home as means we can keep track on what days off I have so we can plan things together.

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