Americans have oddly specific phrases that make others raise their eyebrows, but we love them anyway. The internet walked down memory lane to share some of the best words and phrases we’ve lost over time.
Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.
1: Get Well Soon
It took one commenter a few years to understand her Granny using ‘I’ve got a bone in my leg’ as an ailment excuse. “It was enough for my sisters and I to go get her the things she needed. When we got a little older – we suddenly thought – ‘Wait a minute…’
2: Taken By Surprise
“Great Googly Moogly!” sounds more like something you’d hear from a Scooby Doo villain rather than in regular conversation. Either way, some commenters miss it.
3: Keeping It Cool
When was the last time you heard someone say “cool beans”? It depends on who you hang out with. A few commenters brought up this exclamation as a fond memory.
4: Interesting Interjection
When one person said they missed saying “egads,” a confused commenter said they needed a little more context. Someone jokingly responded by saying, “Context: EGADS!” If you know, you know.
5: Retired Tech
It’s not the most fun phrase on this list, but one commenter said “floppy disk” is something you just don’t hear anymore. It’s hard to imagine how floppy disks would come up in conversation nowadays.
6: Best of the Best
It’s retained modern use as a drink name on many cocktail menus, but one commenter said, “I feel like describing something that you like as ‘the bee’s knees’ should be used more often.”
7: It’s A Cali Thing
“I was quite fond of ‘gag me with a spoon,’” says one commenter who definitely grew up in the 80s.
8: Surfs Up
One commenter said the phrase, “That’s gnarly, dude!” has escaped mainstream lingo. However, some surfers and skaters may still use it among their in-the-know communities.
9: Peace and Love
Unless you’re Austin Powers, “Groovy” has probably been missing from your vocabulary for a while. One commenter said there’s a caveat: it has to be “pronounced slowly and smoothly: grooooo-vaaayyy.”
10: On Tape
One commenter reminisced on “Be kind, rewind.” a well-known phrase for anyone who’s stepped foot in a Blockbuster. Thinking about that term being totally obsolete may break your heart.
11: Now That’s Tough
Americans in the South say the darndest things. One commenter said, “Tougher than a two-dollar steak” is one phrase they miss that isn’t around anymore.
12: Best Behavior
We have all probably heard our parents scold us to “quit horsing around” at some point. Some commenters wonder if they hear it less now because it’s phasing out or because they’re no longer under their parents’ supervision.
13: History Lesson
One commenter mentioned the phrase, “23 skidoo!” which Wikipedia claims is the first truly national fad expression. The kooky term, meaning to leave somewhere quickly, popped up on merchandise nationwide in the early 1900s.
14: Crossword Casanova
Forget being bombarded with cliche compliments; one commenter remembers the phrase “she fractures me” as a popular term of endearment. “It’s from the 50s and means this person is so attractive it makes me fall and break a bone.”
15: Icy Exit
Need a creative way to tell your friends it’s time to leave? “Let’s blow this popsicle stand!” is a popular choice from the past that you don’t hear much anymore, according to the internet.
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