Thursday, August 6, 2015

Words Straddle the Decades

My husband's comment led to a word search that straddled decades.

I heard the vacuum's powerful inhale as Bill maneuvered it across the wooden kitchen floor. I walked past in bare feet and he said "I'm getting' the gribblies 'cause I know you love to walk around barefoot." 

My mother used the word "gribblies" frequently, for crumbs left behind on the table cloth after dinner or for sweat and dirt cooked into toe jam between toddler's toes. 

I got curious and looked for its origin online. I discovered it's now used in online gaming. In that context it's a small enemy that's more irritating than dangerous. 

It's part of surfing slang, meaning to take a fall.

The Urban Dictionary entries revealed some disgusting uses too. Ugh, don't go there.

Words change over time. God be with ye (late 14th century) contracted into goodbye. I'm finding more and more that have changed in my lifetime (considerably less than 600 years.)

Recently I saw a Pinterest post for household hacks. A what? I thought a hack was a bad cough, or a poor writer, or a horse for hire, or somebody breaking into your computer.  Now, according to the Urban Dictionary a hack is a clever solution to a problem--like using lemons to clean your sink.

Another vocabulary shift made student eyes pop out when I said "We didn't wear thongs to school when I was young." Whoa--TMI, they thought. But I referred to flip-flops, which in California in the 60's were thongs. 

My grandmother's dictionary, version 1.0

I dread the likely transformation of other words from my generation to the Xs, Ys, and Zs  (grandchildren). Who knows what faux pas I'll innocently commit by the time the dictionary starts coming out in versions 3.1, 4.2, and 5.3?

1 comment:

  1. Gribblies - what a cute word and it fits perfectly to those tiny crumbs or grains of sand that are irritating when I feel them on the floor. I live in the desert of west TX so I deal with gribblies all the time. Thanks for a new word!


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