20 Words and Phrases From Decades Ago That Are No Longer Used


A young person on Reddit wanted to know what slang or phrases were used by older generations but are no longer used. They asked the r/AskOldPeople subbreddit and this is what people said they missed.

“Up Your Nose With a Rubber Hose”

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Spoken by Vinnie Barbarino, played by John Travolta, in the TV show Welcome Back, Kotter, as an insult to bullies. Basically another way of saying “Shove it, losers.”

Space Cadet

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This was a phrase usually spoken to or about someone who wasn’t in touch with reality. It’s like they were up in outer space.

“Off My Case, Toilet Face”

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Another of Vinnie Barbarino’s famous lines was “Off My Case, Toilet Face” whenever someone angered him.

Sticking It to the Man

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This phrase is still used to show resistance to the status quo, typically “the man.”

Keep On Trucking

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Freight trucks go long distances over days or hours so they require a lot of stamina. This phrase was created to tell someone that they need to keep moving and not slow down. Stick with it!

Cool Beans

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Just another way of agreeing. The phrase originated in the 70s, with comedy duo Cheech and Chong cited as pioneers of the term. It was then frequently used in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, with Full House daughter D.J. Tanner often using the phrase.

A Few Fries Short of a Happy Meal

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This term is a kinder way of saying someone isn’t too bright or not functioning at full capacity.

See Ya, Wouldn’t Wanna Be Ya

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Often used when your sibling was in trouble or a predicament, this phrase means that you’re glad that you aren’t the one who is in trouble.

See You in the Funny Papers

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Many these days don’t know that the funny papers are let alone what this phrase means. The implication is that someone will do something funny or ridiculous and end up in the funny pages (a comic strip in the newspaper for those of you youngins).

Far Out

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This is usually spoken by a surfer who doesn’t know the words “cool” or “great.” It may or may not be followed by “dude” as in “far out, dude.”


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A term that means don’t hog or keep for yourself. Classically used in How I Met Your Mother when Marshall says in Italian “Come on, Bro, Don’t Bogart all the funyuns.”

Knuckle Sandwich

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A knuckle sandwich is another way of saying a punch in the mouth, from where a sandwich is typically eaten. The phrase originates from American movies in the 1930s.

Totally Tubular

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Originating in the 70s, this term was just another way of saying “cool.” Like “far out,” this term was usually used by surfers and nerds.


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Another surfer phrase that means the same thing as “cool.” “Far out,” “totally tubular,” and “gnarly” can for the most part be used interchangeably.

See Ya Later, Alligator

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“In a while, crocodile.” This phrase originated with a 1950s rock and roll song called See You Later, Alligator by American singer-songwriter Bobby Charles.


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While not intuitive itself, the phrase “to grok” means “to understand.” The term came from Robert A. Heinlein’s 1961 science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land. In the book, a Martian comes to earth with his own vocabulary.

Let’s Rock N’ Roll

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This phrase means “to get going.” The first published example of using the phrase “rock-n-roll” as a verb, according to The Oxford English Dictionary, is from the April 2, 1980, issue of the Washington Post: “It’s time to rock and roll. The town is ours.” Sometime in the 90s, the “let’s” was added to the phrase.

Booking It

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It does not mean that you booked that AirBnB. It means you’re going fast.


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The word dreamboat is usually a reference to someone’s crush. For example, “he’s such a dreamboat.” The word originated in 1930s and 1940s love songs.

Don’t Take Any Wooden Nickels

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While coins are rare these days in the US, this phrase means not to get swindled or cheated. During the Great Depression, The Citizens Bank of Tenino, Washington, failed. The Chamber of Commerce made some wooden tokens that were worth 25% of bank customers’ deposits and could be used at local stores.

10 Worst Things About Owning an Electric Vehicle

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Electric vehicles (EVs) have become all the rage in the last few years, with many established car companies launching their versions of electric vehicles. But are they really that good? We learned from a Reddit thread about the disadvantages of owning an electric vehicle.

10 Worst Things About Owning an Electric Vehicle

12 Unspoken Rules That Are Not Completely Obvious

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Some social rules are obvious, while others are not. A recent Reddit thread asked users to write in about what social rules existed that were not necessarily obvious.

12 Unspoken Rules That Are Not Completely Obvious

How to Fight a Speeding Ticket: The Ultimate Guide

Speeding Ticket

Many people think that fighting a speeding ticket is easy. After all, who wants to pay a fine when they weren’t even doing anything wrong? Unfortunately, this is one of those situations where ignorance is bliss. You might be able to beat a speeding ticket, but only if you take the proper steps.

How To Fight a Speeding Ticket: The Ultimate Guide

15 of the Worst Cities in America, According to Reddit

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A Reddit thread posted a few months back asked a simple question, “What city is the worst in America?” A whopping 594 comments followed, and here are the worst cities according to those posters.

15 of the Worst Cities in America, According to Reddit

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