Isn’t this terrible surprise

Traditional phrases sent to the knacker’s yard as most under-50s no longer use them

Like science, languages advance one death at a time…..

“It would seem that many of the phrases which were once commonplace in Britain are seldom used nowadays.”

Err yes:

Wepyng and waylyng, care and oother sorwe
I knowe ynogh, on even and a-morwe,’
Quod the Marchant, ‘and so doon oother mo
That wedded been.

18 thoughts on “Isn’t this terrible surprise”

  1. “We’d better bowl round to Frankie’s gaff before the coppers spin his drum.” Was the lingo I grew up with. Of course, I can remember when it was all fields around here. And you never saw a darkie, neither.

  2. Frankie was a handy lad, lived in a basement flat with an Alsatian. He loved that dog. When a burglar broke in he shut the dog in the bedroom so it wouldn’t get hurt and then went for the burglar with a wood saw. Caused much merriment down our street along the lines of “keep a dog and bark yourself”. Another phrase you don’t hear much nowadays.

    Left all that behind decades ago. Got a big house and a posh girlfriend. Still remember when Teddy boys sewed fish hooks into the back of their lapels though. Stop you grabbing the lapels and nutting them. Kids today, don’t know their born.

  3. “Which ‘endangered’ phrases do you still use? Tell us in the comments section below”

    I fnd the phrase I want to use in reply is not endangered at all. Indeed since covid I find myself yelling it at the telly much more often.

  4. An ex-London motor trader of my long standing acquaintance still uses “jump”, as in “Git yer arse up to the jump and git yer rahnd in” translated as, “Sirrah, kindly repair to the bar and replenish our refreshments “.
    Anyone heard that?
    Another I liked was the vaguely naval “Stap me vitals”.

  5. @MJW
    Are you sure jump isn’t ‘tump (stump with the S not sounded?) That sounds more familiar.

    What I was brought up with has a lot of Yiddish in it. Can be highly esoteric.

  6. On the lapels fish hooks in them, no you wouldn’t. Your assailant isn’t going to notice he’s hooked until after his done the nutting. At which point, you’re not going to want to be attached to him that closely. They have been deployed in pocket linings to surprise those on the dip. (Pickpockets) And also if one’s anticipating the possibility of being frisked by the filth.

  7. Lapels, pockets, fishhooks, razor blades. What a shelted life I’ve led.

    On the subject of old sayings, anyone else familiar with “Saluting our National Anthem” for a bladder empty? I’ve always assumed it was Army lingo from my Dad’s National Service.

  8. All this talk of fish hooks and razor blades a la Peaky Blinders. I see an opportunity to revive such customs for the cosciente. I now just need to convince Lock & Co and Trumpers it’s a great opportunity.

  9. Was it Barry McKenzie who went to point Percy at the pommy porcelain?

    I remember “going to see a man about a dog” and having a “Jimmy Riddle”.

  10. Dearieme
    “ I remember “going to see a man about a dog” and having a “Jimmy Riddle”.”

    I was rather fond of going to ‘siphon the python’

  11. Will,
    Don’t forget “Shake the snake”.
    Can’t get past the paywall so don’t know if “You’re big enough, old enough, and ugly enough to know ….” is included (my Dad’s favourite saying to me when I’d done something stupid)?

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