“What Is An Outdated Word Or Phrase An Older Family Member Uses That Makes Your Brain Hurt?” (35 Answers)

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you are having a conversation with someone and they use a word or a phrase that you haven’t heard of and have no idea what it means? There are some people who like to use more colorful language and revive words that are no longer used or have changed their meaning throughout time. If you still feel lost when you hear some archaic word or phrase, you are not alone as one Reddit user, @SunRevolutionary8315, asked other people online “What is an outdated word or phrase an older family member uses that makes your brain hurt?” Soon people started sharing sayings their parents, grandparents and other older relatives use in their everyday language and trying to explain the meaning behind these words. So if you’re also looking for ways to expand your vocabulary, the post with more than 34k upvotes is a great source of knowledge.  

Do you know someone in your family who also likes to puzzle you with outdated language? Don’t forget to share it in the comments down below!

More Info: Reddit


Anyone else get told they were “Cruisin for a bruisin” as a kid or just me?

Image credits: CuteCanary


My late father (born in '33) used to say he'd been "d**ked by the dangling dong of destiny" when something went wrong that was out of his control.

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There was an older gentleman, about 70, that I used to work with that looked at me and said “His butter done slid off his biscuit” referring to another coworker acting crazy. I’m in southern Kentucky.

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When I was a kid and we had a slow start to our day my mother would say “we’re off like a herd of turtles” still makes me smile

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You can call me anything you like except late for dinner!

I use this all the time and my wife tells me that’s something only old men say

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“If ifs and buts were candies and nuts, we’d all have a merry Christmas”

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My nana says “That really turns me on” about ANYTHING. Good ice cream, a movie, music, doesn’t matter.

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Went into a speed shop the other day and overheard the shop owner talking to someone on the phone. Man was 60+ and said un-ironically "Catch ya on the flip side Daddio" to end the conversation he was having.

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My grandpa likes to use the phrase "not my monkey, not my circus"

to everyone asking if he's Polish, we're Latino. He says it in both Spanish and English, "no es mi circo, no son mis monos". I didn't realize until writing it out that he flips the order in English.

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"Davenport" to mean couch. Apparently, it was a name-brand couch back in the day.

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slight stray from question, my english professor says “heavens to betsy”

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answers the phone


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My dad used to say “That’ll put lead in your pencil”.

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My mom was not a fan of colorful language, I can't recall ever hearing an f-bomb escape her lips. But if she was mad at someone, she would say "They can just go piss up a rope!" I still don't know WTF she meant.

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My father says, and I quote, "Foshizzle Manizzle."

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My mom is 71, she says things are cool. But she pronounces it like kewel, or kyoul.

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My older relatives in Michigan (all passed away now) used to say Geez-O-Pete instead of Jesus Christ, I guess so as not to blaspheme? Who f**king knows?

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When talking about drinking, my dad says "I got plowed the other night" rather than "I got drunk the other night"

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"The devil's been beatin' his wife"- when the sun is out but it's still raining. I heard this a lot growing up but apparently some people have never heard of it?

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50/50 chance my mom is gonna say “and we’re off like a dirty shirt” when leaving an establishment.

I kinda like it though

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My mom says she’s “gotta go tink tink” instead of to the bathroom.

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When you put something in your mouth it's really hot and react.

Que grandma "well it wasn't cooked on a f*****k sewing machine"

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Well my grandpa doesn’t call Brazil Nuts “Brazil Nuts”.

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My dad still talks about "The Japs!" Like he fought in world war 2. But he's too young and also not American.

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My mother used to say "he's got his wobbly boots on" whenever she saw someone drunk.

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My grandma would say “bull feathers” instead of bulls**t

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I have a friend, about 15 years older than me, who constantly says s**t like "bump uglies".

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My coworker says "It's hotter than a blistered d**k in a wool sock"

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Mother in law.. "black doctor" or "lady doctor" or "man nurse".. always a point worth noting for her

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grandpa: says narcist instead of narcissist. apparently back in the day that was normal

grandma: if wishes were fishes we’d have a big fry

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Cotton picker. My dad said this instead of swears.


My father still says oriental


I hate when old people ask “can you whack this off for me”

For $20 anything is possible tho

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not offensive, just weird. my dad still says “sipping the sauce” instead of drinking lol

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Dude, outdated? I get a headhache from my tennage brothers new terminology. Like eating is called dusting. He's dusting the food. What?