If You're Using These Words and Phrases, You're Probably Showing Your Age


Much like music, clothing, and diet fads, language comes in and out of style.

Using certain words or phrases could show your age, according to the experts at

A recent article from the online database recommends discarding phrases like “How’s tricks?” an expression said by young men during the 1950’s and 60’s to ask “How are things?” also recommends discarding certain acronyms such as VCR, because hopefully by now you have moved on from your old videocassette recorder to at least DVDs, if not streaming.

Another phrase you may want to consider relinquishing, “Fuddy-duddy.”

Report: Family Outraged at Disney World - Realized the Evil Queen 'Actress' They Took Pics with Was a Man

According to the word database, a “fuddy-duddy” is probably old, boring and “out of touch.” In fact, using the phrase may just show what a “fuddy-duddy” you are!

Next on the list is the term “web surfing.”

As points out, due to the significantly increased speed of the World Wide Web since its debut, navigating your way from one website to another and waiting anxiously for the page to fully load, “doesn’t require its own extreme sports reference.” The modern term for loading a web page is now referred to as “streaming.”

Ever heard of a “Dear John Letter?”

Do you think using older phrases makes you out of touch?

Perhaps unknown to most millennials before the publication of the Nicholas Sparks novel; “Dear John,” a “Dear John Letter” was the nickname coined during World War II to describe a correspondence from a soldier’s significant other, informing him of the end of their relationship.

Moreover, if you refer to your couch or sofa as a Davenport or Chesterfield, you might be showing your era.

Both terms date to the 19th century; Chesterfield after the Earl of Chesterfield, who according to Dictionary, commissioned the first leather sofa.

Davenport meanwhile, is said to refer to furniture maker Alfred H. Davenport of Boston.

As more and more households finally cut ties with their landlines in favor of just cell phones (or rather, smartphones) the term “long distance call” is an unnecessary relic of the past, sure to confuse anyone born after 2000.

Shane Gillis Holds Nothing Back During 'SNL' Return, Makes Several Controversial Jokes 5 Years After Being Fired

Also, calling someone a “wet blanket” may have less sting than if you had used it in the 1800’s.

The phrase is used to describe someone who is a downer at the party, often concerned with behavior and decorum rather than having fun.

If you still spend time looking up important numbers in your “Rolodex,” you may want to consider investing time in transporting those numbers into your smartphone’s contacts section. Spending time typing out neat cards with your accountant’s contact information could be spent on more productive activities.

Just tell Google Assistant, Siri, or Alexa to import all of that information for you.

Shopping for a young one’s birthday?

Here’s some advice: skip the “pet rock” or “mood ring” in favor of something more up-to-date. Those trendy toys from the 1970’s probably don’t have enough pizzazz for today’s youth, according to

The site also advises against referencing lines from shows like “Columbo,” “Welcome Back Kotter,” and “The Waltons.” Unless of course, your younger acquaintances are avid TV Land viewers.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.