By Tom Morrow
About a month ago, I wrote about some old expressions that have become obsolete because of the march of time. These phrases included “Don’t touch that dial,” “Carbon copy,” “You sound like a broken record” and “Hung out to dry,” to name a few.
Back in the “olden days” we had a lot of ‘moxie.’ We’d put on our best ‘bib and tucker’ to’ straighten up and
“Heavens to Betsy! Gee whillikers! Jumping Jehoshaphat! Holy moley!” The list goes on.
We were “…in like Flynn” and “living the life of Riley.” Even a regular guy couldn’t accuse us of being “a knucklehead, a nincompoop” or “a pill.” “Not for all the tea in China!”
Back in the olden days, life used to be “swell,” but when’s the last time anything was swell?
“Swell” has gone the way of beehives, pageboys and the D.A.; of spats, knickers, fedoras, poodle skirts, saddle shoes and pedal pushers.
“Oh, my aching back! Kilroy was here” — but he’s long gone.
By the way, who was “Kilroy?” There are many versions of the truth, but here’s the most common answer:
During World War II, shipbuilding was at a frantic and rapid pace, working 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Inspectors had a full-time job ensuring work was done properly and all rivets were welded securely. One inspector, identity unknown, would leave his mark in chalk after inspecting a particular spot: “Kilroy Was Here!
G.I.s in the military picked up on slogan and wrote it everywhere, especially in public toilets. Kilroy hung around throughout American society well into the fifties. Whatever the origin, this one is as good as any.
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