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Bringing Back the Old


Chest of Drawers
Photo courtesy of hdes.copeland/Flickr

My husband and brother have had a bit of an obsession lately. They want to bring back some old terminology. Some of these are just terms that we remember our grandparents using when we were kids and others we have acquired recently with some poking and prodding in my 87 year old grandmother’s brain. These are a few words I would like to see used a little more often.

Chesterfield – chest of drawers. “I need to grab my girdle from the chesterfield before I head off to bingo.”

Billfold – wallet. “Gall darn it! I can’t find my billfold and it’s almost 4 p.m. and we need to get to Perkins for supper.”

Davenport – couch or sofa. “It’s time for my nap on the davenport.”

Afghan or shawl – small knitted blanket worn as an alternative to a coat or sweater. “Father, grab my shawl, it’s a bit nippy out tonight.”

Shypoke – a heron. (My grandmother tells me they were called this because they are shy and they poke.) “Arthur, look at that beautiful blue shypoke in the river. I haven’t seen one of those in a coon’s age.”

I hope you have enjoyed this bit of word flashback. I don’t think it would be a terrible thing if a few of these terms were brought back. Even if none are, it’s still fun to reminisce and think that one day our grandkids will have a list like this about us.

Joy Larson was raised in Montana, is a graduate of The University of Montana, mother of four, animal lover and writer.

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