10 Words That Instantly Show Your Age


Words that show your age

Sometimes I notice my kids’ eyebrows shoot up when I say certain words – words I grew up with and still use without thinking. The blank expressions on their millennial faces clearly show they think I am an old fuddy-duddy. Not that they would know what fuddy-duddy means. 


You’re definitely dating yourself If you call your jeans “dungarees,”. This holds true whether you wear them skinny, baggy, or boot-cut; just don’t say it.


The term stewardess was replaced by the gender-neutral alternative “flight attendant” by the end of the 1970’s. More recently the term “cabin crew” replaced “flight attendant” in some parts of the world to recognize their role as members of the staff. It is not considered politically correct to use the word “stewardess” today. And “sky muffin” is definitely out!


As per my kids, your purse is where you keep your phone, keys, and wallet. Your pocketbook is where Grandma keeps her checkbook and hard candies.


Really mom, “clicker”??! It’s a remote. My kids laugh especially hard at this one.


When was the last time you heard “You’re welcome” in response to a “Thank you”? More often than not, the response these days is “No problem”


Just say “cool”. You don’t need the “beans” to get your point across. I embarrassingly admit I used this term and really liked it back in the day.


Groovy fell out of mainstream usage long ago. Associated with a sense of being fashionable, cool, or in harmony with the trends of the time, groovy was popular in the 60s and 70s. If you hear it today, it’s most likely said with sarcasm or humor.


Short for “radical,” this word was commonly used in the skateboarding and surfer subcultures of the 1980s and 1990s. It conveyed something extraordinary, cool, or impressive. Its usage declined over time as language trends shifted and new expressions took its place. I never actually picked this one up, so it’s an easy one to leave out of my vocabulary.

Trying to keep up while holding on to the past

I don’t want my kids to think I’m a dinosaur. For that reason, I try to use outdated terms less when with them. Some of the current slang words seem foreign to me, but I want to learn them to better follow my children’s conversations. Recently I learned that “tea” means “gossip” and “keep it 100” replaced “keep it real”.  Who knew? Oprahmag published a lengthy list of millennial slang words recently if you want to know more. 

Some of the old words and phrases are better off forgotten, it’s true. But I hang on to others because they are part of who I am. I do not try to hide my age; in fact I celebrate the wisdom and experience that comes with being 50+ and the person I am today as a result.

The bottom line

Language and word usage evolves over time due to cultural, social, and linguistic shifts. Some words may lose popularity as they become associated with specific time periods, subcultures, or historical contexts. Changes in social attitudes, advancements in technology, and the emergence of new expressions and slang can also contribute to the decline of certain words in everyday usage.

However, if you like using certain words, then by all means continue! It’s absolutely OK to show your age. 

Are there other words or phrases you miss from years gone by? Please share them in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you!


originally posted:11/23/2019
updated: 2/28/2023


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