Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Old Words

I was thinking about words my mom, dad and grandmother used that I don't hear  in conversation or on tv! The first was towheaded. I remember my mom saying, "My that is a towheaded boy." I must have been five or six. I thought she meant that his head was shaped like a toe.  Tow means unraveled fiber or light colored flax.

She also used to speak of waiting till her ship comes in. That's pretty easily figured out - like waiting for Publisher's Clearing House to call.

My dad used to call me a shitepoke which he pronounced shyt poke. When I looked it up on the internet dictionary, the recording sounds like shit poke. Shitepoke is any form of a tern (with long thin legs) That was me as a kid.

My grandmother told me that the way she got to school was by shank's mare. The information said that the word shank was used in the twelfth century!
Shank is the lower part of the leg so the meaning is that you walked wherever you wanted to go.

Clodhoppers was another goody that I like that has two meanings.
Clodhoppers were always big shoes or boots to me. The dictionary says also a clumsy youth.

And finally claptrap. This one I did hear on tv tonight! It means pretentious nonsense.


  1. I have heard towhead recently....lots of light haired kids up here:)

  2. I had heard all of those terms when I was younger too, except shitepoke! And you're right, I don't hear them anymore. I'm going to start listening better and see if I hear anything old.