Looking forward with a turn of phrase

Dear world:

Can we please bring back “heavens to murgatroyd!”?


Please also see: “really cleaned his clock!” and “you’ll end up in the drink!” and “egads!”

(Also “gadzooks!”, “rats!”, and “what a way to run a railroad!”)

Because, for serious, my life is infinitely better anytime I either manage to fit them into a regular conversation, or overhear someone use them while out and about on regular business.

Please picture me wearing a really fab hat while out on said business.

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Wash it with borax? Gee whiz, I’ll have to ask…

I’m pretty partial to old timey language as is, and I would really appreciate that instead of just recycling HORRIBLE FASHION FROM THE 80s and 90s, we could start using some of the awesome slang that came about during roaring twenties, or better yet, the dirty thirties.

What do you say?

I’d like to see this trend take hold like a duck to water.

(Is this too much? I’ll stop if it’s too much.)


I mean, I’m just too big a fan.

Take for instance, the “we got on like [insert verb/noun combo here]” descriptors.

Ie.) Gangbusters, house on fire, a barrel of monkeys, etc.

I mean, how can you not love these? Although I’m not even sure that any of them even remotely make sense.

Also, is a barrel of monkeys a good thing? That just sounds violent and deafening to me.

And do I even want to know the etymology behind these sayings?

Kind of yes, but mostly no.

I’ll just end up finding out that everything I’ve written about has some bloody awful origin and is completely offensive to ninety-nine per cent of the earth’s inhabitants.

On second thought, I should probably bite the bullet and make sure I am in fact riding the PC train straight to onsideville every time I break out my oldisms.



Okay, so you might have guessed it already, but I’m a little tired. The past couple of weeks have been so incredibly jam packed that I’m feeling a tad run down (aka completely exhaustified.)

I’m sitting here on our couch, wrapped in many blankets and the ends of my eyelids are starting to feel as though they’ve been weighted down by miniscule sacks filled with what I’m apt to believe is magic sleep dust.

(I was going to write flour at first, but then what the heck would flour sacks be doing balancing precariously at the ends of my eyelashes?)

I think I might just call it an early night and head upstairs to hit the hay.

Bedtime before ten o’clock on a school night?


But to bed I must, so zoiks and away!

Published by

Vanessa Woznow

Writer, runner, ranter, reader. I write about all things.

12 thoughts on “Looking forward with a turn of phrase”

  1. I am constantly gobsmacked by your creativity! If it’s any consolation I often start sentences with “Egads, old chum…” Seriously. No one ever knows WTF I’m talking about. And that’s how I like it!

    I would applaud any effort that signals a comeback of “Zounds!”, so alliterative and (almost) onomatopoeiaic! Love.

  2. You are seriously my favorite!
    And yes, please, let’s bring back these phrases and words. I feel like our society has descended into “text speak” as an acceptable form of communicating (even face to face) and it’s appalling. The linguist in me knows that the nature of language is to change and evolve but I’d hate to lose some of these great phrases and words. A well-built vocabulary is gold, music to my ears!
    Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to see a man about a horse.
    Big hugs to you on this frosty Thursday morning!

    1. Haha, thanks! And your second to last night made me laugh out loud. TOO GOOD! I really think we’ve got some really good forward momentum here. Little by little, this trend will take over! YAY!

      And I completely agree, phraseology IS like music! What an amazing thought – that will be percolating for the rest of the afternoon, I have no doubt.

      Big hugs back! Keep that beauty face of yours bundled from the cold :)

  3. just this morning i heard “the worm turns” (or whatever) and plan to look THAT up. but ya know whut? –> your posts are yoozyooallee “as fine as fragg hair”. the phrase “gadzooks & forsooth, it’s the loch ness monster!” pops into (what’s left of) my head from time to time.
    are the monkeys kept INSIDE the barrell? or is it implicit that they come tumbling out?
    like the “heavens” & “murgatroid” — my mem’ry’s hazy, but that smax of LOONEY tunes, eh?
    what i originally thought to say: i suspect you might be ripe for steampunk-ness. hmmm

    1. THE WORM TURNS! Yes. I love it. I had to look up “as fine as frog hair” and I love it! Will definitely have to store that one way for future use. FORSOOTH TOO! I am so glad I wrote this post, I have so many new phrases to use.

      I don’t know about the monkeys…out of the barrel seems a heck of a lot better, no?

      Heavens to Murgatroyd is that sassmaster Snagglepuss! And now I’m off to check out steampunk-ness.

  4. Oh, how I love the old-timey language as well!! I was such a fan of my Grandma’s funny sayings that I got up at her funeral and rattled them all off…my favorite is “He was like a fart in a skillet.” meaning he was antsy I guess!!!

    1. Oh. my. goodness. That is brilliant! I always enjoyed “like a fart in the wind” for something completely meaningless, and that adds nothing to the world. Thank you for this! x

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