Words we no longer use

The English vocabulary is constantly changing… what words (or phrases) can you recall that we rarely use any longer? Include a definition. (in keeping with CD rules, please only post appropriate language, thank you)

To get us started:

  • carriage return (found on typewriters, it was the equivalent of today’s Enter key)

  • icebox (refrigerator that kept food cool through use of ice blocks)

Coal Chute (where coal was delivered for the furnace)
Quill (used to write with)
Fountain Pen (refillable pen. Some had ink cartridges you replaced)

carriage return - I thought that it was returning the borrowed horse and buggy

8 track - Before DVD, MP3, CD and cassette tapes. A form of music enjoyment.

Television dial - a round disk on the front of the TV. Numbered 2 to 13 and was used to change channels. Involved leaving the couch to see different channel. Before the term “channel surfing” was invented.

Vinyl - A round disk of pressed material containing recordings of word or music. Disc Jockeys today sometimes use vinyl to produce scratching noise. Played on a phonograph machine. Newer versions came with a record changer that allowed multiple pieces to be played without getting off the couch.

spindle adaptors - usually a round column that you would place on the center spindle of your record player, which allowed you to play 45’s - which had a larger hole in the middle (instead of LPs which had a small hole in the middle). Sometimes you used a 45 plastic insert in the hole which was an odd-shaped piece of plastic.

45’s, LP’s, and 78’s - refers to the revolutions per minute that a musical record makes around the player. 45’s were the equivalent of today’s single CD recordings…

From Dictionary.com:

chi·can·er·y /ʃɪˈkeɪhttp://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngnəhttp://cache.lexico.com/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngri, tʃɪ-/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[shi-[b]key-nuh-ree, chi-] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation –noun, plural -er·ies. 1.trickery or deception by quibbling or sophistry: He resorted to the worst flattery and chicanery to win the job. 2.a quibble or subterfuge used to trick, deceive, or evade.

Outdated phrases:
“Be Kind - Rewind” - found on VHS rentals
“Where’s the beef?” - Wendy’s advertisement
“I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.” - Antacid advertisement
“That’s how I spell relief.” -Rolaids advertisement
“Floppy disk” - Used to differentiate between 5 1/4" computer disk and more rigid 3 1/2" disk. Now refers to 3 1/2", which is mostly obsolete anyway.

78’s also usually only held one song, though at that high speed they were almost as large as a 33 +1/3 rpm album. Increasing data density on the platter (another archaic term) allowed smaller disc sizes or additional audio storage for more songs. Wikipedia has a good description of audio recording history here.

Increasing data density did not begin with audio recordings or the computer age, but has been a goal of mankind throughout history. A very interesting book on the subject is “The Race for Bandwidth: Understanding Data Transmission”, written by Cary Lu.


Floppy disk was used before 5.25 or 3.5 were even invented

To go with this…
UHF Channels - the channels from 14 to 64 that you used a tuner or thumb wheel to dial in, and were very lucky if you added 5-6 channels to your 2-13 selection.

and boy were they floppy!!!

Betamax never really even took off, but my dad’s friend still swears that Betamax is/was better than VHS. Needless to say, he was extremely disappointed that his Betamax player was stolen.

Who knows…the Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD debate could end up like VHS vs. Betamax! :stuck_out_tongue:

Betamax rocked!

I still have the original Star Wars movies on Betamax.

I use ‘carriage return’ a lot while programming, actually. ASCII 13. :slight_smile:

I loved the zzzip zzzing sound of the carriage return in my hs typing class.

transistor radio - mine was pink.

cherry phosphates - a soft drink from the soda fountain at the local drug store. You would sit in a booth, shyly flirt, and trade out your bubblegum Beatles trading cards - cherry phosphates rocked. You can occasionally find an old timey drug store that will still make you one.

How about
Tube Checker

Soon there won’t be any picture tubes either.

Theres an icebox where my heart used to be :ahh:

This thread made me think about words that are removed from dictionaries because of lack of common use. Stephen Chrisomalis has made a collection of “lost words” and listed them with definitions at http://phrontistery.info/clwdef.html It’s fun to read his list - some of these words are great, like: yelve- a garden fork; welmish - pale or sickly color; tussicate - to cough.

princess phones - a special style of phone which had a light-up dial, and came in cool colors
rotary dial phones - you turned the dial when using the phone, instead of hitting a button
party lines - several people shared the same telephone number

Yes, and if I tussicated into the baby blue one while on the party line, everyone would yell at me and tell me to get off the line. cough

Along that same line (bad pun) dose anyone use ‘dial tone’ anymore? I remember picking up the phone and listening for a dial tome before I dialed, but not anymore now that everyone uses cell phones.