As times change, so does language
By Wendell Anderson
It seems like it must have been in the spring of 1965 when all mothers disappeared and became 'moms.'
Before that, at least in St. Paul, Minn. - where I grew up in the 1950s and '60s - female parents were called 'Mother,' 'Ma' or sometimes 'Mama.' I don't recall hearing 'mom' very often.
Now, it seems that 'mom' has replaced all other words.
Such changes are common. Words and phrases are constantly emerging, vanishing and changing in English. It's entertaining to pause and take a quick look at some ways our language is changing.
Here to stay
Only time will tell which new words will stick around. The following have, even though they were coined not so long ago:
Taking an exit
As new words enter the language, old ones exit. Gone are these once proud words:
Burdalane: the last child surviving in a family.
Bendsome: pliable, flexible.
Cumberground: something worthless and in the way.
Dwine: to slowly pine (or waste) away (from which the word dwindle comes).
Elden: to grow old.
Moffle: to do something badly with no idea how it should be done.
Sloom: to sleep soundly.
Spuddle: to do something unimportant with much fuss.
Here are a few new dictionary entries:
Before & After
Yesterday's words (left) have been replaced by those used today (right).
|cake of soap||bar of soap|
|rec (or rumpus) room||family room|