Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Ten Things Tuesday- Meanings of Words

Meanings of words evolve over time.
Words are shortened.
Sometimes they are completely different.

That's what this week's ten things Tuesday is about.
Words that have changed over time.

1. Jelly
    Once, jelly was only known as something inside of a donut or what you put on toast. Now, it is also the new way of saying jealous. Not sure if someone was being lazy or just thought it was cute when they came up with that.

2. Thong
    I may have mentioned this before. A thong is now a style of underwear that is like walking around with a permanent wedgie. When I grew up, you had a pair of thongs and you wore them on your feet.

3. Flip flop
    A flip flop is what I used to call a thong. A flip flop also has another meaning. It means to go back and forth on the issues. Does anyone remember when John Kerry ran for president and people were waving flip flops around in protest at his rallies? Because he is the only politician ever to say one thing and do something else.

4. Coke
    Coke started out as Coca-Cola. It is also short for cocaine. Coca-Cola used to contain cocaine. The company still processes the coca leaves the same way and cocaine gets produced. (It's all legal. They got a pass.) It is just not added to the drink anymore. Where does the cocaine go? Take a guess, you might be right.

5. Fairy Tail
    It used to be spelled fairy tale and was a children's story. Now, the tale becomes tail and it becomes Japanese anime.

6. Disk
    It used to be a round celestial body like the sun. Disk was also known as a gardening term. You turned over the soil with a disk( there were actually lots of small disks on it). Now, disk basically refers to a floppy disk or other disk on the hard drive in your computer.

7. Alcohol
    Alcohol used to always mean rubbing alcohol. Alcohol has always been adult beverage, but it was never referred to as such. It used to be booze or hard liquor.

8. Rubber
    In some places, a rubber is known as an eraser. Many years ago, a rubber in the US is what we now call a condom. I still remember this song we had to watch in school about safe sex. "If you want to play it safe, use a rubber". In 2010 "Rubber" was a movie about a psychopathic tire. I am NOT making this up.

9. Trunk
    You can have the trunk of a tree or the trunk of a car. When referring to a person's body, the trunk used to mean torso since it was the main portion of the body- like the trunk is the main part of the tree. Now, it's called the core. A person's trunk is now the butt since on a car the trunk is in the back. Except the old Volkswagen Beetle.

10. Roughage
    Does anyone still say roughage? I think that last time I said roughage I got odd looks. The new term is FIBER. Same thing. Kindler, gentler word.

Have a great Tuesday!


  1. And this is exactly why I am glad I learned English as my native language! No way could I learn it now as a foreigner!

    1. I have to agree with you Judy. I used to do this paid forum site based in the US and certain words were censored. A lady from New Zealand tried to write wetback and couldn't. Over there wetback means fireman. She was confused.

  2. I like it when you do these posts, Ruth. I learn so much. For example: I used to have rubbers on my car. That explains a few of the dings.


    1. Robyn, was one of them named Robert? That's not good.
      By the way I have your book in my cart. I had to save for later and went to checkout and it's unavailable. Way to go,you!

  3. I am a lover of words and this post hit the proverbial spot!

  4. Roughage.
    Probably better than "Colon Blow."

    1. Al, Oh, I don't know. Colon blow has it all. Apt description as well as having a nice "ring" to it.

  5. It's amazing how much languages can evolve over time. A few hundred years and a dialect morphs into it's own language.

    1. How true, Adam. Can you imagine Mark Twain picking up a book from today? He used a word that is a big no-no now and was used all the time in his day.

  6. I think # 8 is my favorite, I love they way you write, so matter of fact but funny at the same time. :)

  7. Oh, Alex. Thank you, you're so sweet. Can you imagine if Christine(the car from the Stephen King movie) and Robert(the tire in Rubber) got together? It would be chaos!

  8. Here in Aus, a thong is still worn on your feet while a G-string is the skimpy underwear.
    Alcohol can also be called "grog"
    What you call "jelly" we call jam
    And on a car we have the "boot" to put the groceries in.

    I smiled when you mentioned censored words on chat. A girlfriend and I would chat on a facebook game and would be terribly confused when she would call a beauty treatment a "facial" only for it to be bleeped. What is a common word here for a pamper session has another rather smutty meaning we discovered to our surprise

    1. Mynx, so that is what grog is. I have read it in books, but I thought it was a certain type of drink- not just alcohol in general.
      I forgot about g-string. My mom used to call them that.
      We have jam and jelly. Jam has fruit in it, jelly is made from the juice.
      Facial? That's new to me too.

  9. Hilarious and Omgosh I love all of them so it'd be very hard picking just one favorite!

  10. this was so funny and interesting--love it :)


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