Words Your Ancestors Used, but Not Used Today

There are many expressions used over the decades, some new ones and some old ones that are no longer used.

Here are some examples of words and phrases used by our ancestors but not so much anymore.

A popular drink of gin and ale drink was served hot with sugar or other ingredients added in the 1800s. It was called ‘Purl‘.

In America, in the 1700s a favorite food dish was called ‘Tansy‘ which resemblances a custard but with fruit inside. The dish usually had apples in the tansy during colonial times.

In the 1700s and 1800s, European armies used a military sword named ‘Spadroon’. This type of sword was used in battle.

Another weapon of the 1600s was called a ‘Blunderbuss‘, a type of rifle. This was used for close-range shooting. By the 1800s the word became known as someone who was clumsy or foolish.

There was the term in the 1600s of ‘Fribble‘ that referred to an idle or superficial person.

At the beginning of the 20th century, a word “Fussbudget” referred to a person who was fussy, or fidgety. That term is not used any longer used.

A popular term for short pants worn by young boys and men playing sports was called ‘Plus Fours’. Fellows wore these pants that came to the knees and then socks down to into their shoes.

In England and America at the turn of the 20th century fellows wore them when bike riding, hunting, fishing or playing golf. If such pants were termed ”Plus Twos’ they had less fabric and if termed “Plus Sixes” they had more fabric. (very loose-fitting pant legs). This name for such pants remained popular as did the style well into the 1930s. By the 1920s and 1930s they were also referred to as ‘Knickerbockers’. A few daring ladies even wore these style of pants. You just might have ancestors in photos wearing these style pants.

Photos: Spadroon; Blunderbuss; and examples of Plus Fours.

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

Antiquated Phrases

Quaint Sayings

Ancestor’s Curse Words

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