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Your Ancestors Used Those Words?



Just like many things (buildings, technology, food, clothing styles, transportation, etc), words and phrases change over the years.  

One area to have changed a good deal are the use of certain words and what they meant.

Since the United States was a British colony for decades, many of their words and phrases were also used in America. There are a few phrases and words not needed ever again. For example: the term gardyloo was yelled out as a warning before chamber pots were poured out of windows onto the streets below.

Other interesting terms and phrases which could still be used or were used by your ancestors.

Uhtceare This means someone lying awake worrying any subject before dawn breaks.

Trumpery – Means when things might be a good deal but instead are worthless.

terms-foodGroke – Refers to staring at someone eating, hoping they will give you a bite.

Elflock – This is the term for tangled, matted hair.  term-tangled-hair

Billingsgate – The use of cursive words, bad language.

Jargogle – The act of being confusing or jumble what was said.

terms-dog-shakingQuagswag – When you swing or shake something back and forth.

Bedward – Means going into your bed for the night. terms-pajamas-1940s

Gutted – Refers to being very sad and upset.

All to Pot – An event or situation failed completed of which you had not control over.

Fortnight – A common word which referred to a two weeks time period.

So just a few terms and words, if you do run across any from ancestors’ journals, research the word.

Photos: Staring at someone eating; tangled hair; a dog swing or shaking his head and vintage pajamas of the 1940s worn to bed.

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

Old Terms – New Again

Colonial and 19th Century Terms

American Phrases

 

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