Fender Skirts


Maytag "Danged Agitator"
Now this will be well understood by some of we older folks but you grand kids should get a smile out of it.

Fender Skirts:

What a great blast from the past! I haven't thought about "fender skirts" in years. When I was a kid,

I considered it such a funny term. Made me think of a car in a dress.

Thinking about "fender skirts" started me thinking about other words that quietly disappear from our language with hardly a notice.

Like "curb feelers" and "steering knobs." Since I'd been thinking of cars, my mind naturally went that direction first. Any kids will probably have to find some elderly person over 50 to explain some of these terms to you.

Remember "Continental kits?" They were rear bumper extenders and spare tire covers that were supposed to make any car as cool as a Lincoln Continental.

When did we quit calling them "emergency brakes?" At some point "parking brake" became the proper term. But I miss the hint of drama that went with "emergency brake"

I'm sad, too, that almost all the old folks are gone who would call the accelerator the "foot feed."

Didn't you ever wait at the street for your daddy to come home, so you could ride the "running board" up to the house?

Here's a phrase I heard all the time in my youth but never anymore -- "store-bought." Of course, just about everything is store-bought these days. But once it was bragging material to have a store-bought dress or a store-bought bag of candy.

"Coast to coast" is a phrase that once held all sorts of excitement and now means almost nothing. Now we take the term "worldwide" for granted. This floors me.

On a smaller scale, "wall-to-wall" was once a magical term in our homes. In the '50s, everyone covered his or her hardwood floors with, wow, wall-to-wall carpeting! Today, everyone replaces their wall-to-wall carpeting with hardwood floors. Go figure.

When's the last time you heard the quaint phrase "in a family way?" It's hard to imagine that the word "pregnant" was once considered a little too graphic, a little too clinical for use in polite company. So we had all that talk about stork visits and "being in a family way" or simply "expecting."

Apparently "brassiere" is a word no longer in usage. I said it the other day and my daughter cracked up. I guess it's just "bra" now. "Unmentionables" probably wouldn't be understood at all.

It's hard to recall that this word was once said in a whisper -"divorce." And no one is called a "divorcee" anymore. Certainly not a "gay divorcee." Come to think of it, "confirmed bachelors" and "career girls" are long gone, too.

I always loved going to the "picture show," but I considered "movie" an affectation.

Most of these words go back to the '50s, but here's a pure-'60s word I came across the other day - "rat fink." Oo!h, what a nasty put-down!

Here's a word I miss - "percolator." That was just a fun word to say. And what was it replaced with? "Coffeemaker." How dull. Mr. Coffee, I blame you for this.

I miss those made-up marketing words that were meant to sound so modern and now sound so retro. Words like "DynaFlow" and "Electrolux." Introducing the 1963 Admiral TV, now with "SpectraVision!"

Food for thought - Was there a telethon that wiped out lumbago? Nobody complains of that anymore. Maybe that's what castor oil cured, because I never hear mothers threatening their kids with castor oil anymore.

Some words aren't gone, but are definitely on the endangered list. The one that grieves me most - "supper." Now everybody says "dinner" Save a great word. Invite someone to supper. Discuss fender skirts.

Someone forwarded this to me, and I thought some of us of a "certain age" would remember most of these
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That's quite a list you compiled. Good job.

Down here in Texas, we still go to the Ice House for a Soda Water. That's a fountain soda from the convenience store, where long ago, people used to have to go to get ice.
I still like to eat supper, but Brunch is more fun. I consider brunch to be any meal, [preferably with eggs in it] that you can start with coffee and finish with beer.

Any kids will probably have to find some elderly person over 50 to explain some of these terms to you.
ELDERLY PERSON OVER 50??????? Larry, you could have left that part out! I'm gonna wait 'til I'm 80 before I consider myself elderly.

We called "steering knobs" "brodie knobs". Can't even find that in a dictionary!!!! Arghhh. (I had one on my '41 Plymouth coupe, though. Used it, too. :D)

You kids should ask your grandparents to let you see their current issue of AARP magazine. Richard Lederer has a hoot of an article entitled "The Way We Word" that lists some real treasures like pedal pushers and poodle skirts, but don't forget rumble seats, iceboxes, (damn, I can still remember the mess when we'd go out and forget to empty the drip pan), slide rules, and the Hula Hoop.

Pshaw. A lot of today's slang would be Banned in Boston!
Thanks Larry, what a pleasent way end the day. Fender skirts, fender guides, those big sponge dice hanging on the rearview mirror, the 59 Pontiacs now that was a monster compared to the roller skates of today. Ah! well, we still have the memories.
Cheers Willis

wait 'til I'm 80 before I consider myself elderly.
Hmm! that seems too close, I'll wait till 90 :D