20 Underused Words and Phrases


Certain words and phrases have fallen out of use and deserve to make a comeback. Just think how much more fun our conversations would be with these nuggets tossed into the mix. If you have any to add to the list, please feel free to comment!

  1. A month of Sundays. That was a long time a long time ago.
  2. Bad scene. A 1960s phrase that describes much of the 2010s.
  3. Cat’s pajamas. The opposite of a bad scene in the 1920s.
  4. Clown show. Synonym for political debate.
  5. Gee willikers. So much more sophisticated than holy shit!
  6. Grab some bench. Not everyone is qualified to play, and you need to let them know.
  7. Hogwash. Describes the content of a clown show.
  8. Humdinger. As good as it gets; a real lulu.
  9. In cahoots. Secretly allied for nefarious purposes. Institutional cahootage is rampant.
  10. Johnny come lately. Because the early bird catches the worm, Johnny gets sucked into the wormhole.
  11. Kibosh. To put the kibosh on something is to stop it in no uncertain terms. Kibosh something ridiculous today. You’ll feel better.
  12. Lollygag. A Johnny come lately could have been lollygagging, idling instead of acting. Lollygaggers never prosper.
  13. Malarkey. Hogwash.
  14. Man about town. So pleasantly and positively descriptive of an urbane and socially connected man.
  15. Mellow out. Another good 1960s-ism. Mellowing out is what happens to you when you quit social media.
  16. Nebulous. Vague, ill-defined, open to interpretation. You take a big step toward clarity when you realize about 90 percent of what you read, hear and say is nebulous.
  17. Sideshow. A distraction from the main event, or a show of lesser importance. Political debate is usually a sideshow as well as a clown show. (Not to be confused with a PowerPoint slideshow, which is usually nebulous malarky.)
  18. Slim pickings. Your usual choice of qualified political candidates is this.
  19. Transmogrify. To transform into something strange or grotesque; for example, what happened to the Chicago Bears after they won the Super Bowl in 1986, and again after Marc Trestman became their coach in 2013.
  20. What’s your beef? These days your beef its mostly vegetable-based. What is the world coming to?

(Image credit  – © Brad Shorr)

4 Replies to “20 Underused Words and Phrases”

Leave a Reply