I find it interesting to see how different words are in use in some parts of the country and not in others, or how words fall out of use in general.
All my life I have been calling handbags or purses "pocketbooks." It seems this term isn't used by a lot of people. I am originally from the East Coast. I noticed that pocketbook is being used less frequently even on the East Coast since I've grown up.
I have met people from other regions of the country that don't even know what pocketbook means.
Did you ever use this term/have you even heard of it?
I'm an old southern gal, and we always called purses "pocketbooks". I've almost stopped using that word now because people look at me like I'm nuts. We southerners us a lot of words that people from the other parts of the US wouldn't know what we were talking about.
That's too funny - I also get those looks too when I say it. It would be intersting to know some of the words you speak of that are not used commonly elsewhere. I also noticed most people don't know what "daven" means. When I was growing up it was another word for sofa.
I say either "handbag" or "pocketbook" (although I don't like pocketbook). I really don't like "purse". That one makes me think of little white gloves and the 60's. It also sounds little-girly to me (because little girls use that word).
I grew up hearing "divan" fairly frequently, as well as:
piazza (instead of "porch") parlor (I dumped that one when I realized how weird it is) tonic (soda, of course - I also dumped that one from childhood) cellar (aka, "down cellar", which I really hate and never used myself) (dumped in favor of "basement")
Another oldie and not-goodie a few people have hung onto:
"At the Bendix" (instead of "at the laundromat")
and this one:
"The milk is in the frigidaire" (sp?) A carry-over, I guess, from the days when people called all refrigerators "frigidaires" (whether they were manufactured by "Frigidaire" or not).
I'm not usually guilty of this kind of thing; but one day I must have been channeling my father, because from out of nowhere I called the "T", "the streetcar". I don't even know where that came from! (My childhood, I guess; and even if there weren't streetcars by then.)
And while I'm at it...
Everyone so often one runs into the person who says, "Not for nothin'" and then follows it with a statement that seems like it certainly is "for something" I don't know... Maybe I just don't get the appropriate usage of the phrase, "not for nothin'". I've tried analyzing that "not for nothin'" thing, and came up with that it must have originally meant something like, "it's not without a reason/purpose that.....". But people just use it willy-nilly, like "not for nothin' but it's snowing out" (Huh?? ) Do people more than five miles outside Boston also say, "not for nothin'"?
I guess "not for nothin'" is not just a Boston thing, then.... Too bad, because - really - it shouldn't be spread around too much, in my opinion.
The whole time I was a kid and we lived in an older, big, house; we all said, "cellar". Then my family moved to a new house, and my mother announced, "It's called the 'living room' in this house. People don't call this kind of living room a "parlor" - so that was the end of "parlor" for us. (It's a good thing we moved. )
OK, here's one you won't believe! When Coco-Cola was invented years ago, it actually had cocaine in it. Made people feel really good. So people called Coke "dope". We called Coke mixed with ice cream: "sloppy dope".
That's right. Coca came from the poppy plant. It was given as a 'tonic'. The funny thing is my mother used to give us coke syrup, which she got at the neighborhood soda fountain, when we had a tummy ache. That was in the 50s. Not sure when they took the actual coke out it.
Now, I was talking about the original Coca Cola with the poppy derivative being used as a tonic. A 'pick me up'. The syrup was just the thick stuff they squirted into the glass before they filled it with seltzer, thus making a coke drink.
Or else, maybe that's how mom kept us in line. Hmm.