What's a Geezer?
Are All Senior Citizens Geezers?
Geezers and geezerdom are on the rise, especially with an aging population. But just being a senior citizen doesn't make someone a geezer. There are old people and there are geezers and they're not always the same. Read on to learn how to recognize a geezer. Since I'm a geezer, I'm more than qualified to lead you on this search.
To begin our investigation, we first have to determine which side of the Atlantic the person lives on.
You see, if you're in jolly old England, a geezer is a more general term for a man, or bloke as the British are wont to say. It's a lot like saying "guy" in the U.S. The bloke doesn’t have to be old, but the term does imply a little something extra – like a guy who's straightforward and maybe even a bit cheeky.
The British have two slang variations on geezer: diamond geezer and dodgy geezer. A diamond geezer is a good guy – a dependable bloke. On the other hand, if you're walking the streets of London and someone is called a dodgy geezer, steer clear because that bloke can be sneaky.
Turning to the American side of the Atlantic, most definitions say that geezer refers to an old man. But, again, it's not an ordinary old man. The connotation is that the old man has a bit of spunk in him. He could be a bit cantankerous, or even eccentric.
My definition of a geezer, then, is a person over 50 who's a bit feisty or cheeky, eccentric, in a good way, and may take to ranting or reflection as the mood strikes, but is never dull.
What term should we use for a feisty woman over 50?
Most dictionary definitions of geezer leave women out in the cold, on both sides of the Atlantic. So let's put it to a vote.
Just to be fair, for the rest of this page, geezer will refer to both men and women.
Geezers on the Web
Geezers like to speak out.
And the web gives them a great opportunity to do that. Here's a summary of some geezer blogs.
- Just a Geezer | A Blog about Geezers, Boomers, Seniors, Activities and Life after Retirement
Just a Geezer - This gentleman writes about everything that interests him, from opinions, to book reviews to life stories, and more.
- A Geezer's Corner
This blog has been around since 2004. You can find short rants and reflections on everything, with an emphasis on food and guns. This geezer blogger states that he is "…the most liberal right wing radical republican i know…"
- Geezer Guff | Feisty and funny senior citizen humor
OK, this is a shameless plug for my own geezer blog. The focus is humor with a bent for satire.
And let's not forget the women geezers who blog.
- Fabulous Geezersisters Weblog
Ruth Pennebaker, a professional writer, blogs about anything and everything that she finds interesting – and a few things that tick her off. By the way, the other fabulous geezer sister is too busy teaching English to do any writing here.
Here you'll find an emphasis on the physical side of geezerdom, especially yoga. But this geezer chick has other commentary as the mood strikes.
The term geezer lit began as a genre of crime and mystery literature that featured protagonists that were seniors – age 70 and up, in fact. In 2008, Harlan Coben, the president of Mystery Writers of America, was quoted as saying "It could be the next big frontier in crime fiction."
The term has evolved, now referring to any literature with an older, or senior citizen protagonist. Several examples, with the ages of their protagonists, are listed below.
Retirement Homes Are Murder by Mike Befeler - Mystery Series. Protagonist age: 80s
Getting Old is a Disaster by Rita Lakin - Mystery Series. Protagonist age: 70s
Death and Honesty by Cynthia Riggs - Mystery Series. Protagonist age: 92
Jimi Hendrix Turns 80 by Tim Sandlin - Satire. Protagonist age: 83
Old Man's War by John Scalzi - SciFi. Protagonist age: 75
Simon's Night by Jon Hassler - Novel. Protagonist age: 75
A Slight Trick of the Mind by Mitch Cullin - Novel. Protagonist: Sherlock Holmes at 93
Losing Julia by Jonathan Hull - Novel. Protagonist age: 81
Geezer Book Titles
This is not necessarily geezer lit, but a sampling of books with geezer in the title. They are quite a mixed lot of books.
Damn Near Dead: An Anthology of Geezer Noir by Duane Swierczynski (Editor)
Well-reviewed collection of short stories in the crime and mystery genre that involve geezers. Hence, a new term: "geezer noir."
So You Think You Can "Geezer" by Ben Goode
A feisty book with "Instructions for becoming the old coot you always dreamed of." Definitely humor.
Uncle Al's Geezer Salad: A mixed bag of reports on overlong repair projects, smart remarks from dogs, and a whole lot of one man's decline into mental cottage cheese by Al Sicherman
A former columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the author has put together some of his humorous reports including some about his increasing "geezerification."
You Might Be A Geezer by Larry Vandeventer
This author's third book is a collection of his humorous stories. He says "This is a book about Geezers written from the perspective of a Geezer." And his first chapter is called "What is a Geezer?" One of his many funny definitions is "A geezer is an old person who dresses funny."
Confessions of an Old Geezer by Richard Schwartz
An autobiography, the author recalls the 20's, 30's, his service in WWII, and life afterward in the recreational vehicle field.
Geezer Sex: A Collection of Short Stories by Michael Clarke
Who can resist a book with the words "geezer" and "sex" in the title? This book is a collection of stories all viewed from the geezer perspective, or, as the publisher would have you believe "people who are no longer young but remain youthful in the face of passing years."
When searching for "geezers" on the web your searches will often return the following:
Geezer Butler. He was the bassist for the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. (Think Ozzy Osbourne). Butler turned 60 this year so maybe he really is a geezer. But since he's British, he may be a bit of a dodgy geezer.
Diamond Geezer. This was a British television drama about a jewel thief and professional con man.
There are quite a few geezer-related videos on YouTube and they all seem to have the same theme – ain't old people funny?
The first one, called The Geezer Pleaser is one of a series. This cartoon makes fun of an old couple and Viagra.
The second is called Geezer Rap. That one makes fun of the elderly and Viagra, Depends, Ben-Gay, etc. Although I do kind of like the music.
These, and many of the other geezer-related videos on YouTube are fine examples of geezer bashing.
Final Geezer Comment
I hope this hub has enlightened you about geezers. Remember, a real geezer is an older man or woman with a feisty spirit and a sparkle in their eyes.