I put on a pair of pedal pushers the other day. Sure, some of you out there would say they look just like capris, but they’re not. They’re pedal pushers. They’ve always been pedal pushers, even before I learned how to ride a bike. So, I thought about some other words for items that would seem “old-fashioned” nowadays.
1. Pedal pushers- Ok, people use the word “capri” to describe the same thing. Capri pants were actually introduced by designer Emilio Pucci di Barsento in 1949 in his boutique on the Isle of Capri, Italy. Everyone then started wearing his Capri’s. Audrey Hepburn was probably the most famous wearer of the capri pants. Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, Annette Funicello, and Sandra Dee all had publicity photos taken in Capri’s. Same thing as pedal pushers. They are.
2. Davenport- Some of you are too young to know what a davenport is. Well, it is a couch or sofa. You know how Kleenex is the same thing as a tissue? And Scotch tape is the same as ???tape?? Well, Davenport was a genericized name for the Davenport company that once issued sofas. My mom always used to tell company, “Have a seat on the davenport. Would you like some coffee?”
3. Dungarees- My ex-mother-in-law still calls jeans, dungarees. “I bought Alex a pair of dungarees today.” The term came from the fabric that was made and sold in Dungari Killa in Bombay (now Mumbai) India many years ago.
4. Ice box- Ahhhh, gotta love technology. An ice box is the same thing as a refrigerator. Well, sort of. I have heard my grandparents use this term when I was growing up. An ice box was a nice looking piece of wooden furniture. According to Wikipedia, “Iceboxes had hollow walls that were lined with tin or zinc and packed with various insulating materials such as cork, sawdust, straw or seaweed. A large block of ice was held in a tray or compartment near the top of the box. Cold air circulated down and around storage compartments in the lower section. Some finer models had spigots for draining ice water from a catch pan or holding tank. In cheaper models a drip pan was placed under the box and had to be emptied at least daily. The user had to replenish the melted ice, normally by obtaining new ice from an iceman.” Yes, an iceman would come around on his horse and carriage to deliver blocks of ice to the melting public.
5. Pocketbook- This is another word my mother-in-law uses. “Go get my pocketbook for me.” I think many people have heard someone use this term for a purse. From what I have researched, looks like “pocketbook” was used until around 1955 , when women started using the word, “purse.” Originally, a pocketbook was just that, a small book that you could put in a pocket. Then it became a holder for paper money for women. And then small items like a tube of lipstick, etc.
6. Poke- I’ve heard elderly people still refer to a paper bag or a sack as a poke.
7. Babushka- I don’t know if it is because the area I am from has a lot of Russian Orthodox people or not, but my mom used to use the word, “babushka” all of the time. It’s another name for a headscarf that is tied under the chin. Queen Elizabeth wears a babushka a lot. Some people call those little nesting dolls “babushka.” We used to wear babushka’s a lot, but tied them behind our head. “Scarf on head” is what we would say.
8. Toboggan- Ok, where I come from, we use the word, “toboggan” to mean a winter hat, not a sled. Sure, there is a toboggan that you jump on to go sled riding, but there is also a toboggan that you wear. People debate this. It’s a knit cap. End of story.
9. Penny Loafers- Are these still around? Because I used to wear them all of the time. I would put a shiny penny in each one. Later, I used dimes because I am that cool. Actually, it was an emergency use for a pay phone. All you had to do is take the coin out of your shoe and call home. Voila!
10. Culottes- I wore culottes. They were so cool. Until someone decided to start calling them skorts (skirt/shorts) and just ruined everything. I still have a couple pair…of culottes. I won’t wear a skort.
So, there you have it. Items that now have other words to describe them. It’s funny how thinking about pedal pushers has taken me on a three hour journey. And now I look outside, and it is raining. There goes my day.
Unless of course I put on my slicker and galoshes and head outside.