Do You Know the Meaning of These Old-Timey Words and Phrases?

Do you consider yourself a wordsmith? Maybe you follow Merriam-Webster on social media and devour their daily dose of rare words. Do you wait eagerly to hear what the word of the year is each December? Are you especially eloquent, or a major logophile? Perhaps you read a lot or are of an older generation. Sure, you know modern slang. You dish the tea, you’ve got a big mood, and you won’t be too salty if you fail this quiz. But can you spare a minute for some monkeyshine with these flapdoodles? How many of these old-timey words do you think you can define? Do you have the largest vocabulary in your circle, or do you need to brush up a bit? Check out the hints if you get stumped, and be sure to challenge your friends!

Did you know?

Slang Makes a Comeback

We’ve all heard the term "hipster." You can probably visual your own definition of the word. But did you know it came into use in the 1940s? The meaning? The same. Norman Mailer was writing about hipsters and irony back in 1958. In fact, it’s where the words hep cat, hip, and hippie came from. In 2005, Arnold Zwicky coined the term “recency illusion” to describe the way old words seem new just because we haven’t heard them in a while. Just take words like "swag," coined in 1640, or "literally" being used for emphasis in the novel Nicholas Nickleby, which was published in 1839!

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