25 Obscure Old Phrases To Bring Back ASAP

If you're like me, you can't keep up with the ever-evolving world of slang that our society seems to pummel through at lightning speed. It seems like as soon as I figure out how to use "snatched" properly in a sentence (turns out it's got the same meaning as "on fleek"), it's on to the next word. Which is why I'm turning to vintage language. I mean, aside from my mild obsession with decades of the past, their slang was just... the most. (See what I did there?) There are a number of obscure old phrases we need to bring back. Not just because they're fun to say, but because I need some old standards to rely on in this world of super-charged changing slang.

There's no reason to go off your chump or flub the dub, just live a little, feel like a bearcat for once. And if you can't cut the mustard, or people look at you like you're a hugger-mugger, just remember whoever thinks you're off your cob is nothing but a mumpsimus. So don't be a beef-witted dewdropper, fold yourself in four and give them the wind! If all else fails, you can get zozzled with your pals and have a chat about fribblers. Whew. Keep reading to translate all of that epic old time slang.



What in the word is a pang-wangle? It's not a what, exactly, but a how. To pang-wangle is to live or go along cheerfully in spite of minor misfortunes, according to The Week. So if you get a flat tire, get caught in the rain, forget your lunch, and still have a cheerful demeanor? Looks like you're pang-wangling your way through life.


Happy Cabbage

Right from the mouth of Dictionary.com, happy cabbage is defined as money. Specifically, a nice chunk of change to treat yourself with things like cabbage. I mean, it was the '40s.


Flub The Dub

If you flub the dub, it means you're slacking on your job, according to Dictionary.com. If you're a professional at avoiding your actual to-do list at the office, you might just be the queen of flubbing the dub.


Give Them The Wind

Instead of saying you ghosted your last Tinder date, according to Mental Floss, you can just use this phrase instead to imply that you jilted your date. "I gave him the wind," she told her friends, not feeling the slightest bit guilty for blowing off her date.



According to Bustle, zounds is the equivalent of oh god. In fact, it stems from being a shorthand version of "God's wounds," if you can believe it.



There's no way around this one, sard was the F-word of medieval times, according to Holy Sh*t, A Brief History of Swearing by Melissa Mohr.



Zooterkins! Come on, how fun is that to say? According to Bustle, the phrase stems from "God's wounds" again, but dates back to the 17th Century.



If you've ever been on a road trip with a bunch of children, you've probably experienced being amidst a bunch of whooperups. According to Mental Floss, whooperups are inferior, noisy singers. I could probably fall under this category too.


Sauce Box

Shut your sauce box, Sal. Yes, your sauce box is your mouth, according to Mental Floss. Makes sense, right? I mean, what other box would you put sauce into?



Trashed, hammered, sauced, zozzled, you get the picture. According to The Atlantic, zozzled means you're drunk.


The Zings

If you've ever been hungover, you've had a case of the zings, according to The Week.



Not quite zozzled, just a little tipsy. That's what squiffed means, according to Dictionary.com


Off His Chump

According to the Oxford Dictionary, if someone's off his chump, it means he's off his rocker.


Happy Returns

Though "many happy returns" suggests it might be a holiday, plain old happy returns is just old school slang for throwing up. Not so happy, but still slang, according to the Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional Language.


Off The Cob

Just like it sounds, off the cob mean's someone's corny, according to The Week.



According to Mental Floss, consider the fribbler the f*ckboy of the 18th century. Says he's super into you, but won't commit? Such a fribbler.



A mumpsimus is the "adherence to or persistence in an erroneous use of language, memorization, practice, belief, etc., out of habit or obstinacy," according to Dictionary.com.


Fold Yourself In Four

Are you always bending over backwards for people? You're folding yourself in four. From the French phrase se plier en quatre, according to The Huffington Post, folding yourself in four captures the exertion you put yourself through when you're going the extra mile.



Are you a lively, spirited gal with a fiery streak of sassiness? Consider yourself a bearcat, according to Thought Catalog.



Chances are you know a dewdropper, or a lollygagger, according to Thought Catalog. Somebody who sits around all day and does nothing. The worst.


Icy Mitt

When you give an object of your affection the cold shoulder, you're giving them the icy mitt, according to Urban Dictionary.



When you're creeping around, trying to keep a secret, you're acting like a hugger-mugger, according to Dictionary.com.



You know when you eat too much of a good thing, or drink too much of a good thing, and you feel, well, crapulous? Merriam Webster knows what it's like to be so full of food and liquor you get uncomfortable.



Merriam Webster defines beef-witted as stupid. As in, "Yes, I own every season of The Simple Life on DVD, I don't care if it's beef-witted."


Can't Cut The Mustard

If you can't cut the mustard, according to Dictionary.com, it means you can't hack it.