Posts Tagged ‘old man words’

Old Man Word 90: The Itch

Itchiness is a character flaw.  Itching stems from bad hygiene and/or bad women.  I shun the itching and their itching ways.  The very word itch is, to me, the equivalent of the word moist to a woman: awful.

My issue with the word spawns from — who else? — the eld.  While most of us view itch as a verb (“the reaction to various skin conditions”) or an adjective (“a longing or desire”), old people think of itch as a noun.  This is not a noun you want to parley with.  Here’re some examples:

I’m itching ta git my hands on that new outboard. (Fine. Itch as verb.)

He had him an itchy trigger-finger. (Illiterate but acceptable.  Itch as adjective.)

That injun girl gave me the itch. (Yuck.)

You see old people — for all their flaws — are very polite.  This is why they call you a dunderhead instead of an asshole, highfalutin instead of an asshole, and a whippersnapper instead of a fucker.  They’re so accursedly polite they don’t find it proper to talk about diseases like chlamydia, crabs, or gonorrhea.  Instead, they refer to each as merely …

The Itch.

If the list of Itch-seases ended there I might be more forgiving.  But it doesn’t.  Seems “the itch” also refers to something else.  Something so vile one may be forgiven for tossing their Grandma’s Jitterbug on the floor and stepping on it.  That “something else” is set out in this 1950’s ad for Lanocaine:


Yup.  In addition to the common skin disorders, folk also used to suffer from the itchiness of unwashed vaginas and unwiped rectums.  (What they politely call “personal membranes.”).  Unwashed vaginas have never been cool but back in the day we must conject that they were positively revolting (what with the hair and the maxi-pads and all).  The very thought of Grandma spreading slabs of salve on her itchy membranes almost makes me feel sorry for poor castigated Grampa.

That is until I consider that Gramps probably used the Lanacaine to cure his “naughty bits” from whatever it is he caught off that Injun gal.

And, of course, either of the two could have been “itch-scratch-itching” those rectum-membranes right?

It’s enough to make your skin crawl.

Itch.  Multiple usages.

1.   An irritating skin sensation causing a desire to scratch.
2.  A restless desire or craving for something: e.g. an itch to travel.
3.  A disease of the skin caused by old people’s poor hygiene.
4.  STD Grandpas caught from boning “Injuns.”


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Old Man Word 100: Two-Bits

My first encounter with “bits” as a measure of currency was in a mini-mart/bait shop.  Since it was a bait shop you can guess the age of the man working the counter: old.  I didn’t need bait, I needed candy.  Codger working the counter said the price for my Twix bar was “four-bits.”  I had a dollar bill, I said, no “bits.”  The coot snorted, muttered, snickered, and went back to reading Trout Digest.  I left empty-handed and angry.  Angry at old people and angry at trout and angry at these mysterious things called bits.

In time I learned that two bits is old man speak for a quarter.  Four-bits is old man sputter for fifty cents.  From the foregoing you may have deduced — correctly — that there is a direct linear relationship between bits and quarters so I’ll leave it to you to figure out what six bits is (hint: it’s seventy-five cents).  Here’s the formal definition for you:

two-bit. adj.

1. Informal Costing or worth 25 cents: a two-bit cigar.

2. Word used by old people to demonstrate intellectual inferiority of eight year old candy-loving kids.

If you’re the kind of twerp who Wikipedias stuff like this, you probably know that the phrase two-bits originated in colonial times when Spanish dollars were commonly carved up into eight pieces (thus a quarter being two slices of said spanish dollar, e.g., “two bits”). Since even the oldest of old timers isn’t pushing two-hundred-fifty years of elderliness, this fact does not explain why quarters — which come in handy, silver-colored singular units — are called “two-bits.”   Blame for that silliness must be lain at the feet of a crummy song written in the thirties called “Shave and a Haircut.”  Shave and a Haircut has been described as the shortest song ever written.  It has also been described as horrible.  Here are the words if you aren’t familiar:

Shave and a Haircut.  Two bits.

The taunting lyrics of that diddy have spawned a generation of angry cooters.  Not only does it remind them of their youths, when ice cream cones were a nickel and a good blow-job could be hud for a dime, the contrast between the lyrics of yesterday and today illustrate why it sucked to be born fifty years ago.

Songs today are about ass fucking.  Songs of the nineties were about standard fucking.  Songs of the eighties were about “having sex.”  Songs of the seventies were about making love.  Songs of the sixties hinted about the fact that the kids were probably making love, usually in the back of some American-made, gas-hog, muscle-car.  Songs of the fifties were about necking.  Songs of the forties were about dancing with a purty gal.

Songs of the thirties, apparently, were about getting a good deal on a quality hair cut.

No wonder old people are pissed.

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