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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

Some Books
I'm In...

Sleep Is
For The Weak

Chicago Review Press

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Let's Panic

The site that inspired the book!

At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

« Because Peter O’Toole isn’t mocked enough. | Main | A brief account of the festivities. »

Twenty-three skiddoo!

When Maggie first told me about her book, No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog, I thought, that’s going to be a great resource--for someone else. For the lame-o who can’t come up with a single topic to post about. Not to put those losers down! But such a book—wonderful as it would undoubtedly be—would nonetheless not be of use to myself, the greatest creative mind of the 21st century.

As in most things, I have been proven wrong. It’s a goldmine of inspiration even for the veteran blogger who thinks she knows her way around these parts. In fact it may be even more useful for such a person, who might be feeling a tad blocked these days, who may be thinking, “I’ve been writing this damn thing for two and a half years and I’ve covered every topic under the sun. I DESERVE TO TELL THEM ABOUT MY LUNCH.”

(Leftover shepherd’s pie and a Fun-Sized Twix bar. See? Haven’t you gained something from knowing that?)

The topic I’ve chosen from Maggie’s book is #14, “Watch Your Language,” in which I am to list some archaic words or phrases I wish would come back into popular use. I have many of these, as I find living in the present highly distasteful. Here are a few:

Vo- dee-oh-do. Sometimes “Vo-dee-oh-do-do.” Either way, it’s a winner. This was used to great effect in the Little Rascals to describe some colorful and suspicious individuals. “They were a couple of vo-dee-oh-dos.” According to Google it was also used in "Laverne and Shirley" as a euphemism for sex, but no one wants to imagine either Laverne or Shirley in that way, so let’s go with the former useage.

Jackanapes and cock of the walk. Preferably used together. “He thinks he’s a real cock of the walk, but I say he’s nothing but a jackanapes.”

Conniptions. No one talks about anyone having conniptions anymore. That’s a shame. I myself make it a habit of having a conniption at least once a day, just to give someone the opportunity to use this glorious word.

…see? I believe everyone should end every statement with “see?” It’ll make you sound like a character in Double Indemnity. At the very least, you’ll sound like my Grandpa. Either way I will love you.

What olde-timey words or phrases would you like to come back? Place your requests here!

Reader Comments (178)

Hows about folderol? or gewgaws?
October 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJennie
The first thing I'm going to teach my children to say is, "Good DAY, sir!" That phrase always cracks me up for some reason.

Somewhat related, I went to pick up my contacts yesterday and actually told the clerk, "Everything seems to be in order here," like I was a mobster making sure all the cash was in the suitcase or something.
October 13, 2006 | Unregistered Commentershiveringwarmth
Oops, I forgot about "Cripes!"
October 13, 2006 | Unregistered Commentershiveringwarmth
I'm trying to bring back 'Ducks in a row' as in "I'm so swamped at the office I really need to get my ducks in a row." Keep in mind I'm 27 so people laugh at me.

My husband and I use 'tomfoolery' a lot. And my mom actually uses 'phooey' with such force I swear she's going to use the F-word. Such control! I could never do it. I'm naughty.
October 13, 2006 | Unregistered Commentersamantha Jo Campen
Gallivanting. Especially if done all willy-nilly. Then afterwards, getting a drink out of the icebox.

I need to remember "KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS" the next time I feel the need to swear in front of my kids.
October 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth
I apparently formed the bulk of my vocabulary after reading lots of novels set in the first half of the last centruy. I honestly had no idea that I talk like a flapper most of the time. Around here, however, everything is jake, especially when I'm all dolled up and feeling spify and we're headed out to pick up some hooch.
October 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterVelma
Blast! I almost forgot drats!
October 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKasey
Ooh, I love this! I use dagnabbit all the time. That and boogersnots are my two favorite "curse" words.

Flibbity gibbity is an expression you don't hear too much anymore, might be fun to bring it back.

DH likes groovy.

Thanks for the smile.
October 13, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermira
"Fainting couch": both the expression and the article.

"The vapors": that which one has upon the fainting couch.

And though I'm not a Quaker, I do wish "thees" and "thous" would return to fashion.
October 13, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterlaura
kerfuffle - The boys caused quite a kerfuffle!


my dogs are barkin'

sass - as in "Was that sass? Don't sass me!"



peachy - I've been using this for a while and I always get strange looks from people when I say, "That's just peachy!" And not sarcastically, either.

October 13, 2006 | Unregistered Commentercandace
Fatootzed. As in, "All right, all right, don't get all fatootzed."
October 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. Kennedy
My mom always says "dadgumit" and I've caught myself using "criminitly" more than once. My husband actually used the term "hogwash" the other day and made me wonder if he'd been talking with my mother a lot lately.
October 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterRachel
My mother's favorite euphemism for a curse is "Cheese and crackers!" Don't know if that was a common one or not in her day. And if she got lost, she went "all around Robin Hood's barn." She also introduced me to a lot of Britishisms like "...and Bob's your Uncle!"

My votes for coming back into fashion are "groovy" (which I still say sometimes, showing my advanced age) and "neat."

October 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMauigirl52
trollop. It's just so delightfully descriptive and dismissive.
October 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAng
Mine is "smite." I'm a Biblical Hebrew major, and the ancient lexicon that I use for translation has the word "smite" instead of "hit" or "strike." In fact, there's a verse out of kings where a dude says to another dude, "By the word of the Lord, smite me please," and that just tickles me pink. Smite!
October 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterWallydraigle
October 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAmy
Just the other day I heard my landlady end a cellphone conversation with, "And that's my story, morning glory!" I guess that expression made like a tree.
October 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSnoot
I'm going to get that book so I can feel like the cock of the walk.
October 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
i use 'conniption' all the time. so next time you wanna hear it, come over. i'll bake cookies and tell you about several conniptions.
October 13, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterhonestyrain
DOY! - That's a good one although not very old.

How about "talk a dog off a meat wagon" as in "She's so boring she could talk a dog off a meat wagon." Where are these wagons of meat?

October 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterPetey
I vote for okey-dokey - - let's all be third graders!
October 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLaylabean
Lovin' the comments.

Definitely, we're into having conniptions here.

I'd like to see "Land sakes" as in "Land sakes child, what mess are you into?" Also, Hold your Horses - which confounded me as a child and I love to use it to confuse my daughter ("What Horses?")

Good ol' cuss words are "Shhhh-ugar" or "jeez-louise" or "oh my goodnes" which sounds darn cute when my 3-year old says it. And FUBAR is great, too.

Great British terms that I wish American's used are:

Wonky - which means out of kilter (another great phrase)CheekyFancy - as in "I fancy the cute boy in my English class"

October 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJulie
We often use the term "conniption fit" in my family. It describes my sister's behavior so well.
October 13, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjustme
Shirley: You vo-dee-oh-do-do!

Laverne: I do NOT Vo-dee-oh-do-do.

Shirley: Well, You vo-dee-oh.

Laverne: ::shrugs::

I say we bring back "easy peasy lemon squeezy!" because I'm already saying it anyway.

October 13, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
How about "scofflaw"? Or is that still pretty common... I've heard it used a couple times on NPR recently.
October 13, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterheidi

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