Big Bunch of Malarkey

I’m editing the novel I’ve been reworking for the past 15 years one more time. As I’m doing this, I’m rewriting some of the language the protagonist’s grandmother uses, which has me conjuring words my own grandmother – a Lithuanian immigrant –  used. Words like “malarkey” as in “There’s no such thing as the Boogie Man. That’s a bunch of malarkey.” Where the heck did such a brilliant word come from and where did it go?

I also remember words she used like “davenport” as in “Get your feet off the davenport or take off your shoes!” This was an oldschool term for couch. Another all-time favorite was “ruffian” as in “I don’t like that girl with the dungarees and lunatic eyes coming around here. She’s a ruffian.” Other oldies-but-goodies included: “hooligan” (I just learned this is actually a racist term) “hocus pocus”, “whippersnaper” and the aforementioned “dungarees”.

Someday words like “LP” and “amazing” (see previous post about banned English words) will be obsolete. I feel like an old-timer already.


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