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Archived Author Help > Idioms - Need help from the boomers out there!

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message 1: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) So, Google is at a loss for this one, so I'm hoping that anyone that was old enough to know slang circa 1975 can answer this.

Was the phrase, "Don't get your panties in a bunch" used back then? If not, what would be an equivalent?

"Don't get your knickers in a twist" may have been around back then, but I'm wondering if the phrase had journeyed across the pond around the same time.


message 2: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) PS Any other 70s era idioms would be fun to know, too!


message 3: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Hold your horses was a big one. I can't remember many panties being twisted back then, but my Italian family was always demanding that horses be held. :)


message 4: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) If no panties were being twisted in the early 70s, what was the closest slang to "don't freak out?"


message 5: by C.M. (new)

C.M. Halstead (cmhalstead) | 46 comments I remember 'don't get your knickers in a twist' & "hold your horses" (I heard that a lot from mom and I grew up in the 70's). I am from a military family and heard "wait one" frequently as well.
My wife is from the south and she uses: "panties in a bunch" or "let your feet grow in that spot for a minute".


message 6: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) Cool. I just want to verify that if I have a mob type from 1975 saying "don't get your panties in a bunch" it won't be a dirty anachronism.


message 7: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 1042 comments You're good to go. I was 17 in '75 and the phrase was definitely around back then. My mom actually used to say "don't get your shorts in a bunch." Undershorts she meant. Same thing. She was from Arkansas.

Knickers, though, wouldn't have been used in the US. That's more a UK thing. So adjust according to geography.


message 8: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Eh, we definitely had knickers in NY, but not in a bunch. There was an expression that I will not post here that my parents used often when referring to something one might find shocking. It involved soiled knickers.


message 9: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4334 comments Mod
Quoleena wrote: "Was the phrase, "Don't get your panties in a bunch" used back then? If not, what would be an equivalent? "

I believe it was. In '75 I would have been 9 and I do remember hearing it in my childhood.


message 10: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) Christina wrote: "Eh, we definitely had knickers in NY, but not in a bunch. There was an expression that I will not post here that my parents used often when referring to something one might find shocking. It involv..."

PM ME!!!


message 11: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) ...and don't censor it :)


message 12: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) LOL! Okay!


message 13: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) That's the raddest thing I've read all day. So much so that I don't even care if raddest isn't a word.


message 14: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Raddest was eighties. :)


message 15: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) I was too busy watching the Smurfs, Jem, or playing Nintendo in the 80s to be hip to slang.


message 16: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments Maybe you can find some here:

http://www.inthe70s.com/generated/ter...

If not, have you thought about watching old 70's TV shows or movies to find out? I'm thinking comedies should have many idioms in them. I was thinking movies like Cheech and Chong, but their oldest is 1978.


message 17: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) Thanks GG! I actually watched Goodfellas recently for tone reference. A classic.


message 18: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments I recall that phrase from the 70's, but where I was it usually heard as: "Don't get your panties in a wad."

I also heard "knickers in a twist," which was known to be from the UK, but we used it anyway, just as we adopted other things British. (British comedy, the BBC, and Masterpiece Theater, were all very big where I grew up.)


message 19: by Jenycka (new)

Jenycka Wolfe (jenyckawolfe) | 301 comments I asked my Ma and she said "you really want to know what I was doing with my panties in 1975?"


message 20: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) Owen wrote: "I recall that phrase from the 70's, but where I was it usually heard as: "Don't get your panties in a wad."

I also heard "knickers in a twist," which was known to be from the UK, but we used it a..."


Any chance you grew up in the suburbs of Detroit in the 70s?


message 21: by Owen (new)

Owen O'Neill (owen_r_oneill) | 1509 comments Quoleena wrote: "Owen wrote: "I recall that phrase from the 70's, but where I was it usually heard as: "Don't get your panties in a wad."

I also heard "knickers in a twist," which was known to be from the UK, but..."


Nope. Darkest suburbia in the SF Bay Area.


message 22: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) Jenycka wrote: "I asked my Ma and she said "you really want to know what I was doing with my panties in 1975?""

You might appreciate my knee-jerk goofy way to respond to that, but I'll refrain.


message 23: by Jenycka (new)

Jenycka Wolfe (jenyckawolfe) | 301 comments I'm pretty obnoxious so I might. She wasn't making me, though - I wasn't born till 1981.


message 24: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) Naw, that wasn't it!


message 25: by Jenycka (new)

Jenycka Wolfe (jenyckawolfe) | 301 comments Daddy just told me they were likely on the backseat floor of his old Pontiac... Gross.


message 26: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Oh! I just thought of another one my mom used that is slightly NSFW: Don't get your t**s in a tizzy.


message 27: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) Jenycka wrote: "Daddy just told me they were likely on the backseat floor of his old Pontiac... Gross."

"TMI, Dad! TMI."


message 28: by Christina (last edited May 02, 2015 07:22PM) (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) And I just now remembered my mother is a Goodreads friend of mine and might see that I'm revealing she was a bit of a potty mouth.


message 29: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) Christina wrote: "Oh! I just thought of another one my mom used that is slightly NSFW: Don't get your t**s in a tizzy."

Good one. That one lingered through the nineties, I think.


message 30: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) Christina wrote: "And I just now remembered my mother is a Goodreads friend of mine and might see that I'm revealing she was a bit of a potty mouth."

*chuckling*


message 31: by Denise (new)

Denise (mariesiduri) The one that I recall is "Don't get your knickers in a knot." Pretty sure it was around when I was in high school back in the 70s.


message 32: by Yvonne (new)

Yvonne Anderson (yanderson) | 8 comments I think it depends entirely on the setting and situation. Who and where are the characters and what are they doing? When I shuffle through my memories of those days, I hear people saying things more like chill out, man, or take a chill pill. Don't be so uptight. Don't have a cow. Take a break, Jake.


message 33: by Quoleena (last edited May 03, 2015 02:08PM) (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) Yvonne wrote: "I think it depends entirely on the setting and situation. Who and where are the characters and what are they doing? When I shuffle through my memories of those days, I hear people saying things mor..."

Gangsters from the East Coast certainly didn't talk like that. Can you imagine Joe Pesci in Goodfellas or Casino saying, "Take a chill pill" or "Gag me with a spoon?"


message 34: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) Had a total Freudian slip when I posted this yesterday. Hello, Italian father-in-law, who grew up in Detroit, and who has a potty mouth the size of Lake Michigan. In my defense, I already knew how the conversation would go. Plenty of allegories, none of which actually answer the question. Follow that with stories of his mother, who only knew bits of English from watching, Days of Our Lives and who had a potty mouth the size of Canada. So, ultimately, I'd still be in the same boat.


message 35: by G.G. (last edited May 03, 2015 04:37PM) (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments How about 'Get off your high horse'?
Sorry if someone said it already.


message 36: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) G.G. wrote: "How about 'Get off your high horse'?
Sorry if someone said it already."


I think I heard that one even in the '50s.


message 37: by Yvonne (new)

Yvonne Anderson (yanderson) | 8 comments These are gangsters on the East Coast? Then no, they wouldn't take a chill pill. Sorry, I didn't pick up on who the characters in question are. I didn't hang out with gangsters in the '70s, so I'm drawing a blank.


message 38: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) Yvonne wrote: "These are gangsters on the East Coast? Then no, they wouldn't take a chill pill. Sorry, I didn't pick up on who the characters in question are. I didn't hang out with gangsters in the '70s, so I'm ..."

Ha! Yeah, I never specified that I was looking for profane in the request for other 70s idioms. That was my bad :)


message 39: by Anita (new)

Anita (anitalouiserobertsonyahoocom) | 50 comments I think the panties and knicker expressions are too old for the 70's. I think "cool it" might work better.


message 40: by Karin (new)

Karin Boutall (goodreadscomkarinb) | 24 comments Chill out or mellow out come to mind or take a chill pill.
If the person is really flipping something like
Whoa, you tripping out man? or
Flipping out


message 41: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 2491 comments \/ Peace \/


:p


message 42: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Far out.


message 43: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) Have a nice day :)


message 44: by Micah (new)

Micah Sisk (micahrsisk) | 1042 comments Oh...and actually I'd avoid watching old TV to pick up on idioms, or at least be very careful about parroting TV from back then. When I was growing up there was nothing more embarrassing than to listen to TV shows try to be cool by using what they perceived as the hip vernacular of the day. More often than not it came out sounding really lame.

"Yeah, far out. Let's rap, man, that's groovy..." **shudder**


message 45: by Ken (last edited May 04, 2015 08:08AM) (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) Like the "Mod Squad." Always hated that show.

I remember the TV sit-com version of Rock 'n' Roll back in the 'fifties. Pretty awful. Sounded like Gene Vincent on crack, and without his bass player.


message 46: by C.B. Matson (last edited May 05, 2015 11:31AM) (new)

C.B. Matson | 143 comments I think "knickers in a knot" is relatively recent, but back in the Pleistocene?


- Don't freak (drop the "out" unless you're Frank Zappa)
- Have a cow (it's older than the 70s but still in use)
- Not cool, man (regardless of gender)
- Don't get yer t**s in the wringer (regardless of gender, ha)
- Sh** a brick already

What little I remember, it all went downhill from there.

Forget TV shows, they were all sanitized. Books are your best bet; try Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas for 70s lore, or anything by Robert Anton Wilson (he was one trippy hombre).


message 47: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) Thanks, C.B. I'll keep the wringer and bricks idioms in my notes in case they fit somewhere. The character has a potty mouth!


message 48: by Karin (new)

Karin Boutall (goodreadscomkarinb) | 24 comments C.B. Matson wrote: "I think "knickers in a knot" is relatively recent, but back in the Pleistocene?


- Don't freak (drop the "out" unless you're Frank Zappa)
- Have a cow (it's older than the 70s but still in u..."


What a hoot to remember. How about author Jack Kerouac's On the Road


message 49: by C.B. Matson (last edited May 06, 2015 02:05PM) (new)

C.B. Matson | 143 comments Ohhh... slow pitch! It's a hoot to remember just about anything these days, ha.

Jack was one gone cat, but fifties-ville, he blew way too early on the beat.


message 50: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) Dang, that's like another language entirely!


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