Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

The cockamamie thread


Recommended Posts

http://www.alphadictionary.com/goodword/word/cockamamie

This word was popular in the 1930s and 1940s but has fallen into disfavor of late. It lives alone without any derivational kin.

 

 

This has got to be one of my favorite words that I probably wouldn't even know (or have ever heard) if I didn't watch classic movies. It's kind of a shame that it fell into disuse...

 

So, what's everyone else's favorite "period word"? :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I like "gay" as meaning happy, too. And I always smile at the idea of "making love" as flirting with someone.

 

This thread brings up something I've always wondered about. James Cagney in The Strawberry Blonde (which I love) always says "that's the kind of hair-pin that I am". I don't recall ever hearing it before. Is it specific to this movie - or is it an actual phrase?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Scarlett:

 

I think she said something about "Most guys . . . " first, and that was his response. There are two kinds of hairpins, the regular kind that is called a 'bobbypin' and the kind that is open and used to hold up an uplift, like a french twist. For so many years now, hair pins of any kind have not been used, that I imagine there is at lease one whole generation that has no idea of what hairpins are like. On the other hand, what is now called 'hair extensions' was a one time referred to as a 'fall' and earlier than that, a 'rat'.

 

I usually still say, 'that's ducky' mainly to see the shocked and quizzical expressions from people wondering if I'm agreeing, or scoffing.

 

GO BEARS !!!

 

Anne

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Straight arrow" & "square shooter".

But even more than individual words or phrases, I am passionate about hearing those curlicued chains of dialogue that really "spark off" those great feasts of period speech.

Below I've listed some of my favorites that are so much fun to listen to:

 

All Through the Night

The Glass Key

The Bride came C.O.D.

The Thin Man

Man Power

They Drive By Night

Sullivan's Travels

Boom Town

His Girl Friday

Brother Orchid

Out of the Past

The Women

Captains of the Clouds

The Irish in Us

Sun Valley Serenade

 

(I think they are all just SWELL !)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't remember the name of the movie, but it was a 1940s murder mystery, and had the hardboiled detective and was chock full of 'dame' and 'scram' and 'swell' and all the other words of the period. Love them almost as much as the flowered chintz and venetian blinds in the apartments (which today would be $2K a month!) in NYC.

 

I liked Dana Andrews telling Clifton Webb that a 'dame in Washington Heights once got a fox fur out of him' and Paul Muni telling the mayor's manservant to 'scram' when he offered to help him into his briefs and, of course, Dick Powell talking about his mind being like a plumber's handkerchief.

 

Wonderful stuff.

Link to post
Share on other sites

swell.. gee (also gee whiz).. keen...

 

those are my favorites, which I use often even though a few are fading away.

 

my mom said "sounds swell" to a coworker last week, and they gave her such a blank stare she had to replace it with "sounds good"-- I guess that shows how words can just completely disappear to the point that nobody even knows what they mean anymore.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Having older parents who were born just around WWI, my siblings and I grew up hearing distinctly old fashioned NY area slang-Irish Catholic division. That means that real curse words were never heard in our household, save a furious s.o.b. once in a blue moon, but the following were commonplace in our home:

cockamamie

malarkey

appleknocker (a hick)

bean (head or money)

noggin (head or brain)

gams (legs)

pins (legs)

glory hound,(one who seeks praise)

crepe hanger (gloomy person)

sad sack (gloomy person)

injustice collector, (one who hangs onto grievances)

college widow (girl who dates ALOT of guys in a college town)

grass widow (divorcee)

pip (as in "he's a pip!" which may be good, but was often used sarcastically meaning a prize jerk)

cluck (pejorative term for dope, usually "what a cluck!" or "dumb cluck")

Holy Moses! (good, all purpose oath)

a good egg (nice person)

dukes (fists)

mitts (fists or hands)

ringer (pro posing as an amateur)

nailed (caught)

priceless (as in the sarcastic or appreciative phrase "that's priceless")

 

and, the never to be forgotten parent's impatient inquiry "What do you want? A leather medal?" when someone was seeking acknowledgement for some accomplishment that should be second nature. Many of these words and phrases, (and some that are probably eluding me at the moment), were standard issue vocabulary in the Finnie household, and can be found in such films as already mentioned, as well as variations in Hecht and MacArthur's The Front Page. Though my parents could also communicate with one another in Latin, Greek and Old and Middle English as well as German and a smattering of French, as well as good, standard English, these colorful phrases made their points to us quite emphatically.

 

Btw, all I have to do to crack one of my sisters or brother up is pick up the phone and call one of them and use one of these phrases to get an understanding laugh from the other end. Ah, to have been a youngster in the '20s and '30s!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, Dan, thanks so much for that one; I swear to Hester's bloomers that I can actually see & hear Bendix in that scene, small wonder it stuck in your mind.

Trust me, I plan to look into that "Dark Corner" next time it airs, cause it's one that I missed!

And as long as we're at this stop-over, don't we all think Bill Bendix deserves more acknowedgement than he typically gets?

I for one think it's ironic that he wrapped his career with a stint in the title role of the TV series "Life of Riley", wherein he plays a hammock-swinging suburbanite who extolls the lawn-&-lemonade lifestyle of laziness at any expense.

Did he not impress all of America as the exact opposite in films like "The Glass Key" and "The Blue Dahlia"?

I dunno, maybe it was just Alan Ladd that agitated him!

Link to post
Share on other sites

[nobr]"...don't we all think Bill Bendix deserves more acknowedgement than he typically gets?"[/nobr]

 

[nobr]Heck, yes! My appreciation of William Bendix was refreshed once again this past week when viewing him in Detective Story (1951), in which he plays Kirk Douglas' partner and the soul of the story. As Bendix, who plays a character who's lost his son in WWII points out to the hard-nosed Douglas: "The world's crying for a little heart".[/nobr]

 

Bendix's performance as Gus in Hitchcock's Lifeboat is another film in which--cast as a wounded, unlettered seaman, Bendix is funny, tragic, dumb and far more canny about life than the more sophisticated folks around him. His appetite for life, as Riley, or a bad guy in The Dark Corner or as the barkeep in The Time of Your Life or any of his roles, was always served with (*ahem*) verbal relish. His presence in the cast of any movie was never a "revoltin' development":[/nobr]

prints335.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

"...and Paul Muni telling the mayor's manservant to 'scram' when he offered to help him into his briefs and, of course..."

 

"Scram" is swell. There's some movie out there wherein the heroine uses its pig latin form and tells another character to "Am-scray". Now that's choice!

Link to post
Share on other sites

It reminds me of 1980's "Atlantic City" when Lancaster's character (Lou) is telling Robert Joy's character (Dave) about when Atlantic City had "Floy-Floy",Hep-Cat Zoot-Suit" and Dave looks at Lou like he's from another Planet.

 

Flat foot floogie with a floy, floy,

 

 

vallo

Link to post
Share on other sites

> [nobr]"...don't we all think Bill Bendix deserves

> more acknowedgement than he typically

> gets?"[/nobr]

>

> [nobr]Heck, yes! My appreciation of William Bendix

> was refreshed once again this past week when viewing

> him in Detective Story (1951), in which he

> plays Kirk Douglas' partner and the soul of the

> story. As Bendix, who plays a character who's lost

> his son in WWII points out to the hard-nosed Douglas:

> "The world's crying for a little heart".[/nobr]

>

> Bendix's performance as Gus in Hitchcock's

> Lifeboat is another film in which--cast as a

> wounded, unlettered seaman, Bendix is funny, tragic,

> dumb and far more canny about life than the more

> sophisticated folks around him. His appetite for

> life, as Riley, or a bad guy in The Dark

> Corner or as the barkeep in The Time of Your

> Life or any of his roles, was always served with

> (*ahem*) verbal relish. His presence in the cast of

> any movie was never a "revoltin'

> development":[/nobr]

>

> src=http://www.plan59.com/prints/printart/prints335.jp

> g>

 

 

I agree, WIlliam Bendix is awesome...I enjoy him in the movie called "Wake Island", Guadacanal Diary and Macao. I am so glad that Macao has finally been released on DVD. Lifeboat is perhaps one of his best performances. TCM needs a William Bendix night!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Whoa, FCD, don't pop your pearls, I was just scopin' the colleen's gams when I compassed the room, but I feel your drift and the quail's your quarry, Chief; this dog comes with reverse, so I'll just walk my suds over by the sunshine, and prop my boots, 'cause I been to school, I know where the bear sits in the buckwheat, and my britches do not need dustin'!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Moira, your great list of slang words are a hoot and brought back some memories for me.

I was wondering about the expression 'potlicker' and what it possibly meant.

 

Just a reminder that the movie "Ball of Fire" is loaded with some great slang.

 

As far as William Bendix goes, he has always been a favorite of mine. He is featured on the thread "In the Spotlight" of December 12th.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
© 2021 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...