Teen Tuesday – Idioms and Soon-to-be-forgotten Gestures

Teaching high school freshman for 7 years has taught me that kids haven’t heard, much less understand, idioms these days.  Every time I say one, they stare at me like I just spoke a foreign language…and I feel a lot older than I really am.

One year I made the mistake of saying “kill 2 birds with 1 stone.”  They were jokingly shocked at how “violent” I was.  They didn’t get it at all.

Several have never heard of “stuck between a rock and a hard place.”  Well, a lot more now thanks to The Simpsons movie.

Also, “on my soapbox” is one  I’ve said probably every year, and every year I have to explain what it means.

I’m sure there are  many others I just can’t think of off the top of my head.  But this got me thinking…what if cliches just eventually went away?  I mean, so many of them we, or at least younger people, don’t even know where they come from anyway.  Will we eventually not use them altogether?

Then that got me thinking of other things, like gestures, that in the future will become obsolete and, although we may still do them, we won’t know why.

For instance, you know the whole circular, rolling-down-the-window motion we do to get people to “roll down” the window of their car?  Who even rolls down their window like that now?  We push a button.  Either that motion will go away entirely, or we’ll do it but not know why.

Also, the pointing to your wrist to indicate you want the time.  Same thing.  Who wears watches anymore?  We all look at our cell phones, right?  Eventually, won’t that motion become something of which nobody knows the origin?  We may do it but wonder to ourselves, why the heck am I pointing to my wrist to get the time?  That is unless our cell phones end up becoming something we strap to our wrists…in which case it will come full circle and make total sense again.

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~ by Dusty Crabtree - Author of Shadow Eyes on May 21, 2013.

6 Responses to “Teen Tuesday – Idioms and Soon-to-be-forgotten Gestures”

  1. That is some funny thinking there but all true. I say stuff to my 14 yr old all the time and get the blank stare. It has been my mission to make sure she know them and why we used them in the 1st place. The rolling down the window thing was one of them I told her about. That and the left turn / right turn with your hand in case the blinkers don’t work. LOL

  2. Wait – I wear a watch – does that make me… Augh! I’m old! Cheers for the fun post, Dusty

  3. Interesting pondering.

  4. Thanks everyone for stopping by and reading my speculative ramblings. 🙂

  5. Fascinating line of thinking… I can, however, proudly say that I know and understand the origin & meaning of all the idioms you have mentioned… and I’m 15. 🙂 Though, the magority of teenagers I know, would have no idea what they meant.

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