5 Old-Fashioned Sayings that Should Be Brought Back to the English Language

Old fashioned sayings are the cat’s pajamas.  But many of us have forgotten them, replacing older sayings with newer ones. You know “Kicked the bucket” and “When pigs fly”, but have you ever heard “Go pound sand” or “Dollars to donuts”?  Here’s just a small sample of older idiomatic expressions that have been lost or generally forgotten over time:

  • Dollars to donuts

Meaning “definitely” or expressing certainty; you’re so confident that you would bet money on it. This phrase mirrors the older English saying “a pound to a penny”, both referring to the former being worth much more than the latter.

  • Can’t cut the mustard

Someone who isn’t good enough to make it or to participate. “He tried out for the mime convention but he couldn’t cut the mustard.”

  • He doesn’t know if he’s on foot or horseback.

Being very confused. “He went on the roller coaster so many times that he didn’t know if he was on foot or horseback.”

  • Go pound sand

Like “go fly a kite”: telling someone off when you’re upset with them. “Rob stole Matt’s Snuggie so Matt told him to go pound sand.”

  • Whizbang

A resounding success, “A whizbang of a speech.” Okay, so this isn’t an idiom – but isn’t it a quality word? Whizbang!


Whizbang April 1921

What are some of your favorite old sayings?