Top 10 Phrases Kids Today Don't Understand



Top 10 Phrases Kids Today Don't Understand

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Matt Klem
A language barrier is developing between the generations. For this list, we'll be looking at sayings people from older generations used all the time, that millennials and younger folks may have no idea about. Our countdown includes Roll the Window Down, Eject the Cassette, Be Kind, Rewind!, and more!

Top 10 Phrases Kids Today Don’t Understand

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Phrases Kids Today Don’t Understand.

For this list, we’ll be looking at sayings people from older generations used all the time, that millennials and younger folks may have no idea about.

What’s a phrase you’ve heard someone say that you never heard of before? Let us know in the comments.

#10: Roll the Window Down

When was the last time you drove in a car with crank windows? Unless you’re driving a beater from a few decades ago, you likely haven’t seen these in years. Until 2008, crank windows were the standard means by which to get some fresh air into a car. You’d wind the lever in one direction and the window would lower, and vice versa. This gave birth to the “roll the window down” term, which older generations can relate to. With power windows having become the norm, this old saying has some younger drivers scratching their heads.

#9: You Have a Collect Call

At a time when payphones were the norm, you’d often find yourself being asked to insert more money to extend the call time. Yet, in some cases, payphone or not, you would dial “0” in front of the number, and be asked to record your name. The line would then dial the outbound call and when answered, the receiver would hear your name and could accept the charges for the call. This gave way to countless creative ways to say your name to convey a message without ever paying for the actual conversation. Although still available, collect calls have vastly diminished thanks to nationwide long-distance plans available from most phone companies.

#8: I’m Watching Reruns

As hard as it may be to fathom now, there was a time when you couldn’t re-watch whatever show you wanted at any time. Episodic television aired new episodes every week and if you happened to miss one, you might have to wait for the “rerun.” Networks would often re-broadcast previously aired episodes from the same season during parts of the year when nothing new was available. Although the term is not as common anymore, the practice of reruns is still quite common. Outside of the streaming world, there are still entire TV networks dedicated to “re-running” old episodes of shows people are fond of.

#7: Eject the Cassette

We suppose the same thing could be said for floppy disks at one time as well. In the era of rolling storage, “cassettes,” often just referred to as “tapes,” were used for playback and recording of music. They had a magnetic ribbon that spun between two spindles. This meant that for most cassette players, the tape was put into a slot, and then pushed into the device. While playback was in progress, you couldn’t pull out or even touch the tape itself. You would have to press the “stop” button to discontinue the music, and then press “eject” for the tape to be released from the player. If you own a DVD or Blu-ray player, you’ve probably done this yourself.

#6: Get Off the Phone, I’m Trying to Download a Song!

Dial-up internet may still exist, but by far and large, broadband has become the norm. But when digital music emerged during the Napster era, much of the world still connected to the internet over a traditional landline telephone. Since you couldn’t talk on the phone while connected to the internet, this led to all kinds of disruptions when being online. Picking up a phone receiver while downloading anything typically resulted in you being disconnected and your music download being interrupted. It was made worse by the fact that a typical song could sometimes take anywhere from 15-30 minutes to download. It also led to a barrage of requests to “hang up the phone” whereby the offender put the receiver back in the cradle.

#5: Would You Like to Be Seated in Smoking or Non-Smoking?

When it comes to most bars, restaurants, and even airplanes today, the idea of smoking indoors seems antiquated. Yes, we know it’s still allowed in some places, but for most of North America, smoking has become something seen primarily outdoors. Yet, it wasn’t that long ago when you’d go out to eat and a server would ask you if you preferred a section where people smoked. What’s even more surprising is to remember that at one time the ticket agents at an airline would ask you the same thing when booking a flight. We wonder why it took so long for restaurants to catch up to what the airlines did years ago.

#4: Listen to the B-Side

At a time when vinyl records were all the rage, both sides of the album were given a label: A & B. 45s, which usually had one song on each side, were popular with radio. The “A” side tended to favor the more popular music the record label wanted to promote from an artist. Whereas the “B” side would contain instrumental or other songs the label was less interested in. The term “b-side” stuck with industry and became synonymous more so with “bonus” or “extra” tracks that were not part of a typical albums release. As the world has shifted to streaming services, the term has fallen out of use considerably.

#3: Be Kind, Rewind!

Do you remember going into a video store and being asked “Beta or VHS?” If you do, you probably also recall being asked if you had rewound your movie when it was returned. Before DVD, video cassettes were the main medium for movie rentals. Like their audio counterpart, they had a magnetic ribbon that spun from one spindle to another. This meant that when the movie was over, you’d have to “rewind” it to watch it again. Movie rental stores like Blockbuster Video would often have signs or ads reminding you to “be kind, rewind!” before bringing your tapes back to the store. This saying quickly died with DVD but it did get a movie named after it.

#2: What’s Your Fax Number?

It’s funny watching “Back to the Future Part II” and seeing how they thought faxing would become such a huge part of 2015. Long before the internet gave us email, fax machines gave us the ability to make a facsimile (hence the term fax) of something and send it electronically. The average consumer rarely used fax machines, but it was very popular with businesses. Instead of having to snail mail a document to someone, you could get their fax number, and send it to them immediately over a conventional phone line. It’s still in use today, but has been largely replaced by secure electronic delivery via the internet. The average kid has no idea what a fax machine is.

#1: Like a Broken Record

Have you ever heard someone repeat the same thing to you over and over again? It can get a bit annoying, and some folks might even tell you they sound like a broken record. The term comes from the days of listening to music on a record player. As the album would spin, a small needle would bounce off the grooves of the vinyl and produce a sound amplified by the player. Scratches on the vinyl would often cause the needle to skip and the same few seconds would repeat again and again: hence the term broken record. Since most kids today wouldn’t recognize a record, they wouldn’t recognize a broken one either.