You Know You're Over 40 If You Use These Words

Nobody is going to join you back at the "crib" if you say that word.

You Know You're Over 40 If You Use These Words
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No matter how good you look and feel, once you've joined the 40-and-over club, every so often you probably give away subtle hints that you haven't outsmarted the aging process entirely. It could be forgetting names, the sudden need to groan every time you get off the couch, or something as simple as the language you use. Yes, words can date you. And if you want to know what phrases you're uttering that give you away, check out these words only people over 40 use.

1
Web surfing

older couple waving at computer screen, things that annoy grandparents
Shutterstock/Pressmaster

Anyone who still describes going online as "surfing the web" probably also has a few of those AOL CDs in storage. You know, just in case.

2
Tape

vhs player things to throw away
Shutterstock

If you're talking about the "scotch" variety, then sure. But if you're using tape as a verb—like "don't forget to tape Dancing With the Stars," for example—then you're sending a clear signal that your brain is still stuck in the land of VHSes and cassettes.

3
Stewardess

flight attendant talking to man on airplane
Shutterstock

It's been years since it was acceptable to refer to the women who assist us on commercial flights as "stewardesses." Next time you fly the friendly skies, use the proper terminology: "flight attendants."

4
Fotomat

Obsolete, camera film
Shutterstock

Ah, the good old days when we had to bring film to a physical location—called the fotomat—to be developed and then wait days or even weeks to see any of the photos that strip contained. Not only will Gen Zers not recognize what you mean by "fotomat," they might even think you're making the whole thing up!

5
Clicker

men looking at screens both phone and tv, better husband
Shutterstock

Back when the first wireless remotes became commercially available in the 1960s, they did make a distinctive clicking sound whenever one of the buttons was pushed. But technology has come a long way since then, and describing any remote control as a "clicker" just dates you.

6
Dial

antique phone on table, vintage home upgrades
Shutterstock/Mark Umbrella

You don't "dial" somebody's phone number anymore. You simply type it in. Kids today will never know your plight of dialing a rotary phone—particularly the number 9—let alone the game of untangling that spiral cord.

7
Encyclopedia

encyclopedia, 60s
Shutterstock

Encyclopedias used to be the go-to resource for all sorts of useful knowledge and for every paper we wrote in school. Today, there's Google, Wikipedia, and other outlets for finding answers to our most burning questions. No need to worry about finding Volume 6 of your Britannica!

8
Props

Fistbump
Shutterstock

There's props and then there's mad props and then there's the blank stares of 20-year-olds who have no idea why you're trying to fist bump them.

9
Grody

dirty fridge drawers, things housekeepers hate
Shutterstock/victoras

Using "grody" to describe something that's gross would've made you sound hip in the '80s. But saying it today only makes others cringe.

10
Crib

Mansion with convertible
Anastase Maragos / Unsplash

If you mean an infant bed with latticed sides, that's fine. But if you use this word to refer to where you live, nobody is going to want to join you back at the "crib."

11
Mixtape

cassette mixtape, 1980s nostalgia
Shutterstock

While many of us are nostalgic for those bygone years of mixtapes—including Netflix's 13 Reasons Why—time marches on. You'd be hard-pressed to find a place to play that mixtape you made for Tiffany in 10th grade anyway.

12
Booyah

middle-aged men in a sports bar
Shutterstock

Arguments persist on whether this victory cheer should be attributed to the 1992 Kriss Kross song "Jump" or the late ESPN anchor Stuart Scott. Either way, if you're saying it in 2019, your age is showing.

13
Postal

woman angry using computer
Shutterstock

Going "postal" used to be shorthand for inexplicably flying into a fit of rage. These days, if you tell someone you're going postal, they'll assume you're threatening to use snail mail rather than email. The horror!

14
Chill pill

Man relaxing and dealing with negative thoughts
Shutterstock

Why did we even start saying this? Was it just because chill rhymes with pill? Whatever the reason, that time has passed.

15
Typewriter

old typewriter, 1970s nostalgia
Shutterstock

That thing you type on at your office may be reminiscent of the typewriters we used to craft letters and research papers on, but today, it's a keyboard. Technology has been upgraded and your vocabulary deserves the same courtesy.

16
The bomb

Man excited to find car in parking lot
Shutterstock

In general, comparing something to explosives, even if you mean it as a compliment, is bad taste. You might want to find a new word to use instead.

17
Hooch

bottle of wine things you shouldn't store in your basement
Shutterstock

Referring to alcohol as "hooch"—a language relic from the days of bootlegging and prohibition—not only makes you sound old, it makes you sound like somebody who makes their own booze in a bathtub. And you're much more dignified than that.

18
TiVo

DVR box closeup obsolete home items
Paosun Rt / Shutterstock

It's a brand name that soon became a verb for any DVR recording. But, unlike Kleenex being used interchangeably with tissues, this one did not withstand the test of time.

19
Fly

happy older woman jogging, look better after 40
Shutterstock/michaelheim

If you're still using "fly" as an adjective for something cool or sexy, and you've noticed that every time you say it, people glance down at the zipper on your pants and say, "No, you're good," that's because fly hasn't been an adjective for cool or sexy since Jennifer Lopez was dancing on In Living Color.

20
Yuppies

business, billionaires
Shutterstock

Are there still young urban professionals? Of course. There are still hippies and preppies, too. But these cultural acronyms have long since been out of circulation.

21
Groovy

Middle Aged Women Shopping
Shutterstock

Even if you're using the word ironically, as an imitation of a '60s Deadhead expressing approval, it's not going to translate the way you hoped.

22
Spiffy

older man wearing red suit, relationship white lies
Shutterstock/UfaBizPhoto

Warning: If you want to tell someone they're looking good and you choose "spiffy" as your compliment du jour, they might think you drive a Model T and wear top hats to formal affairs.

23
Wicked

men in their 40s playing in a garage band
Shutterstock

If you're from the Boston area or are referring to a certain Broadway musical about the origin of the Wizard of Oz witches, you might be able to get away with this word. But even in both of those cases, you're putting a timestamp on yourself.

24
Shenanigans

man drinking
Shutterstock

Has this word ever been used other than to complain about young people? That's its main purpose, right? "What kind of shenanigans are you youngsters up to?"

25
Phat

black feet on a scale, changes over 40
Shutterstock

Even if you specify that you mean "phat with a P-H," you're still asking for trouble. The majority of young people are going to have no idea that your creative misspelling isn't meant as fat shaming. And for more words you need to stop saying, check out the 30 Words Everyone Needs to Stop Saying in 2019.

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