The First Amendment protects every person’s right to free speech, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should say anything you want. Especially when a guy reaches 50, there’s a limit to what you should say—without careful consideration, at least. Now, hear me out. Nobody is trying to bar you from holding unpopular opinions. Nobody is trying to stop you from speaking your mind. We’re just trying to give you a gentle reminder that you’re at an age where you should no longer be talking or behaving like a teenager.
Sorry if we’re the first ones to tell you, but the hands of time move in one direction, and they’re moving away from you being able to say “on fleek” with impunity. Here are 50 things that you should probably stop saying once you’ve hit that 50-year-old mark. We’re not trying to be the boss of you; we’re just trying to be a friend. And for more ways to own your best decade, see the 50 Things No Man Over 50 Should Own.
“Let’s open up another bottle of wine.”
Back in your 20s, a hangover was probably a minor annoyance at worst. But after 50, hangovers can be brutal and stretch on for days. Do yourself a favor, put down the corkscrew and walk away.
“Sure, I’d be happy to help you move.”
Your days of helping a buddy carry his couch up a flight of stairs should be long behind you. He can hire movers. And for more things to avoid saying, don’t miss these 40 Words That Will Instantly Reveal Your True Age.
“Let’s Netflix and chill.”
Why the heck are you speaking in code? You’re an adult now—you can ask for a night of intimacy with your partner anytime you want without having to disguise your intentions. And for more amazing advice on aging gracefully, here are the 50 Things No Woman Over 50 Should Ever Say.
“This joke is a little racy, but I’m gonna tell it anyway…”
No, no, no, no, no—stop it right there! That “racy” joke you think is so innocuous is guaranteed to be considered wildly insensitive and even cruel by somebody. You came of age in a different time, when jokes had a little more license to be obsessive.
“I hate trolls.”
Even if you’re talking about the online type, people will just assume you mean the trolls from Lord of the Rings.
“You’re having a party? I’ll definitely be there.”
No you won’t. You’re just being nice. But here’s the great thing about being 50. FOMO doesn’t exist for you anymore. There’s no fear of missing out, just an unapologetic resolve about missing out. So you don’t have to pretend that you’re coming to the party just to cancel at the last minute. Just politely decline and move on.
This millennial slang really only works for people of a certain age. When somebody in their 20s says that, it’s obvious they mean it in a hyperbolic sense. But when a semicentennial describes themselves as “dead,” don’t be surprised if friends start calling paramedics.
“This is the year I’m going to start exercising.”
Making a commitment to fitness is always a good thing, but it shouldn’t be something that’s just occurring to you by the time you reach 50. If you spent your first half century sitting on your butt and letting your body go soft, you’ve got a big job ahead of you. But if you’re serious about turning around your fitness game, don’t miss this guide to turning back the clock, courtesy of the America’s fittest CEO.
“It’s not fair!”
A 50-year-old who doesn’t understand that life can occasionally (okay, usually) be unfair is a 50-year-old who has probably never left his house.
“I got a sports car but it’s not because I’m compensating for anything.”
Nice try, grandpa, but nobody is buying it.
“Could you put extra bacon on my sandwich?”
Your arteries called, they want you to know you’re right on track for midlife heart disease. Keep up the greasy eating and you could be ready for a bypass before you finish this meal. To eat healthily, start chomping down on the 40 Best Heart Foods To Eat After 40.
“Do you have your tickets… to the gun show?!”
If you have “guns,” good for you! There’s no need to show them off. And don’t call them “guns.” Only 21-year-olds can get away with that. And for more aging secrets, see the 40 Ways Over-40 People View the World Differently.
“That’s not the way it’s usually done.”
Surely you’ve been alive long enough to know that this sentiment is meaningless. If history has taught us anything, it’s that nothing ever stays the same forever.
“Who wants to get lit?”
Unless you’re asking someone to help you light a campfire, this sentence should never leave your lips.
“I only smoke in social situations.”
It was baloney in your 20s and 30s and it’s even bigger baloney now. Even if it’s true, smoking cigarettes anytime, regardless of whether there’s alcohol involved, is a terrible practice, and you have no excuse for not knowing better by now.
“Let’s drive to Vegas tonight!”
Dude, you get uncomfortable just sitting around the airport for too long. You’re telling me you’re going to take a long road trip to Las Vegas, just to stand all night in front of the craps tables? No, you’re not. Just relax and tell everybody you were kidding.
“Hey fellas, check out my dance moves.”
It’s not about whether you can actually dance, it’s about drawing attention to yourself, like you’re challenging other people in the club to a break dance competition. Just dance or don’t dance, but never shout out for the spotlight.
“She’s my bae.”
No, no she’s not. She’s your wife or your girlfriend or your partner, but she is absolutely not your bae. Stop trying to sound like you’re not old enough to drink, you’re not fooling anybody.
“My in-laws drive me crazy!”
As one grows older, you begin to understand certain things more clearly. Like that all people are imperfect and have baggage, just like you. If anybody in your family, whether related by blood or marriage, still drives you nuts when you’re 50, you have somehow managed to mature without maturing.
“Ugh, bill collectors.”
Paying bills is a task that’s fun for nobody. But you still pay them, because that’s what responsible adults do. If you’re 50 and collectors are having to hound you down to pay what you owe, you haven’t learned financial responsibility.
“When I travel overseas, I always stay in youth hostels.”
We’re going to give you one guess why you shouldn’t be staying at these youth hostels during your overseas vacations. It’s right there in the name. The first word, in fact. It’s a word for something you’re not anymore.
Leave this millennial slang to the young ones, old timer.
“I’ve started a blog.”
Replace the word blog with diary and you’ll have a pretty good idea how much the rest of us want to read it.
“Physical? Who needs a physical? I feel fine!”
An annual check-up with your doctor is a good idea even when you’re young, but at 50 you should be seeing a doctor at least once a year. Just because you don’t hear any rattling under the hood doesn’t mean there aren’t any problems.
“This will only take a minute.”
It never does. You should have learned that lesson by now.
“Who wants to go skinny-dipping?”
You can and should be proud of your body at 50, but you should also be respectful of those around you. Not everybody wants to gaze upon your unclothed form, uniquely beautiful though it may be. Seriously, just put a bathing suit on.
“I think I just look better with a good tan.”
Maybe you did in your 20s, but an overly tan dude in his 50s will always be compared to George Hamilton. Also, you are familiar with skin cancer, aren’t you? Yeah, that’s still a thing. In fact, it’s one of the 15 Most Common Types of Cancer.
“I hate my job!”
If you actually hate your job, you should have quit and moved on long ago. Publicly complaining about your job at 50 is just admitting to everybody that you stayed in a bad situation for too long. Why didn’t you get out years ago, when there was still time to find something more fulfilling? Or, you know, just start working from home? (Here’s how to do that.)
“This is gonna break the internet.”
It probably isn’t. And why on earth would you want to? You do realize that breaking the internet doesn’t come with a cash bonus, right? At 50, caring so much about the attention of strangers is unbecoming.
“I’ve always wanted to have a girlfriend half my age.”
Um, are you serious? While it may be true that age shouldn’t matter if two people are truly in love, age kinda does matter if you’re a Hugh Hefner wannabe cruising for women young enough to be your daughter.
“I haven’t called my dad in forever.”
If you’re lucky enough that your dad is still alive and you’re in your 50s (or above), you should call your dad at least once a day, if not more. Seriously, call him right now. Dads don’t live forever, and you’re going to regret every moment you didn’t pick up the phone.
“Would you like to buy my book of poetry?”
We think it’s super that you got in touch with your creative side and self published a poetry chapbook. But you’re not a kid fresh out of college who’s too young to realize yet that their poetic observations about the world don’t need to be shared with a wide audience.
“I’m thinking about buying a boat.”
A boat is expensive, time-consuming, and really hard work. You don’t start becoming a sailor at 50. If you’ve been sailing all your life and never had the money to invest in your own boat until now, that’s another matter. But if you’re a landlubber who just thinks owning a boat would be cool and you’re over 50, you are so very, very wrong.
“I haven’t voted in 30 years and I’m not about to start now.”
Well sure, it’s not like anything crazy could happen if you don’t vote. Right?
“I prefer to go commando.”
If you insist on doing this, please stop sharing it publicly. We don’t want to know, nobody wants to know. The less the world knows about your underwear situation, the better.
It’s millennial slang for all the boring stuff that grown-ups have to do. You know, grown-ups like you. There’s no such thing as adulting when you’re 50. Everything in your life is adulting!
“I just need to crash on your couch for a few weeks.”
Life can be a bumpy road for everybody, but you’re way too old to be the guy who sleeps on a friend’s couch and never leaves. Be an adult about it and book yourself a hotel room.
“I’m gonna run out and see my dealer.”
If recreational marijuana is your thing, there are plenty of legal ways to acquire it, and none of them involve going to a weird guy’s basement apartment, covered in lava lamps and Cheech and Chong posters, and essentially breaking the law.
“This dinner party is getting totally cray.”
We find it difficult to believe that any dinner party anywhere ever reaches “cray” level. But if it is in fact “cray,” it’s probably not a “dinner party” and you’re definitely too “old to be there.”
“You were born in what year? Oh man, you don’t even wanna know what I was doing the year you were born.”
Reminding people that you were getting drunk at college when they were still in the nursery isn’t making you more relatable. It makes you look extra old.
“I’ll sleep when I’m dead!”
That may be true, but it’s easier to say when you’re 20 and skipping a healthy night’s sleep won’t literally kill you. Saying “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” when you’re 50 is a good way to give yourself a physical and emotional breakdown. You need a solid eight hours now, old man. And for ways to maximize your sleep, check out the 40 Tips for Better Sleep on Summer Nights.
“I think I’ll wear this bathrobe outside.”
Slow it down there, Tony Soprano. You may think the outside world will be okay with you sauntering around in nothing but a robe and slippers, but the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. This is neither “gangster” nor “acceptable.”
“I never spend more than $10 on wine.”
Come on, man: the good stuff costs a lot more than that.
“I don’t need guy friends!”
Is that so? Well, a 2017 study out of the University of Oxford says otherwise. According to them, you need to go out with guy friends at least twice a week to stay healthy. Avoiding male pals is basically the “eating junk food for every meal” of bad decisions.
“I’m totally getting a six-pack this year.”
No you’re not. But it’s cute that you think this is your year.
“Just one more hour of God of War.”
Sure, you can enjoy video games at any age, but if you’ve been playing so long that you’re not sure if it’s dark or light outside anymore, and you’re making excuses that would sound whiny coming from an adolescent, it’s time to release your death grip on the joystick and walk away.
”I always keep it 100.”
If you really are always true to yourself, as the slang “keep it 100” insists, then you wouldn’t have to talk like a millennial thirty years your junior.
“One of these days, I’m going to pay off my car.”
A 50-year-old is naturally suspicious of any sentence that begins “one of these days.” If it hasn’t already happened or isn’t in the process of happening, “one of these days” is a pipe dream. But more importantly, you haven’t paid off your car yet? You’re freaking 50!
“Who wants to go to Burning Man?”
You’re asking that hypothetically, right? Because the answer for you is always “no.”
“What’s the worst that can happen?”
This is another one of those sentences that take on deeper meanings as you get older. As a 20-year-old, asking “what’s the worst that can happen” is usually meant hopefully. But a 50-year-old knows, the answer to that question is sometimes, “A lot!”
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