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40 Things Only Older People Say

"Back in my day..."

How does one actually define an "older" person these days? Is it when he or she reaches 50? Or is it 60? Or maybe it's measured by something else entirely… After all, these days "old" is definitely more of a state of mind—or perhaps a feeling—than it is purely a number.

Whatever the case, we'd strongly posit that the truest definition of "old" is anyone who regularly uses these words and phrases we've compiled here. Trust us: you'll never find a more wonderfully old-fashioned and lovably outdated collection of sayings, statements, and questions that will practically scream: "I'm an older person!"

So read on (and please know that all of the silly punchlines here come from a very good, warmhearted place). And if you'd like to learn how to speak millennial, we've got your back! Just check out the 40 Things Only Millennials Say. 

"Back in my day…"

old man young girl things old people say

Incoming: A long story of hardship and perseverance that we'd all be so lucky to hear. Oh, and while we're looking backward, here are the 23 Old-Fashioned Etiquette Rules That Still Apply.

"I left a message on your answering machine."

answering machine

Sure, it may be "voicemail" today, but you've got to give credit where credit is due: answering machines made for way better plot devices in horror films. And speaking of answering machines: they're definitely one of 50 Things You No Longer See in Offices. 

"I taped the game last night."

vhs player

Today, we DVR things. Yesterday we Tivo'd. A long, long, long time ago we taped.

"When did this song become 'classic' rock!?"

old man listening to music, things old people say

It's been a long time since that Rush album came out, I'm afraid.

"What's your fax number?"

telecopier machine, things old people say

I know what you're going to say next: "They're useless until you absolutely need one." Which is definitely true! But it doesn't make you any younger, friend.

"I printed the directions from Mapquest."

maps, things old people say

Unfortunately, these printed directions cannot "recalculate your route."

"I took a nap on the davenport."

man sleeping couch

There's nothing wrong with an occasional nap, but calling your couch a "davenport?" Sorry, but a total #oldpersonmove.

"You go ahead, I'm just going to sit for a minute."

man on bench, things old people say

We hate to say it, but when the bench looks more enticing than the walk, it could be a sign of advanced age. And for some great health advice, here are 40 Ways to Stay Sharp After 40.

"I need to swing by the bank and make a deposit."

bank deposit things old people say

But kudos to those friendly few who prefer to chat with a teller over using an ATM and direct deposit.

"Can I borrow your calculator?"

life reminders, home ownership

Rare exception: if you're a high-schooler taking calculus.

"Kids today."

teens words and phrases phat

If you follow this phrase with something derogatory, you'll be a walking stereotype! Oh, and speaking of those crazy kids: Here are 25 Things That Were Considered Scandalous 100 Years Ago But Are Totally Normal Now. 

"I found some great photos for Throwback Thursday on Facebook!"

old people selfie, things old people say

Throwback Thursdays began with widespread appeal. But more recently the average age of the people still using this hashtag with enthusiasm is increasingly getting up there.

"The 90s were only ten years ago!"

tool time, denim, things old people say

Sorry, it's been almost two decades.

"I'll call a cab."

hail a cab, things old people say

It's an Uber or Lyft world, my friend.

"I'm just going to rest my eyes for a minute."

Also: If you're having trouble with sleeping, here are 11 Doctor-Approved Secrets for Falling Asleep Faster—Tonight. 

"I saw this great segment on 60 Minutes."

weird laws

Yes, 60 Minutes is the new Matlock.

"I know the newspaper delivery kid on a first name basis."

newspaper delivery

It's a good bet even little Steve owns a tablet.

"I slept like a baby last night."

get more sleep, look younger 50

There's just something about this phrase that strikes us as lovably old-fashioned. Perhaps it was Bob Dole's use of it after losing the 1996 presidential race. (Either way, we just dated ourselves considerably with that reference.)

"Hold on, I think I have exact change."

Coins for exact change.

We dare you to find us a Millennial who carries pennies.

"The machine."

Man working at his computer

When referring to a computer.

"Can you print out this email?"

Printer for emails.

A classic baby boomer move.

"I'll call the operator and get her number."

rotary phone

Otherwise known as the analog Siri.

"I'm just going to stick with Windows 98. It works fine enough."

bulky computer monitor

It's time for an upgrade, friend.

"I'll make you a mixtape."

CD case, obsolete

For the record: we think this is a way better and more personal gesture than simply sending a Spotify playlist over email. That said, it still screams "older person."

"I remember when there wasn't so much swearing on TV."

swearing on tv things old people say

"Ah, the Brady Bunch. Now that was good TV!"

"Work hard and you'll get to the corner office!"

work from home, things old people say

If only corner offices were still in abundance.

"I just don't get selfies."

old man taking selfie, things old people say

We hear you. But perhaps the "pasta selfie" will change your mind.

"We have some leftovers in the ice box."

freezer, things old people say

Of course, "iceboxes" started to fall out of fashion in the 1930s. But it's a delightful, throw-back affectation.

"Why would I pay for water when I can get it for free out of the faucet?"

tap water faucet, things old people say

Said no young person ever.

"I'm hip, right?"

older man smiling, things old people say

If you have to ask…

"Can I pay for this by check?"

How to write a check with a fountain pen up close; over 40, things old people say

Thanks to phones, even debit cards are becoming dated. So checks are officially two generations ago.

"Thanks for asking."

mature man, things old people say

Specifically when a bartender, waitress, or liquor store employee requests your ID before selling you alcohol. Gratefulness for being carded is not an emotion experienced by young people.

"It sounds like a lot of noise to me."

listening to music, things old people say

When referring to, say, Daft Punk.

"We sure are in a pickle."

surprised woman, things old people say

Unless, of course, you're playing baseball.

"Off my lawn before I hit you with this rake!"

ball in backyard

You've officially become the cranky neighbor in the Dennis the Menace.

"I almost forgot to print my boarding pass!"

boarding passes, things old people say

Another thing made obsolete thanks to the smartphone.

"I never use a credit card on the Internet."

online shopping, things old people say

But honestly, no one would blame you for this. Chalk one up to the older folks!

"Time to schedule my annual colonoscopy."

Doctor, scandalous

It's a sign you're aging, for sure.

"Let's hit the early-bird special"

early bird special, buffet, things old people say

It's not so much the whole buffet thing. It's the fact that you're probably eating dinner while so many people are at work.

"I have some hard candy in my pocket."

hard candy, things old people say

If you've grown to enjoy the taste of caramel candies combined with pocket lint, I'm afraid it's official: You are no longer young.

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