Applesauce

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Librarians and research go together like peanut butter and jelly. Normally we end up researching things like statistics and election reports. But occasionally we get to research fun things. Like 20’s slang.

They said the weirdest things in the twenties. If something was cool, it was the bee’s knees. Guys were tomcats. If everything was okay, you’d say that everything’s Jake. If you know what you’re talking about, you know your onions. If you don’t believe someone, you tell the guy to go tell it to Sweeny. Chaperones were fire extinguishers. That last one makes more sense.

And if something was utter malarkey, you would loudly exclaim, “Applesauce!”

Where on earth did these slang terms start? The etymology of these little words and phrases are hard to come by and hard to interpret. I’m not even sure if bees have knees.

Then again, the historians of the future will look back on the 2010’s and wonder what on earth we were thinking when we came up with our slang. “Dog,” for one. The excessive use of acronyms, for another. How often do we really “LOL” or “ROTFL” (or is it “ROFL”?). How come everyone does everything “like a boss” and accomplishments are “for the win”? Minor mishaps are “fails.” Minor accomplishments are “wins.” “Epic” isn’t really epic anymore. It’s just cool to the extreme end of cool.

One day, “lol” and “like a boss” will go the way of the bee’s knees and applesauce. They will be replaced by the catch phrases my children and grandchildren invent and turn into trends. And one day, far in the future, barring God’s return, a librarian will look on a computer screen, shake her head, and wonder what we were thinking.

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