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Terms Which Have Disappeared

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,967
Location
My mother's basement
"Pinch" doesn't see much use these days. Too bad, it was pretty versatile.
If you were in a bit of trouble, you were in a pinch.
If you got pinched, you were arrested.
Certain items would "do in a pinch".
Someone could put the pinch on you for money (same as putting the bite on someone but less commonly used).
If you pinched something, that meant that you stole it. (The English would say that you "nicked" it.)
Information from an unreliable source was taken with a pinch (or grain) of salt.

All those usages were indeed more common in my earlier days. I still frequently hear (and often use myself) “it’ll do in a pinch.”

It’s akin to “tight,” as in finding oneself “in a tight spot.” But not at all like “tight” to mean “orderly” or “well put together,” as in “a tight ship.”
 

Upgrade

One of the Regulars
Messages
126
Location
California
There’s a very vivid description in The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio about the mother using a hot iron to repair rubber girdles (a letter to Maidenform prompted an apology and the last of their stock).

Except they would fail periodically and important occasions were marked with last minute ironing with a faint smell of rubber in the house and a girdle that is slightly too warm.
 

3fingers

One Too Many
Messages
1,797
Location
Illinois
Rubber girdles are no problem for Monkey Grip.
Vintage-MOCO-MONKEY-GRIP-Tire-Tube-Repair-Kit.jpg
 

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