I had a most curious dream last night which I luckily can’t remember (lucky for you) but which ended with my friend Isabel exclaiming ‘Lummy!” Now most dreams are impossible, but this one is totally impossible because no-one says ‘lummy’ anymore and I’m sure Isabel would ever have said it, ever!
As I could only remember that one little part of the dream I got to thinking about words which are completely out of fashion or use – even if ‘lummy’ was ever in fashion! When did someone other than on Radio 4 or Boris Johnson say ‘golly’? I confess that I sometimes say ‘gosh’ but my children fall about laughing and think I’m adorably eccentric and old-fashioned.
The origin of ‘lummy’ is ‘Lord love me’, ‘gosh’ is an alliteration of ‘God’ as is ‘golly’. One old word which i don’t remember ever having heard except in period TV programmes is ‘lawks’ – sometimes ‘lawks-a-mercy’ – ‘Lord have mercy’.
Another phrase, a favourite of any programme, film, or play including Londoners is ‘blimey’, sometimes ‘gor/cor blimey’ – I think I might still sometimes say this, and it’s origin is ‘blind me’ – as in ‘may God blind me if I’m wrong’! Then carrying on from there, ‘love-a-duck’ or ‘lor, love-a-duck’.. . who know why the Lord might love a duck?
There must be so many other of these sayings and mild expletives which I don’t remember – or should I say recall at the moment, no doubt they will come to me as the day progresses!