Manners & Misdemeanors

Parlor or Salon, Disco or Club, Shoe Mart or SM: Terms That Date Us

Out with the old, and in with the new.

Because you won't refer to Valkyrie or the Palace Pool Club as a disco. 

People used to refer to company outings, field trips, road trips out of town, or camping with friends as “excursions.”

Frigidaire is actually an American refrigerator brand that made the first self-contained refrigerator in 1916. It was so popular in the early-to-mid-1900s that many called any refrigerator (of whatever brand) a frigidaire, as they would refer to toothpaste as Colgate.

Aww! You are one cute, healthy little girl. Do you have healthy classmates too?”
When the little girl grew up, she realized her aunties meant “fat” when they called her healthy. Ouch.

Only in the Philippines!

Because of the sound?

The fast-food chain officially shortened its name to KFC in 1991 to let customers know that it had more for them to enjoy than just fried chicken, and many were already calling it KFC, as it was much easier to say

Many streets have been renamed to honor various important people. Make sure you are up to date with the new names of these streets to avoid losing your way. 

Ordering "mixed drinks" at a bar will make you sound like a novice. It’s a cocktail. Say it the way Carrie Bradshaw did.

Back then, beauty parlors catered specifically to women, while barber shops were for men. Nowadays, salons are bigger establishments that offer services to men and women.

The younger generation has a knack for shortening words. It technically is a pie (or “pee-cha pie”), but pizza just rolls off the tongue.

Part of Glorietta was once called the Quad, a building consisting of four cinemas until it was renovated by the Ayala Land Corporation in the 1990s to the shopping landmark it is today.

Many learning institutions have renamed themselves since their early beginnings. UA&P was once the Center for Research and Communication (CRC), while Poveda began as a Catholic school by an association founded in Spain and was known as the Institucion Teresiana. Colegio San Agustin is now known more by the acronym CSA.


Since shifting from a shoe store chain and evolving into a department store, Shoe Mart was officially renamed SM in the '70s.

Recent years have seen the rise of the designer from a behind-the-scenes man to an ambassador of big-name brands. So expect fashion terms to change. No longer do we refer to Hermes, Prada, and Louis Vuitton bags as “signature.” They are now “designer bags.”

Back when Walkman and vinyl players were a thing, listening to “sounds” was an appropriate term—aside from the melody and beats, you would also hear crackling, soulful sounds from the device. But now that digital devices have none of those lovely imperfections, refer to your songs as “music.” You will sound more in tune with the times.

From how it is spelled to the way it sounds, “sandals” is already a thousand times better than “step-in.” No need for people to imagine the act of a foot sliding into casual footwear.

I’m trying to reduce. But what? Better to use “diet” so friends immediately know you’re about to share juicy information about a new cleanse or exercise routine.

They were called “rubber shoes” when they were used solely for exercise. But now that they’ve become an everyday fashion and collector’s item, “sneakers” has become a more fitting term.

When in doubt, stick to the most simple and timeless word for anything. “Car” is always more acceptable than “wheels.” Why refer to a part when you can refer to the whole package?

“Chancing,” a coy way to get a woman’s attention, no longer applies today. Slow moves and traditional courtships have become somewhat passé. Better to use “hitting on” to say that a man is flirting with a woman. He is hitting on the woman at the next table. Sounds more 2017, urgent, and self-assured.


The hard “r” sound in “girdle” makes us think of the discomfort of slimming down for a dress. Think: torturous period drama costumes and eighties dresses that no longer fit you.

It’s better to use the confident-sounding “Spanx.” This shapewear brand has gotten so popular that it’s practically being used as a common noun (the way “Google” replaced “search the Internet”). And the sexy connotation makes us think of the smooth form it makes underneath a thin, silk dress. Not the sacrifice.

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