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Pop Culture

Folks are admitting that Boomers weren’t totally wrong. Here are 19 things they got right.

OK, Boomer, you're right about this one.

boomers, gen x, millenials

The gaze of the approving Boomer.

Over the past few years, Baby Boomers (1946 to 1964) have been getting a lot of grief from the generations that came after them, Gen X (1965 to 1980), Millenials (1981 to 1996), and now, Gen Z (1997 to 2012). Their grievances include environmental destruction, wealth hoarding, political polarization, and being judgemental when they don’t understand how hard it is for younger people to make it in America these days.

Every Baby Boomer is different, so it's wrong to paint them all with a broad brush. But it’s undeniable that each generation shares common values, and some are bound to come into conflict.

However, life in 2023 isn’t without its annoyances. Many that came about after the technological revolution put a phone in everyone’s hands and brought a whole new host of problems. Add the younger generations' hands-on approach to child rearing and penchant for outrage, and a lot of moden life has become insufferanble.


These problems weren’t created by Boomers but by their hyper-online children and grandchildren who can’t seem to get their faces out of their phones.

A Reddit user named AnitaVodkasoda took to the AskReddit forum and asked posters to admit there were some things that Boomers got right. “What is something you can say 'I'm with the boomers on this one' about?” they asked, and many responses came from people fed up with the modern-day frustrations caused by technology and social media.

Here are 19 things that people think that Boomers got right.

1. App exhaustion​

"Any business which requires you to use an app. I don’t want to download an app, make an account, and remember said password for the account. Especially because the app doesn’t even work a lot of the time or is extremely convoluted with the frontend design." — Sammy_Henderschplitz

2. Let kids play

"Kids do great with totally unstructured outdoor play. They don’t need an organized game or activity. If you take a bunch of kids to a park and keep an eye on them they’ll figure out stuff to do together and often come up with creative and interesting things that adults wouldn’t have thought of. Just keep them physically safe and let them run around and do kid stuff. You don’t need to curate everything." — HeavyHebrewHammer

3. Pricey concerts

"Concert ticket pricing is too high. Once you get in a beer is $17!" — Whatabout-Dre

4. Tip creep

"Every business asking for tips at checkout. Digital menus. Not being able to own things anymore like software or having to pay monthly fees for car features." — mutualbuttsqueezin

5. Phones at concerts

"Phones at concerts. I take one pic when the artist comes on and then I just enjoy the show. You’re never gonna look back at your sh**** videos with you singing off-key in the background lol just enjoy the music." — Used_Eraser

6. Kids online

"Social media is unhealthy and children shouldn't have unrestricted access to the internet." — horrorflowers

7. Lazy tablet parents

"Parents who let their kids use tablets in public spaces with the volume all the way up, no headphones, and not doing it to stop an imminent tantrum (if they truly cannot get the kid out of that shared space for some reason) are trashy af. Fight me." — kishbish

8. Bring back knobs

"Touchscreens in cars suck." — sketchy_painting

9. Bad customer service

"Calling any business and getting an automated system that takes you 12 minutes to get through, doesn’t answer your question, and you can’t get a real person." — SexyJesus7

10. Raising entitled kids

"The 'my kid is never wrong' attitude every parent seems to have now. And we wonder why there’s a teacher shortage." — Cinderjacket

11. Emojis in work emails

"Learn to write a professional email. The number of Gen Z kids I’ve had who send me emails without salutations, with emojis and shorthand like lol omg etc, without proper spelling and punctuation, is crazy. That is fine for texting or exchanges with people you’re friends with, but it’s not for the workplace." — pistachiobees

12. Paper straws

"Paper straws suck." — JohnYCanuckEsq

13. Face tattoos

"Don't get tattoos on your face." — Disastrous-Aspect569

14. Gender reveals

"Just tell us if you are having a boy or girl. Or wait until the baby is born. We don’t need to assemble for some ridiculous reveal. I don’t want pink or blue dust all over the place." — Kevin Dean

15. People are too sensitive

"I think people tend to be too sensitive, personal outrage shouldn't be so important. It's disheartening to see so many people whine and cry and fight over inconsequential nonsense while pressing issues remain unaddressed." — Empathetic_Orch

16. TV sounds terrible

"Movies, and some TV shows for that matter, are mixed idiotically these days. I don't appreciate having to crank the volume way up to hear the whispered dialog, only to have a music swell or explosion or something blow my head clean off. No amount of tweaking my sound system has fixed this." — broberds

17. Affordable housing

"Being able to afford a house." — The-Black-Douglas

18. Blinded by the lights

"Headlights are too damned bright now." — 15all

19. The people on your lawn

"Get off my lawn." — Disastrous_Motor_189

This article originally appeared on 8.30.23

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The word "jumbo" literally comes from an elephant.

The evolution of language is fascinating, and the etymology of specific words can be a fun little trip through human history as well as human creativity.

Many English words are derived from Greek and Latin, but other European languages make up a good chunk of our language as well. The roots of some words can surprise us, and so can the way certain words came to be. And in some cases, what we don't know can be just as surprising as what we do.

Enjoy diving into the history of 15 words we use every day.

1. Dog

Dog is often one of the first words babies learn to say, and it's one of the first kids learn to spell. But don't let its simplicity fool you. This word is truly a mystery.

The word "dog" comes from dogca, a very rarely used Old English word, but how we started using it as our everyday name for canines, no one knows. "Its origin remains one of the great mysteries of English etymology," according to the Online Etymology Dictionary.

Even more interestingly, no one knows the origins of the Spanish word for "dog" ("perro"), nor do they know the origins of the Polish ("pies") or Serbo-Croatian ("pas") words for our canine friends, either. Who knew dogs were so enigmatic?

2. Nightmare

It's obvious where "night" comes from in "nightmare," but what about "mare"? Surely, were not referring to a female horse here.

Horse, no. But female, yes. Female goblin, to be precise. In Old English, mare means "incubus, nightmare, monster; witch, sorcerer." And "nightmare" started being used around 1300 to refer to "an evil female spirit afflicting men (or horses) in their sleep with a feeling of suffocation." Yikes. Thankfully, now it's just any old bad dream.

3. Jumbo

We've all seen animals named for words with certain meanings, but here we have the opposite. The word "jumbo" came from a large elephant who lived at the London Zoo. Zookeeper Anoshan Anathjeysari named him "Jumbe," the Swahili word for "chief." But his status as one of the largest African bush elephants in Europe in the 19th century caused his nickname, Jumbo, to become synonymous with enormousness.

muscular man exercising

Run, little mouse, run.

Photo by Anastase Maragos on Unsplash

4. Muscle

The Latin word musculus means "little mouse." As hilarious as it sounds, they thought the movement of muscles looked like little mice scurrying under the skin, hence the origin. Kinda ick to think about, but also logical, so here we are.

5. Quarantine

Ah, a word with which we are all familiar, thanks to COVID-19. But do we know what it really means?

If you understand roots, you may guess that "quar" might have something to do with the number four, and you'd be right. In Latin, quadraginta means a period of 40 days. Our usage of "quarantine" to mean isolation from others comes from the Venetian policy of ships coming into port from plague-stricken countries in the late 1300s to remain in port for 40 days before letting people off. The usage to mean any period of time in isolation began being used in the 1600s.

6. Mortgage

Most of us grow up not really understanding what a mortgage is until we buy our first house, but even then, most of us don't know what the word literally means. It comes from Old French, mort gaige, literally meaning "death pledge."

HAHAHAHAHA. Death pledge. Mortgage. That's funny.

However, it doesn't mean you're tied to the debt til you die, even if it feels like it. The death part means the deal dies either when you pay it off or when you become unable to pay. Doesn't really change the fact that it feels a bit like you're signing your life away when you buy a house, though.

ball of yarn

What does a ball of yarn have to do with "clue"?

Photo by Philip Estrada on Unsplash

7. Clue

Oddly enough, "clue" comes from a misspelling (or alternate spelling from before standardized spelling was a thing) of the word "clew," meaning a ball of yarn.

The word itself comes from German, but its usage points to the Greek myth in which Ariadne gives Theseus a ball (or clew) of yarn to help him escape the labyrinth. Now we use it to refer to anything that helps us solve a mystery.

8. Nice

The word "nice" is nice and simple, right? It's the most basic word we use for "pleasant," a definitively positive word. But this seemingly simple word has been through quite the trek in its etymology.

From the Latin nescius, meaning "ignorant, unaware," it was used to mean "timid" or"faint-hearted" before the year 1300. A couple hundred years later, it had morphed to "fussy, fastidious" or "dainty, delicate." In another 100 years, it changed to "precise, careful." Tack on another few hundred years and we're at "agreeable, delightful," and from there it was only short jaunt to "kind, thoughtful."

What a nice journey from insult to compliment.

9. Shampoo

I would have bet money that the word "shampoo" was French in origin, but nope. It's Hindi, coming from the term champo, and the original meaning was "to massage, rub and percuss the surface of (the body) to restore tone and vigor." It's only been used to refer specifically to lathering and washing out strands of hair or carpet since the mid 1800s.

10. Torpedo

Literally Latin for a stingray. As in the marine animal. That comes from the root word torpere, which means "be numb," since a ray's sting can numb you. It doesn't become the word for a propelled underwater explosive until the last couple hundred years.

11. Ambidextrous

We know that left-handedness was seen negatively throughout much of human history, but even the word that means "able to use both hands equally" has a right-handed bias baked into it. The medieval Latin ambidexter literally meansliterally means "right-handed on both sides."

Isn't English fun?


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