[lit-ideas] "Geezer" versus "Codger"

  • From: Eric Yost <eyost1132@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2006 12:56:51 -0400

"Geezer" versus "Codger"

Merriam-Webster's 11th gives:


: a queer, odd, or eccentric person — used especially of elderly men
–geezerhood \-*hood\ noun


: an often mildly eccentric and usually elderly fellow *old codger*

Simpson's Quotations:

The cunning old codger knows that no emphasis often constitutes the most powerful emphasis of all.

Cleanth Brooks, On Robert Frost, Christian Science Monitor 13 May 85

Geezer, et al.

Many of these, and of the new compounds with them, belong to the vocabulary of disparagement, e. g., bone-head, skunk, bug, jay, lobster, boob, mutt, gas (empty talk), geezer, piker, baggage-smasher, hash-slinger, clock-watcher, four-flusher, coffin-nail, chin-music, batty and one-horse. Here an essential character of the American shows itself: his tendency to combat the disagreeable with irony, to heap ridicule upon what he is suspicious of or doesn’t understand. -H.L. Mencken, The American Language, 1921.

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