Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
When I first started working at the nursing home, I loved going into Mr. A's room. He was a favorite of mine among the patients. Anytime I took something to him, he tapped his cheek and said, Give me a kiss right here, baby doll.
I was glad to oblige.
But one day he said, I need a physic.
I left the room puzzled. Physic? I asked the nearest nurse. What's a physic?
She said, It's an old-fashioned way of saying laxative.
I tell you this anecdote because it's important for your characters to use dialog appropriate for their time period. Word choice can also indicate a character's age.
F. Scott Fitzgerald referred to his alcoholism as "dipsomania." Writer Rose Wilder Lane (daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder, who wrote the Little House book series) once asked her father about sayings used when he was young, which would have been in the 1880s. One of his responses was that if they thought someone was a good fellow, they would say that man was "all wool and a yard wide."
My parents called margarine "oleo." My children wore cloth diapers and my mother called the plastic pants they wore over the diaper "rubber pants." When disposable diapers were new, I often heard them called "paper diapers."
This Web site has a dictionary of words commonly used in the 1920s and '30s: http://www.1929anupperclassaffair.com/Flapperspeak.pdf
Do you remember some words and phrases that you used to hear regularly that have fallen out of fashion but would be indicative of a time period?
Infinities of love,