Another word for old

Another word for old
How To Be Old

 
 
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There’s something weird about the language we use to talk about people who are not young. Why are people so hungry for another word for old? Seems there’s no word that everyone is comfortable with — but some words are slightly more acceptable. Should we call people old, older, elder, elderly, senior, aging or unyoung? In a poem I explain my own solution, which you may or may not like. Then I talk about the possible reasons behind our rejection of these synonyms for old.

6 thoughts on “Another word for old

  1. auntyuta says:

    I just wrote in a comment that I am a ‘not so old’ great-grandma.
    By saying ‘not so old’ I guess I meant to say that I am still able to communicate even though I am 85! 🙂

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      You and I are part of a vast cohort of the old but not frail. It’s a sweet spot, call it what you will.

  2. I tend to use the word “older,” since in my mind it means I’m still evolving, while “old” sounds more like a place where I’ve arrived. I agree that using the number for our ages makes sense, but unless everyone is doing that on a regular basis, it could make us rather stand out. I also thought about the word “mature,” but I don’t suppose that everyone over 65, or so, is necessarily mature:)

  3. Elizabeth says:

    As long as someone notices I exist, I don’t really care what adjective they use. It’s invisibility that gets to me.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Right on! I understand.

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