Although he’s not really all that old, half the time my hubby acts like a grumpy old man . . . an old fogey, as it were. The scary thing is, if he’s like this now what am I in for when he really is old?? Holy crow!
So, what in the heck is an old fogey anyway? A fogey is an old man with who is extremely fussy with an overly conservative attitude. Therefore, adding old to fogey is redundant since the word already assumes old age. It’s akin to an ATM and ATM machine, if you catch my drift.
Okay . . . where does catch my drift come from? Drift, when used in this manner, means to drive . . . so you could just as easily say “if you catch what I’m driving at”.
Now that that’s cleared up . . . where does the word fogey (or fogy) originate?
It’s possible that ‘fogy’ is derived from the English word ‘fogram/fogrum’ which is a person with old-fashioned or overly conservative attitudes. When using this word it is most often preceded with ‘old’.
However, I’m leaning towards the word ‘fogy’ that dates back to the 18th century. It’s an out of use Scots word that means either bloated or moss-covered . . . so it would kind of be like a distended, moldy old man. That doesn’t exactly describe my hubby but it’s certainly something to look forward to!
Interestingly and perhaps corroborating this association is that, in the same era, military veterans were often referred to as ‘foggies’ in direct correlation to the Scots use of the word . . . as in crusty old soldiers being moss covered with age. Later ‘old fogy’ became a term used when referring to old or decrepit soldiers. Even so far as longevity pay based on length of service being referred to as ‘fogy pay’.
I wonder if wives can claim ‘fogy pay’ based on however long they are married and how grumpy their husband is . . . hmmmm.
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