Common Idioms That Are Now Outdated Thanks to Technology

With technology changing as fast as it is, one would think that language would adjust accordingly. It doesn’t, and because of that generations of people are left using phrases that they don’t quite understand the context of. Below is a list of common idioms that are now outdated thanks to technology.

“Hang up the phone.”

We don’t hang up the phone, we press a button and it ends the call, but that hasn’t stopped us from using this outdated phrase.

“Like a broken record.”

Kids these days wouldn’t know what a broken record sounds like but that doesn’t stop their parents from using the term when something is said repeatedly. With a lack of better term to describe redundancy, it looks like this phrase is around to stay.

“Roll down the window.”

Before most functions on automobiles were electronic, you literally had to roll the windows up or down. These days, the windows move with the push of a button, but that hasn’t stopped this outdated term from being used.

“Nothing to write home about.”

Despite more fast and efficient means of communication literally at your fingertips, when something is considered subpar, you will still hear it described as “nothing to write home about.” On the other hand, maybe the lack of the physical written word adds emphasis, meaning that if you’re not going to text about it, you’re certainly not going to write about it either.

“Carbon copy.”

It’s been quite a while since carbon sheets were used to make copies. Regardless, it’s still common to hear people refer to something that looks identical to another as a carbon copy. With the term also being used in email in the form of “CC” and “BCC,” it’s unlikely this term is going anywhere anytime soon.

“Tape it.”

Gone are the days where you would put a blank cassette tape in a VHS to record a bootleg copy of a show or movie, yet still even since the rise of the DVR, older generations still use this phrase to describe recording a TV program.


While you can technically still “rewind” a DVD or a movie on Netflix, since the death of the cassette tape in the early 2000’s, the physical act of rewinding has long since been outdated.

How about you? Are there any outdated terms you still find yourself using? Let us know in the comment section below!

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