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Old 12-15-05, 10:41 AM   #1
DnvrFox
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Of "Geezers, Old Farts" and Related Terms for 50+rs

Anyone else but me put off by these, to me, denigrating terms for folks 50+?

I don't know of any other "age group" that refers to themselves so much in derogatory terms.

Why is the usage of this terminology seemingly so appealing to certain folks? Do some think it is "cute?" Or is it supposedly self-deprecating?

I firmly believe that there is already quite enough "putting down" of folks with a few more years by younger folks and that we don't have to add to it.

But, you all knew this was eventually coming from me.

One of the original goals of the 50+ forum was to add dignity to folks 50+, and to let others see our accomplishments and contributions in the cycling world, which is seldom recognized by those younger. Some sort of balance to the equation. Let them see what they might be able to accomplish as they gain maturity. Seems to me that lately we have been going backwards.
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Old 12-15-05, 10:54 AM   #2
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The terms you cited don't bother me at all. I occasionally will use them myself to describe myself. I find them amusing. I used to call myself a young fart, by the way. Or a whippersnapper. Anyway, speaking for myself, it doesn't bother me. As my old man used to say, "Call me whatever you want. Just don't call me late for dinner."
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Old 12-15-05, 11:14 AM   #3
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Have to agree with DG, it doesn't bother me if someone calls me "old", geezer, antique, older than dirt, over the hill, old guy, LOL, even Fat old guy, if I worried about what everyone calls me, I'd be in a looney bin chasing invisable butterfiles. I've got a paunch and when I wear my long sleeve yellow jersey, (hey my grandaughter bought it for me so, Lance isn't the only guy who can wear one and have a fan club!), I don't look like the "trim, slim, mean & lean" rider that is "supposed" to ride a bicycle and probably well "never" be so I get some cat calls from the young'uns and strange looks at time but it's "their" problem not mine!
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Old 12-15-05, 11:36 AM   #4
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I take those terms as sort of a badge. For someone (myself) who is 57, I am in better shape and can do a lot of things physically that a many of my friends,family,work associates can't do who are 10 to 20 years younger. Except for the loss of hair I look better than many of them also.
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Old 12-15-05, 11:38 AM   #5
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think of them as terms of endearment, doesn't phase me.
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Old 12-15-05, 12:00 PM   #6
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Doesn't bother me. I'm just trying to figure out how I can get into the lower age brackets at the National 24 Hour Challenge. I have never been able to crack the top 3 in my own bracket, the old farts are just too damn fast. But most years I would finish 2nd or 3rd in the 18-24 group. Would Grecian Formula help?
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Old 12-15-05, 12:11 PM   #7
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The years have been kind to me (knocking on wood).
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Old 12-15-05, 12:21 PM   #8
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It doesn't bother me for 2 reasons.
1. On this forum we're all of the same category. Something akin to referring to each other as Bad!
2. In person it is given lightly as most everyone who kids me that way realizes I am in better shape than they are. It is sort of a backhanded compliment.

This forum helps to create the atmosphere where such references are okay. If all of us could only communicate on the road forum for instance, then I know many such references would be meant in a derogatory fashion as things do tend to get out of hand on that forum. That would not be okay in my opinion.
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Old 12-15-05, 12:34 PM   #9
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I am the moany old "Git" within my group. That is what I call myself to give newcomers an idea of what they are about to go through if they upset me. "Git" is probably a UK term and comes from a TV show in the 60's. I am old, I am moany, and probably a Git, but I don't care what they call me as they drag me up the hills. It's when I have to drag them up that they find out my description is true.
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Old 12-15-05, 02:14 PM   #10
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Guess I started this with my "Aging Descending Geezers" thread. Sorry if any offense was taken by anyone. Mostly, I'm proud of being geezerish and don't mind teasing from my younger riding partners. I suspect they admire me all the more for doing what they do...if a little slower. Passion for riding burns more brightly for us perhaps just because it takes just a little more to get out of bed at 5:30AM and hit those damned spinervals that Dnvr intro'ed me to.

Anyway, I seldom find anyone using such terms scornfully, contemptuously, or dismissively.....most of the time affectionately or with gentle humor. Hell, most of the time its us using those agist terms as we live with the ironies and sometimes conflicts of being "active" 50Plussers and are secretly proud of ourselves for not being petrified in a recliner position like too many of our peers.

But Dnvr, I do understand the pride you take in what you (and we've) done with our age.....and none of us want it to be undervalued.

And that's what BF FiftyPus is for and what it does pretty well.
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Old 12-15-05, 02:31 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by GrannyGear
Guess I started this with my "Aging Descending Geezers" thread. Sorry if any offense was taken by anyone.

But Dnvr, I do understand the pride you take in what you (and we've) done with our age.....and none of us want it to be undervalued.

And that's what BF FiftyPus is for and what it does pretty well.
No, you didn't start it. It has been going on for some time now, and I was just able to restrain my feeble arms and poor vision eyes, and Alzhiemer's-filled brain and arthritic fingers from responding until now.

But, historically speaking, there was a time on these forums when folks our age were quite frequently derided and put down. Many did not know we rode classy bikes, or did centuries, or did tours. Many thought that 50 was really old, and that anyone age 66 who did 4,500 miles per year was an anomaly.

It took a fair amount of effort on my and some others part to get this forum together against a fair amount of resistance. You know, "no one will participate (they are too old)," and other such statements.

I still occasionally read derogatory statements about 50+rs in some forums.

Call yourself whatever you might like. I will continue to refrain from terminology which attempts to categorize any age group or ethnic group or or ability(or disability) group or whatever group in "catch phrases" no better than stereotypes

But please don't include me as a member of your phraseology. Thanks.

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Old 12-15-05, 02:54 PM   #12
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Denver, I understand your post and appreciate your viewpoint. However, I decided long ago not to be sensitive to anything anyone called me or said about me. In the words of Richard Feynman, "What do you are what other people think?"

I have to be careful in what I say about others, who may not feel as I do.

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Old 12-15-05, 09:19 PM   #13
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It usually doesn't bother me unless I'm having an attack of Codgeritis. I'm only 52 so maybe I have not had enough time to become sensitized.

I agree with Gary. Just don't call me late for supper. Now, where did I leave that Ben-Gay?
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Old 12-15-05, 09:44 PM   #14
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Yes! I agree absolutely. I'm always startled by those terms in conversation - I totally don't understand the appeal.
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Old 12-15-05, 10:22 PM   #15
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Hey, Dnvr, I think growing old gracefully is a badge to be worn proudly. In fact I find that people are astounded to see a 60-something on a bike, and when they ask "Where ya goin', or Where ya comin from?" and put your answer together with the white beard, they are incredulous. I've heard several use the word "hero" - I usually grin back and say something like, " Not bad for a big ole fat geezer, eh?" (obviously I'm Canajun) I'm afraid "old" is here to stay in our lives, let's change what we can and prove the stereotypes wrong.
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Old 12-15-05, 11:41 PM   #16
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Those are the terms I use on the last part of the Tour De Cure century in Napa, Ca, when there's heavy traffic and the shoulder in front of me is full of younger cyclists.
"Excuse me, could you guys single up and let this Geezer pass?"
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Old 12-16-05, 12:06 AM   #17
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Hi folks,
I think there are a couple sides to this....
1 -- coming from young bucks and mouthy punks its obviously a put-down.
2 -- coming from an acquaintance our own age, its more likely a good natured rib.
3 -- coming from a stranger is obviously a lack of tact and respect for others.

And there may be other more subtle words/phrases... "your mother wears army boots."

People have varying thicknesses of skin and not everyone has bionic titanium skin so its understandable some will be upset by those words. No longer do we refer to people as Mr. Smith or Mrs. Jones -- its Bob and Jane. Society has become far too familliar -- "no respect" says the late Rodney Dangerfield.

40-50 years ago people were tossed out on their ear from companies, a few lucky ones got a "gold watch". 20-30 years ago, you got 30 minutes notice and 2 weeks severance. Today, they just through you out a window and don't even wish you good luck.

If anyone has seen the movie "Logan's Run" where society kills people on their 30th birthday because they aren't useful any more, then you know where we're headed. Whats next ? ...your 20th birthday?

People over 30-40-50-60-70 all have value and something to offer. The problem is, no one wants to take the time to discover what that value is. And I'm sure what these older age groups have to offer is far more valuable than the work-ethics and sense of responsibility of today's youth and young adults (16-35).

I can take it or leave it, but given the trend, I think we should stand up and fight for some dignity and respect. Power to the grey and bald.
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Old 12-16-05, 01:32 AM   #18
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I really don't care what people want to call me. As a retired civil servant, I've been called a lot worse than geezer or old fart and learned long ago to take responsibility for my own dignity. When I want to let a "thirty-something" see what I can accomplish, I will follow 50 yards behind him for several miles, pass him on the uphill and make it stick going down the other side.

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Old 12-16-05, 05:24 AM   #19
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Doesn't bother me at all. I'm also not bothered by references to my "chrome dome", "red neck" or "four eyes" or whatever. I take it as either a friendly jab or the comments of an ignorant fool. Nothing in either worth getting upset about. About the only thing that really, really offends me is political correctness.
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Old 12-16-05, 06:20 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
The terms you cited don't bother me at all. I occasionally will use them myself to describe myself. I find them amusing. I used to call myself a young fart, by the way. Or a whippersnapper. Anyway, speaking for myself, it doesn't bother me. As my old man used to say, "Call me whatever you want. Just don't call me late for dinner."
What DG says^^^^^
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Old 12-16-05, 07:05 AM   #21
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At the tender age of 48, I'm much too young to understand this thread.

But, if I did.... age is whatever you want it to be. I exercise daily and look and feel ten years younger. And, I'm getting younger all the time.
I cycle as hard as I can, I'm getting the health benefits, but unfortunately, I'm slow.
My first race was an eye opener, not a peleton kind of guy, a better fit would be driving the team car.
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Old 12-16-05, 07:09 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogbait
I really don't care what people want to call me. As a retired civil servant, I've been called a lot worse than geezer or old fart and learned long ago to take responsibility for my own dignity. When I want to let a "thirty-something" see what I can accomplish, I will follow 50 yards behind him for several miles, pass him on the uphill and make it stick going down the other side.

Dogbait
Folks, you are missing the point.

It is not what other folks are calling us, it is what we are calling ourselves. that is the issue

So,

1. At age 49 and 364.9 days, you are a "boomer" or whatever. However, one day later, at age 50 everyone becomes a "geezer" and and "old fart" or perhaps a "coot." No matter if you are fit or lazy or brilliant or a bum, AGE totally defines your being - at least how you describe your being to others. Right? Am I getting the message correctly?

2. But, it seems as if no one quite knows what a "geezer" or "old fart" or "coot" or "whatever" is.

From a couple of online dictionaries:

geezer

n : a man who is (usually) old and/or eccentric [syn: bloke]

Main Entry: geeˇzer
Pronunciation: 'gE-z&r
Function: noun
Etymology: probably alteration of Scots guiser (one in disguise)
: a queer, odd, or eccentric person -- used especially of elderly men

geezer

Main Entry:** fuddy-duddy
Part of Speech:** noun
Definition:** old-fashion person
Synonyms:** dotard, dull person, fogy, fussbudget, fusspot, granny, old fart, old fogy, old maid, square, stick-in-the-mud, stuffed shirt

old fart

n. Tribal elder. A title self-assumed with
remarkable frequency by (esp.) Usenetters who have been programming
for more than about 25 years; often appears in sig blocks attached
to Jargon File contributions of great archeological significance.
This is a term of insult in the second or third person but one of
pride in first person.

3. Using terminology about ourselves such as "old fart" and "geezer" is amusing or humorous or somehow a badge of honor of acquiring that one day after 49 years 364.99 days.

Okay.

We can equally as well call ourselves:

dotard, dull person, fogy, fussbudget, fusspot, granny, old fart, old fogy, old maid, square, stick-in-the-mud, stuffed shirt.

Are these synonyms also more respectful meaningful and worthwhile connotations of being 49years 364.9 days plus one? I am impressed!

I have mostly failed to make my point convincingly to others. Not an unusual result for a "geezer" such as myself.

Excuse me while I leave to study for my ACE Personal Trainer exam as I get ready to start my next career.

Go in peace.

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Old 12-16-05, 07:29 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox
No, you didn't start it. It has been going on for some time now, and I was just able to restrain my feeble arms and poor vision eyes, and Alzhiemer's-filled brain and arthritic fingers from responding until now.

But, historically speaking, there was a time on these forums when folks our age were quite frequently derided and put down. Many did not know we rode classy bikes, or did centuries, or did tours. Many thought that 50 was really old, and that anyone age 66 who did 4,500 miles per year was an anomaly.
Personally, I find it hard to restrain myself when self described "REAL/SERIOUS" CYCLISTS of any age, put down or deride cyclists of any age who do not define their cycling accomplishment/status by ownership of "classy" bikes, doing centuries, tours, and similar competition/club oriented activities.

I find it rather pathetic when older cyclists think it is an imperative to compete with every cyclist they see on the road, and a BFD when they can "drop" a younger cyclist.

I am 58 and find nothing wrong with not giving a dang about competing with younger cyclists, and not obsessing over yearly mileage bragging rights. Some of my cycling comrades should try just riding at whatever pace is comfortable, regardless of whatever they used to do, to wherever, for whatever reason, on whatever equipment meets their current needs. I recommend: Don't give a dang about put downs from no-nothings and enjoy cycling because you can.
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Old 12-16-05, 07:53 AM   #24
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Hello to all. I have been following this forum for a month now. This is probably the most intelligent and informative site I have found for riders of any age who desire to learn how bicycling can improve anyone's lifestyle and attitude toward aging productively.
I understand DenvrFox's concern about the stereotypical terms used for those over fifty. Even though the population is growing older by the decades, our society still puts a cap on expectations once you are "over the hill". Personally, at 50, I left the corporate world, went back to grad school and am now starting a new career in high school education. Even the professors were a little suprised to see an older male make such a decision at that time in life. In fact there is a term used- Non-traditional Student. This, I believe would be a fitting moniker for you rascals..l.Non-traditional students of life after 50
In closing, be proud of what you are accomplishing and maybe we can influence the young to look further into the future than just being able to drive and by beer legally. Have you seen the shape of most teenagers? I pray they survive to see 50.
Thanks for the time to join in. Rick
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Old 12-16-05, 08:58 AM   #25
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I don't have a problem with the "geezer" term or other monikers. I earned it. I take great pride in hearing a young whippersnapper say "Man, that old fart wearing sandals can really go."

I don't ask for respect from the cycling community by demanding they call me some nice name. I earn that respect by getting out there and riding and showing that people over 50 shouldn't go to pasture gracefully but instead resisting and kicking!
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