BEARCATS, met any air tights recently?

How about a blue serge - not to be confused with a bluenose - or a sheik? I'll put money on you having crossed paths with a Forty-Niner, and definitely a mustard plaster, just please tell me you didn't take him back for any barneymugging.

Wait! No, no, it's safe to come in. I've just gone on a little verbal journey back to the 1920s. How lovely were the phrases to describe the vagaries and intricacies of romance then. Well, with all those beads and feathers it would be remiss not to have sparkling, weightless phrases to match.

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Let me translate: bearcat - a lively, fiery woman. Air tight - extremely desirable. Blue serge - a sweetheart. A bluenose - a prude. Forty-Niner - male gold-digger; mustard plaster-- a visitor you can't get rid of. Barneymugging - er, hem, I'll let you guess.

In the '20s if you wanted to request a couple desist from public affection the cry would be "bank's closed!". Conversely, if you're politely asking for a kiss now or later it would be "cash or cheque?".

Assessing attractiveness of a woman, she might be a tomato (average woman), a baby vamp or quiff (popular lady), a Bug-Eyed Betty (ugly) or a cancelled stamp (very shy). You might like to take her out for some giggle water (a drink) but be careful to behave yourself (no off-time jive, thank you) in case you either end up spifflicated, lit up like the Commonwealth, burning with a blue flame or boiled as an owl (drunk). This may lead to the icy mitt (rejection). A lady of honour will bring with her a fire extinguisher (chaperone); she of temper may cast a kitten (throw a temper tantrum) should you turn out to be an absent treatment (a bad dancer), and do not fail to ensure the event you attend is a sockdollager (important). Don't be a flat tyre (a disappointment). Take her for a meal so she doesn't get the screaming meemies (hunger).

If things go well you may have to buy her a handcuff (engagement ring) and yourself a manacle (wedding ring) before heading down the middle aisle (marriage).

If things go better you'll drop the pilot (divorce. Oh, come on - marriage is madness) and be ready to avail yourself of a few air tights.

Will the youth of 2090 look back lustfully on our dating, snogging, hammered and trollied? Banana oil (I doubt it).

But who knows; the passing years make one generation's vulgar another generation's poetic. Ish Kabibble!