Let’s look at catchphrases…those verbal ques to the possible age, but more likely the ‘style’ and disposition, of our characters. Of course most catchphrases have lived beyond their birth generation. The user may not even know who first said it, associate with the original/carry over social order, or even know the original meaning.
“Play it again, Sam.” Rick Blaine, Casablanca (1942)
“Look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls!” Pigmeat Markham, comedy monologue (1940s)
A gas = Fun (1950/60s)
A blast = Fun (1950s)
Burn rubber = To take off swiftly (1950s)
Cruising = Looking for action (1950s)
Don’t flip your wig = Calm down and don’t get too excited (1950s)
Rag top = A convertible (1950s)
Meanwhile back at the ranch = Get to the point (1960s)
“Ooh, you are awful … but I like you!” Dick Emery, the Dick Emery Show (1963).
“HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERE’S JOHNNY!” Ed McMahon, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962).
“Bite my shiny metal ass!” Bender, Futurama (1999).
“yabba dabba do!” Fred Flintstone, The Flintstones (1960).
“Dy-no-mite!” Jimmy “J. J.” Walker, Good Times (1974).
“How you doin’?” Joey Tribbiani, Friends (1994).
“Bazinga!” Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory (2007).
“Hasta la vista, baby.” Terminator, The Terminator (1984).
And thanks to the title of an iconic rock and roll song of the 1950s, written and first recorded by American singer-songwriter Bobby Charles, and was a Top Ten hit for Bill Haley and His Comets in 1956 in the U.S.: See yah later, alligator!
Think about your ‘building blocks’; we can not write without them.