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You're never too young to be a geezer

Dear Matthew:

At what age does one qualify to be called a geezer? Most dictionaries just say "an old man." I was wondering if you could define the chronological age at which the term geezer applies.

-- Alan Lewis, the net

Good news, Alan. No age limit on geezers, if we take the original meaning. You can be one right now, if you want. A geezer was just a guy wearing some sort of silly disguise (a "guiser"). Usually in a parade or making a public spectacle of himself somewhere. But as we gradually lost all respect for the elderly, the word came in handy on almost a daily basis.

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