01 September 2008


oldster • \OHLD-ster\ noun
: an old or elderly person

Example Sentence:
More and more oldsters are embracing the Internet and connecting and interacting using social networking Web sites.

Did you know?
"Youngster" has been used since the 16th century as a word for a young person with a lot of spunk. It has also long been used by maritime people as a word for a midshipman who has served less than four years. This use is connected with the Dutch word "younker," which, like "youngster," refers to a young person as well as a young seaman.
"Oldster" came about as a word used to differentiate the inexperienced midshipmen, or youngsters, from the experienced ones.
To be exact, an oldster is a midshipman of four years' standing.
Charles Dickens gets credit for the earliest known use of "oldster" in the general sense of "an old person." In his 1848 novel Dombey & Son he wrote,
"Her eyes would play the Devil with the youngsters before long -- 'and the oldsters too, Sir, if you come to that,' added the Major."

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