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I'm looking for a word that simply means something that used to be popular but is no longer.

I do not want the word to denote that it is not as good as it once was

ex:

  • Obsolete: no longer in use or no longer useful

Whether or not it is still very important, just that the popular attention has shift away, is up for the context.

The closest thing I could find was:

  • It's so yesterday: something that is out of fashion

But that's slang and (for me, at least) gives a small implication that it's not as good as whatever is the new thing now.

Edit: I found:

  • Old-School: used, usually approvingly, to refer to someone or something that is old-fashioned or traditional

However, I'm not sure if 'old-school' could be used for some political thought/opinion.

Are there any other single-word adjectives that could describe this?

Sample Sentence:

When I showed my dad a trending music video, he took one look at it and said "My goodness, this is so ______! It's so nice to see this kind of music video again - it really takes me back to my younger days."

Edit:

I've realized that my example give off a positive connotation, so 'old-school' would be closer than any other word I've found - but I'm looking for a word with a neutral connotation as to why it's no longer popular.

37

passé

[pa-sey; pah-sey]

adjective

  1. no longer fashionable, in wide use, etc.; out-of-date; outmoded :

There were many photographs of passé fashions.

I thought hand-cranked pencil sharpeners were passé.

  • There is no explanation here. We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed. – tchrist Sep 6 at 0:39
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    This exactly matches what's being looked for by the question title and most of the body of the question. (I am choosing to ignore the example sentences because they match neither with each other or the rest of the question.) I also completely disagree with the earlier comment—clearly, there are multiple lines of text here, along with explanations and context, so +1. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Sep 6 at 1:21
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    The examples are the dictionary examples and exemplify how "passé" is used as an adjective before a noun as well as a predicate adjective, which is how it seems to be most typically used and, notably, how the question's only two examples would use it. – Benjamin Harman Sep 6 at 1:28
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    Please see our Help Center. This post provides little value to the site because there’s no original content here, no reason given in your own words as to why you think this is the answer. ELU is not a link-farm for thesaurus copy-pasta text. We expect expert answers, not just copies of others’ words whether attributed or not. You still have to write your own answer in your own words. – tchrist Sep 8 at 17:22
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Similar to passé is the term dated (Collins) which may seem less freighted.

adding: The difference (to my ear) between passé and dated is that the former has an implication of fashion, faddism or popularity (which the OP did refer to), while the latter is more neutral, meaning only "from an earlier time".

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    Note that dated has the connotation that it's been a long time since the thing was popular. – eyeballfrog Sep 6 at 16:45
  • "Freighted"? Well I suppose it rhymes. (But at least dated is English.) – David Sep 7 at 12:17
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    @David - All words carry some baggage, eh? To my ear, passé has associations with fashion or popularity, where dated just implies "of an earlier time", so it's more neutral. – Jim Mack Sep 7 at 16:20
  • Don’t get me wrong, I think dated is better than passé. I was really commenting because you used the word “freighted” which was new to me. – David Sep 7 at 16:53
  • To me dated just means it's of another time, not that it was necessarily popular in its time. – hippietrail Sep 7 at 19:23
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“Old-fashioned” is the old-fashioned way of saying “old-school”.

e.g. They have a very old-fashioned management structure.

This is generally negative in implication, as in the above, although not always:

e.g. I’m an old-fashioned girl.

“Out of fashion” is a more neutral phrase that is actually used in the question to define a slang alternative.

e.g. Fur coats have gone out of fashion. (From the Cambridge Dictionary)

I actually think it is more neutral than passé, which is just the French for old-fashioned, would only work with an audience of a certain education, and may soon become passé.

“Unfashionable” is a single word that is a also more neutral than old-fashioned. This can be seen in the following example:

Although extremely unfashionable at the moment, group selection is an attractive theory when one is presented by data such as this book contains.

The writer is making a positive statement about something that is unfashionable.

5

I think vintage is pretty neutral and close to what you're looking for.

From Merriam-Webster:

adjective
...
3 a : dating from the past : OLD
   b : OUTMODED, OLD-FASHIONED

  • Please see our Help Center. This post provides little value to the site because there’s no original content here, no reason given in your own words as to why you think this is the answer. ELU is not a link-farm for thesaurus copy-pasta text. We expect expert answers, not just copies of others’ words whether attributed or not. You still have to write your own answer in your own words. – tchrist Sep 8 at 17:22
5

Old-school tends to have positive connotations (like, 'Oh cool, that's so old-school!'), passé tends to have negative connotations (like, 'Ugh, that's so passé.'), retro is the most neutral (which fits your example, like old-school--probably the only ones that would really be used in that scenario). Though this means that it is used again (maybe popular or not so much), but with a trending video in your example, that's the case you are looking for. Though in most cases of things being in style, the question is often if something is in style now. So one can have something from recent times that can be old-school, passé, or retro. But if you are referring to something that exists only in the past, old-school or passé would apply, but not retro. Dated is often used to say someone's views are no longer well accepted (and are unlikely to be popular again, if they ever were that popular), but can apply to other things, like methods no longer used. Vintage generally just means something that is old, but doesn't always mean it was popular before.

retro /ˈretrō/

adjective

imitative of a style, fashion, or design from the recent past. "retro 60s fashions"

noun

clothes or music whose style or design is imitative of those of the recent past. "a look that mixes Italian casual wear and American retro"

4

Démodé could also be used in this context -

Démodé

/deɪˈməʊdeɪ/

adjective

: no longer fashionable

Example sentence -

An old-line French restaurant with stodgy food and a démodé décor straight out of the 1950s.

(Meriam Webster)

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    I’m thinking that you had best use décor with an acute accent mark correctly placed over the e if you’re going to use them correctly on the word immediately preceding to it. Just be glad décor démodé is masculine in French not feminine like cuisine démodée or else you’d’ve had to’ve spelt it differently. :) – tchrist Sep 8 at 17:51
  • @tchrist - Thanks for pointing it out! Edited to make changes. – Justin Sep 8 at 23:26
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If yesterday is too informal, then you won’t like this too much. However, specifically for pop-culture references like your music video example, you can describe it by the decade it represents:

that hair is so 70s

those shoulder pads are so 80s

These very clearly connote past and passed popularity, while also providing a bit more specificity.

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