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 20 obsolete English words that should make a comeback by: Heather Carreiro

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PostSubject: 20 obsolete English words that should make a comeback by: Heather Carreiro    Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:49 pm

20 obsolete English words that should make a comeback

By Heather Carreiro On November 8, 2010 · Found at: http://matadornetwork.com/abroad/20-obsolete-english-words-that-should-make-a-comeback/

Photo: Liz West


If we all start using them, these words can be resurrected.
DURING MY UNDERGRADUATE studies as a Linguistics major, one of the
things that struck me most is the amazing fluidity of language. New
words are created; older words go out of style. Words can change meaning
over time, vowel sounds shift, consonants are lost or added and one
word becomes another. Living languages refuse to be static.

The following words have sadly disappeared from modern English, but
it’s easy to see how they could be incorporated into everyday
conversation.

Words are from Erin McKean’s two-volume series: Weird and Wonderful Words and Totally Weird and Wonderful Words. Definitions have been quoted from the Oxford English Dictionary.

1. Jargogle


Verb trans. – “To confuse, jumble” – First of all this word
is just fun to say in its various forms. John Locke used the word in a
1692 publication, writing “I fear, that the jumbling of those good and
plausible Words in your Head..might a little jargogle your Thoughts…”
I’m planning to use it next time my husband attempts to explain
complicated Physics concepts to me for fun: “Seriously, I don’t need you
to further jargogle my brain.”

2. Deliciate


Verb intr. – “To take one’s pleasure, enjoy oneself, revel,
luxuriate” – Often I feel the word “enjoy” just isn’t enough to describe
an experience, and “revel” tends to conjure up images of people dancing
and spinning around in circles – at least in my head. “Deliciate” would
be a welcome addition to the modern English vocabulary, as in “After
dinner, we deliciated in chocolate cream pie.”

3. Corrade


Verb trans. – “To scrape together; to gather together from
various sources” – I’m sure this wasn’t the original meaning of the
word, but when I read the definition I immediately thought of
copy-pasting. Any English teacher can picture what a corraded assignment looks like.

4. Kench


Verb intr. – “To laugh loudly” – This Middle English word
sounds like it would do well in describing one of those times when you
inadvertently laugh out loud while reading a text message in class and
manage to thoroughly embarrass yourself.


Photo: Liz West


5. Ludibrious


Adj. – “Apt to be a subject of jest or mockery” – This word
describes a person, thing or situation that is likely to be the butt of
jokes. Use it when you want to sound justified in poking fun at someone.
“How could I resist? He’s just so ludibrious.”

6. Sanguinolency


Noun – “Addiction to bloodshed” – Could be a useful word for
history majors and gamers, as in “Genghis Khan was quite the
sanguinolent fellow” or “Do you think spending six hours a day playing
Postal 2 actually fosters sanguinolency?”

7. Jollux


Noun - Slang phrase used in the late 18th century to
describe a “fat person” – Although I’m not sure whether this word was
used crudely or in more of a lighthearted manner, to me it sounds like a
nicer way to refer to someone who is overweight. “Fat” has such a
negative connotation in English, but if you say “He’s a bit of a jollux”
it doesn’t sound so bad!

8. Malagrugrous


Adj. – “Dismal” – This adjective is from Scots and may be
derived from an old Irish word that refers to the wrinkling of one’s
brow. An 1826 example of its use is “He looketh malagrugorous and
world-wearied.” I’m tempted to also make the word into a noun: “Stop
being such a malagrug!”

9. Brabble


Verb – “To quarrel about trifles; esp. to quarrel
noisily, brawl, squabble” – Brabble basically means to argue loudly
about something that doesn’t really matter, as in “Why are we still
brabbling about who left the dirty spoon on the kitchen table?” You can
also use it as a noun: “Stop that ridiculous brabble and do something
useful!”

10. Freck


Verb intr. – “To move swiftly or nimbly” – I can think of a
lot of ways to use this one, like “I hate it when I’m frecking through
the airport and other people are going so slow.”


Photo: Julie


11. Brannigan


Noun – “A drinking bout; a spree or ‘binge’” – Brannigan was
originally a North American slang word, but it is now rarely used.
“Shall we go for a brannigan on Friday?” can be a more sophisticated way
to discuss such activities.

12. Perissology


Noun – “Use of more words than are necessary; redundancy or
superfluity of expression” – A useful word for editors: “Thanks for your
4,000-word submission. Unfortunately there is too much perissology in
this piece for us to publish it.”

13. Quagswagging


Noun – “The action of shaking to and fro” – This can also be
used in verb form, to quagswag, and is pronounced like “kwag swag.” It
could definitely work as the name for a new type of dance, or possibly
serve as an alternate way to describe a seizure.

14. Hoddypeak


Noun – “A fool, simpleton, noodle, blockhead” – This one
doesn’t need any explanation as to how you could use it; you may already
have someone in mind who fits the description.

15. Bibesy


Noun – “A too earnest desire after drink.” – “Bibesy” may
have been completely made up in the 18th century and it’s unclear
whether it ever made it into common use, but it could easily be used
today: “Wedding guests waited anxiously for the bar to open; bibesy
should be expected after such a long, dull service.”

16. Scriptitation


Noun – A 17th-century word meaning “continual writing” – Matadorians taking part in this year’s National Novel Writing Month are getting good practice at scriptitation!

17. Widdendream


Noun – “A state of mental disturbance or confusion” – I can
start using this obsolete Scottish word right away: “While working on
writing my thesis, I find I am constantly in widdendream.”

18. Yemeles


Adj. – An Old English and Middle English word meaning
“careless, heedless, negligent” – Pronounced as “yeem-lis,” this is
another word that could prove useful for teachers around the world:
“Handing in messy and incomplete work just shows me you are being
yemeles, and I won’t hesitate to give you a zero for the assignment.”

19. Twitter-light


Noun – “Twilight” – Used in the early 17th century,
“twitter-light” sounds like a romantic way to refer to the hours as the
sun goes down.

20. Illecebrous


Adj. – “Alluring, enticing, attractive” – Alright, so at
first this word kind of sounds a way to describe something diseased, but
if you put the stress on the second syllable for emphasis, it does
sound like a compliment: “That girl was so illecebrous; I’ve got to
figure out how to see her again.”

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PostSubject: Re: 20 obsolete English words that should make a comeback by: Heather Carreiro    Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:23 pm


"Hoddypeak?"
Okay that's quite enough, stop right there...i know what you're thinking.
Shame on you!
And no...you won't find my picture next to it!

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PostSubject: Re: 20 obsolete English words that should make a comeback by: Heather Carreiro    Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:25 pm


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PostSubject: Re: 20 obsolete English words that should make a comeback by: Heather Carreiro    Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:28 pm

...is it just me, or is that smiley wearing sneakers?

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PostSubject: Re: 20 obsolete English words that should make a comeback by: Heather Carreiro    Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:38 pm

Yeah, I wear them a lot. Isn't the word "sneakers" out of date? I saw an interesting blog on the subject at: The Dilbert Blog

Old Fashioned Words





People mock me for referring to my athletic footwear as
“sneakers.” Apparently that is an old fashioned term. I am told the
correct term is “tennis shoes” even if the athletic shoes in question
are not designed for use on a tennis court. This seems wrong. If my
athletic shoes allow me to “sneak” someplace without making noise, and
are unsuitable for playing tennis, I say they should be called
sneakers.


I was reminded of this the other day at the movies. The theater asks
customers to silence their “cell phones.” This already seems old
fashioned to me. I only own one phone. It’s in my left front pocket all
the time. It’s my home phone, my work phone, and my cell phone. All of
those terms will be old fashioned in your lifetime. Your kids will
simply have a “phone.”


Do you remember when computers were “multimedia”? That word went away
as soon as every computer could handle sound and video. The descriptor
“high definition” will evaporate in about ten years too. And you won’t
have to talk about “downloading” music because that’ll be the only way
to get it.


Recently a friend joked about going to the library to help with his
son’s school project. He said it felt like going back in time, to
pre-Internet days. I wonder if libraries have an expiration date on
them. I’m guessing yes.


I also wonder when the “e-“ will disappear from e-mail. I’m trying to
remember the last time I wrote the kind of letter that requires a
stamp. I’m guessing it was about seven years ago. I don’t even check my
physical mailbox daily. I only check it when I think it might be too
full for the mailman to stuff more crap in there.

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PostSubject: Re: 20 obsolete English words that should make a comeback by: Heather Carreiro    Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:52 pm

Soon as i think of a funny response, i'll get back to you...might be a while. Waiting
I'm sure Miss Thena will be along soon enough to bail me out!

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PostSubject: Re: 20 obsolete English words that should make a comeback by: Heather Carreiro    Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:01 pm

I love that little emoticon!!! I can't wait till she shows up. Hopefully she notices the new topic. I bet she'll blow us all away with her knowledge of words.

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PostSubject: Re: 20 obsolete English words that should make a comeback by: Heather Carreiro    Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:09 pm

You're setting me up for a "fraughting" joke...are'nt you, but i'm not going for it, nope not taking the bait.
Nice try.
"blow us all away" indeed...for shame...LoL!

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PostSubject: Re: 20 obsolete English words that should make a comeback by: Heather Carreiro    Sun Sep 30, 2012 4:12 pm

You caught me.

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