Obsolete Words in Need of a Revival

 

Earlier this year I came across a list entitled, 27 Obsolete Words It’s High Time We Revived. The entries looked a little something like this:

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Meaning: Tangled hair, as if matted by elves.
Origin: 1590s
As in: Jeez, dude, look at the state of those elflocks — have you not heard of a comb?

or

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Meaning: To act in a secretive manner.
Origin: 1530s
As in: I’m sick of all these sneaky types, creeping around and hugger-muggering the whole time.

and

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Meaning: A slovenly, slobbering person.
Origin: 1650s
As in: Look at that sluberdegullion, sprawled on the sofa with his tongue lolling out.

Aside from the warm fuzzies I get at seeing those perfectly suited adorable little owls, the list itself appeals to the word nerd in me. I’m a stickler for words that have long gone out of fashion. I croon over the Austens and Dickens long gone, at the polite ways of saying terribly impolite things and the words that once accompanied them.

I discussed the matter in a comparable light not two years ago. I mentioned words like skullduggery, discombobulate and alohamora as words I feel deserve a bit more attention in our contemporary language repertoire. Your responses suggested I wasn’t the only word nerd feeling a little word nostalgic. You mentioned gumption, tarradiddleabsquatulate and footle. Spectacular words! Too spectacular for the Words Gone Out of Fashion shelf.

And so, let me introduce you to your end of week challenge: Check out the owl list. If nothing else, it has cute owls in funny poses. Then pick a word that tickles your fancy and start using it. Make a sentence. Make a paragraph! Go wild.

Let’s stop hugger-muggering around this footle, get off our slubberdegullion butts, comb out those elflocks and get to work.

I’d like to hear what words, either from the list or not, you’d like to see more of and show me how you’d use it.

Go on. Talk to me fellow word nerds!

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7 comments on “Obsolete Words in Need of a Revival

  1. You have another fan! I love new words. Too bad, I tend to forget to use them. The cute owl list will remind me. Perhaps I can gorgonize someone with my new found vocabulary. :) Most likely, they’ll just think I’m a word nerd — which is totally ok by me. :)

  2. Yes! I absolutely love the word ‘gumption’. I alos had one English teacher once who tried to sneak in discombobulate into most lessons – there are so many old words so well suited to their meanings; it’s a shame that our modern world has lost them.

  3. Fabulous words. I once used “vernacular” in a sentence to a fellow-college graduate and he said, “Gretchen, you have an entirely different vocabulary that I do” and I thought, “What a dork. That was not a weird word. If you want weird words, I’ll give them to you!” Discombobulated has always been a favorite of mine…

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