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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A Labour of Love

That's me. Feeling on top of the world post Masters submission!

That’s me. Feeling on top of the world post Masters submission!

This week I submitted my final 20,000 word piece of fiction for my Masters course.

It was a long slog, and I’m not going to lie, at times I had to ask myself why on earth I signed myself up for eighteen months of voluntary suffering. Deadlines. Word Counts. Critiques.

The stuff of nightmares.

But like all things writing related, it was, and continues to be, a labour of love. Over the past year and a half I’ve managed to get down 50,000 words of my novel. Sure, plenty of it is a mess and most chapters are still in their pre-pubescent stages with lots of awkward moments and embarrassing incidents I’m sure we’d all rather forget. But some parts are okay. Some parts are more than okay.

This feeling, it is not unlike pride.

One would expect (myself included) that post submission would involve one or all of the following:

  • Cartwheels
  • Excessive partying
  • Shredding of draft manuscripts
  • Smiling stupidly at inanimate objects
  • More cartwheels

Instead I partook in:

  • Sleep
  • Excessive TV series marathons
  • Sleep
  • Sleep

Terribly anti-climatic, I know. Mostly I feel like a superhero who’s used too much of his powers in one go and now has to recharge before the heat-vision, flight, and superhuman strength returns. And when it does I’m looking forward to getting back to it. Because writing is cool. And fun. And creative. And worth the hard yards.

I’ve met some amazing people, some amazing writers and some amazing ideas over the last eighteen months, and for that I am indebted to the course. And while I hated the deadlines, and the word counts and the occasional ripping apart of my not-so brilliant ideas, I couldn’t have done it without any of those things. My story now exists on actual made-from-trees paper! And it’s growing. And that’s kind of exciting.

Perhaps it’s time for a cartwheel or two after all?