Friday, August 16, 2013

FF - 15 Obsolete English Words I Want to Use

I came across an article called 18 Obsolete Words, Which Never Should Have Gone Out of Style. I was not disappointed.  It triggered a word-quest across the interwebs that resulted in my finding these glorious websites:

- (About the books Forgotten EnglishThe Word Museum, Altered EnglishInformal English by Jeffrey Kacirk.  I definitely want to read The Word Museum!)

I devoured these websites with a combination of raw excitement and a pang of despair: I weep for English sometimes. I'm all for evolution of language, of course, but to hear things like "YOLO"? Really?

I've compiled a list of words I'm determined to use in my everyday language because they are nothing short of epic:

1) Wonder-wench: A sweetheart — “The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten” by Jeffrey Kacirk

2) Groak: To silently watch someone while they are eating, hoping to be invited to join them 

3) Roinish: Scabby, despicable.

4) Spermologer: A picker-up of trivia, of current news, a gossip monger, what we would today call a columnist — “The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten” by Jeffrey Kacirk

5) Pulverable: That which may be reduced to fine powder. From Latin pulvis, pulveris, powder. Pulverous, consisting of, or like, dust or powder. - Daniel Lyons's Dictionary of the English Language, 1897

6) Kittling: A kitten

7) Beef-witted: Having an inactive brain, thought to be from eating too much beef. — John Phin’s “Shakespeare Cyclopaedia and Glossary”, 1902
8) Queerplungers: Cheats who throw themselves into the water in order that they may be taken up by their accomplices, who carry them to one of the houses appointed by the Humane Society for the recovery of drowned persons, where they are rewarded by the society with a guinea each, and the supposed drowned person, pretending he was driven to that extremity by great necessity, is also frequently sent away with a contribution in his pocket. — “The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten” by Jeffrey Kacirk
9) Englishable: That which may be rendered into English — John Ogilvie’s “Comprehensive English Dictionary”, 1865
10) Resistentialism: The seemingly spiteful behaviour shown by inanimate objects 
11) Zafty: A person very easily imposed upon — Maj. B. Lowsley’s “A Glossary of Berkshire Words and Phrases”, 1888
12) Skybald: A good-for-nothing; a worthless person, animal, or thing.

13) Rememble: A false memory.

14) Flabberdegaz: Nonsensical talk. - Maurice Weseen's A Dictionary of American Slang, 1934

15) Monsterful: Wonderful and extraordinary. -Grose's 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue

Which words do you like?


  1. I love your blog and your obsessions

  2. Although these are all exotic words, I highly doubt I will ever be using the word 'Spermologer' is its literal sense ever.

    Nice post :)

    1. Heh, indeed. Thanks for stopping by, Saurav!