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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Obsolete words

Obsolete words that could do with reviving

"Stop groaking me, you slubberdegullion"

Buzzfeed UK has compiled a list of 27 words they reckon should re-enter the language, complete with where they found them. 

The use of some could earn the speaker a knucklebone sandwich in many a London pub, but the exercise is definitely fun. Here is a selection. Comments in brackets are by me.

Meaning: To silently watch someone while they are eating, hoping to be invited to join them.
Origin: Unknown
As in: It’s hard to enjoy your meal when the guy opposite is groaking. (But even worse if he suddenly croaks.)
Meaning: To act in a secretive manner.
Origin: 1530s
As in: I’m sick of all these sneaky types, hugger-muggering the whole time.
CRAPULOUS (Is this really obsolete? Also see grumpish.)
Meaning: To feel ill because of excessive eating/drinking.
Origin: 1530s
As in: Blerg. I feel crapulous.
Meaning: Sullen. An alternative to grumpy.
Origin: 1720s
As in: I’m hungover, and I’ve got a ton of work to do. Think I’m allowed to be grumpish.
SNOWBROTH (Love it!)
Meaning: Freshly melted snow.
Origin: 1590s
As in: Yesterday we woke up to a perfect carpet of white, but now it’s just snowbroth. :-(
Source: @qikipedia
JARGOGLE (Jamgoggle?)
Meaning: To confuse, bamboozle.
Origin: 1690s
As in: I don’t get string theory. It utterly jargogles my brain.
APRICITY (which in New Zealand would have to be Septicity)
Meaning: The sun’s warmth on a cold winter’s day.
Origin: 1620s
As in: Even in darkest December you sometimes get a moment of beautiful apricity.
TWATTLE (The modern word twaddle? As in, "Don't talk such twaddle.")
Meaning: To gossip, or talk idly.
Origin: 1600s
As in: I wish you’d quit twattling and get on with your work.
ELFLOCKS (The progenitor of dreadlocks?)
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?

GORGONIZE (Which definitely should be revived: the gossip columnists would love it)
Meaning: To have a paralyzing or mesmerizing effect on someone.
Origin: Early 17th century
As in: Don’t look into his eyes. You’ll be gorgonized.

COCKALORUM (I think it's earlier than they say: didn't Shakespeare use it?)
Meaning: A little man with a high opinion of himself.
Origin: 1710s
As in: Look at that strutting little cockalorum
Source: jasonidzerda
With thanks to William Nicholson

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