Monday, September 22, 2008

Old Word Power

A link to this article: Collins dictionary asks public to rescue outdated words appeared in my email thanks to Scott, Mixed Meters' reader in Boston.

Apparently English lexicographers must jettison some old words from their fixed-length dictionary in order to make room for all the new, hip jargon you and I wince at every day. They're asking people if they might like to make use of those antique words before they're lost forever.

Word Power
Here's a list of twenty words on the chopping block. You could adopt one or two if they strike your fancy.
Astergent - cleansing or scouring
Agrestic - rural, rustic, unpolished, uncouth
Apodeictic - unquestionably true by virtue of demonstration
Caducity - perishableness, senility
Calignosity - dimness, darkness
Compossible - possible in coexistence with something else
Embrangle - confuse or entangle
Exuviate - to shed (a skin or similar outer covering)
Fatidical - prophetic
Fusby - short, stout, squat
Griseous -streaked or mixed with grey
Malison - a curse
Manseutude -gentleness or kindness
Muliebrity - the condition of being a woman
Niddering - cowardly
Nitid -bright, glistening
Oppugnant - combative, antagonistic or contrary
Olid - foul-smelling
Periapt - combative, antagonistic or contrary
Recrement - waste matter, refuse dross
Roborant - tending to fortify or increase strength
Skirr - a whirring or grating sound as made by wings of birds in fligh
Vaticinate - to foretell, prophesy
Vilipend - to treat or regard with contempt
Yes, the article gave the same definition for oppugnant and periapt. Maybe the niddering, agrestic author vilipends the olid verbiage or embrangles it with recrement. He or she mispelled mansuetude.

These are exactly the sort of words about which I am most likely to consult a dictionary.

Word Chard
A comment to the article by Belinda Webb provides a few more gems:
Alabandical: stupefied from drink
Aquabib: water drinker
Auturgy: self-action
Barathrum: an abyss
Cancrizans: to move backwards
Farrago: confused mass of people
Gombeen: trader or moneylender who exploits the disadvantaged through unfair practices
Growlery: retreat for times of ill-humour
Gurrier: juvenile deliquent
Students of music history probably have heard the word cancrizans.

Old Word Tags: . . . . . .


Anonymous said...

It is a shame there was never, even a brief period of time, a musical style known as Embranglism

David Ocker said...

It's not too late, Kraig, if you show a little bit of auturgy.

Anonymous said...

Niddering boob. I could use that while driving.
Hmm, it may be to late (the spell check recognizes the word "niddering" as a foreign invader).

I found another plaque. Old town called the (Bradbarry Building?) across from FLIKs art supply. Seems to have been produced by the funding of a private citizen.

ericnp said...

It's like the feeling at the end of the page when you realise
You don't know what you just read.