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Old Words Are Ostrobogulous

Every March, June, September and December, the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) updates the dictionary. The updates are new words and revisions to existing entries. English is a forever changing language with new words and meanings for existing words cropping up all the time.

Recently, while working on one of my WIPs, I began researching archaic, obsolete, and lost words of the English language. I came across several websites which listed these bizarre and unusual words and their definitions. It makes sense that some of these words are no longer used such as *floccinaucinihilipilification. It’s just too long of a word and difficult to pronounce, especially when you can use the word “worthless” instead. However, there are plenty of words that are so much fun to say and easily roll off your tongue. Some of my favourites include *Beef-witted, doolally, gangrel, gilly-gaupus and Ha-Ha (I’m not laughing). There are many more I could add to the list and I think that some of them should be revived.

So, if you ever come across the sentence - You wouldn’t believe that that wonder-wench of a spermologer could throw such a pussyvan. Get your mind out of the gutter; it’s not what you think.

Check out these websites for words we no longer or seldom use. What are your favourite obsolete words?

  • Ostrobogulous - Bizarre, unusual or interesting.

  • Floccinaucinihilipilification - To establish or state that something has no value.

  • Beef-witted - Having an inactive brain, thought to be from eating too much beef.

  • Doolally - A person who is insane, irrational or crazy.

  • Gangrel - A child who is just starting to walk.

  • Gilly-gaupus - Awkward person, foolish or silly person.

  • Ha-Ha - A sunken fence or ditch that's between two land boundaries that divides the land without obstructing the view of the landscape of the land.

  • Wonder-wench - A sweetheart

  • Spermologer - A picker-up of trivia, of current news, a gossip monger, what we would today call a columnist

  • Pussyvan – Tantrum, a flurry, temper

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