I was reading someone’s comment on a review, and I thought “THAT is a great word. More people should use that.” So I thought I’d make a list of words that seem to have fallen out of usage and perhaps we can have one of them forge a comeback.
The word in question was the terrific word:
- Def: a fool or simpleton
- Origin: 1670-80, origin uncertain
- Forms of the word: nincompoopish; nincompoopery
Here are 14 more words that you don’t see often but I like.
- Def: Over-particular or fussy
- Origin: 1885–90; orig. Scots, variant of pernickety
- Forms of the word: persnicketiness
- Def: a group or lot of indeterminate number
- Origin: 1825–35; alteration of parcel
- Def: to run away hurriedly; flee
- Origin: 1860–65, Americanism; compare dial. ( Scots, N England) skedaddle to spill, scatter, skiddle to move away quickly
- Def: spruce; smart; fine.
- Origin: 1855–60; dial. spiff well-dressed (origin uncertain)
- Forms of the word: spiffiness, spiffily and verb spiffing
- Def: a capricious idea or nothing; light fanciful humour; something quaint or unusual
- Origin: 1595–1605; whim
- Def: a dull, stupid person; blockhead.
- Origin: 1535–45; variant of obsolete dold stupid, orig. past participle ofMiddle English dollen, dullen to dull
- Forms of the word: doltish, doltishly, doltishness
- Def: a feeling of utter weariness and discontent resulting from satiety orlack of interest; boredom
- Origin: 1660–70; < French: boredom; Old French enui – displeasure;
- Def: a great misfortune or disaster
- Origin: 1375–1425; late Middle English calamite < Middle French < Latincalamitāt- (stem of calamitās ), perhaps akin to incolumitās safety
- Def: a rascal; rogue; scamp.
- Origin: 1690–1700; earlier rascallion, based on rascal
- Def: attractively stylish or smart; very good; fine; excellent:
- Origin: 1860–65, Americanism; of obscure origin
- Forms of the word: niftily
- Def: to faint; lose consciousness.
- Origin: 1250–1300; (v.) Middle English swo ( w ) nen to faint
- Forms of the word: swooningly
- Def: three times, as in succession; on three occasions or in threeways.
- Origin: 1150–1200; Middle English thries, equivalent to obsolete thrie thrice (Old English thrīga
Lick (a smidgeon)
- Def: a small amount
- Origin: before 1000; Middle English; Old English liccian, cognate with OldSaxon liccōn, Old High German leckōn; akin to Go bilaigon, Latin lingere,Greek leíchein to lick (up)
- Def: first-rate; fine
- Origin: before 900; Middle English swellen (v.), Old English swellan; cognatewith Dutch zwellen, German schwellen, Old Norse svella; akin to Gothicufswalleins pride
So share with me your favourite words and which ones you’d like to see make a come-back.
Just for fun, here is a paragraph using all 15 of my fave words.
Callum knew he had to skedaddle before Mark saw him. He’d been a dolt and didn’t have a lick of sense to think it would be a swell idea to approach a swoon-worthy guy like that on a Friday night. His nifty plan, to put on an air of ennui as he rapped thrice on Mark’s door, turned out to be a calamity when his nerves got to him, and he decided to vanish into the night like a rapscallion. He was a nincompoop, he could admit that. It had been a flight of whimsy to think that a spiffy new sweater would be enough to impress Mark and his passel of persnickety polo-loving friends. If he could get Mark alone… maybe. He’d have to work on that.
The polo playing thing came out of nowhere in my brain, but when I went to look for a pic, I found this guy, so must have been destiny. :-)