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20 “Forgotten” Words That Should Be Brought Back

20 “Forgotten” Words That Should Be Brought Back

Languages are living things that shift and evolve over time. If you look at the history of the English language, from Anglo Saxon through the Great Vowel Shift to what we consider Standard English today, you’ll notice that it has undergone some spectacular changes over the centuries. Some basic words have stuck around through the ages, like “father”, “house”, “egg”, “boat” and so on, but just as new words developed over time, other words were discarded along the way.

Many others from Shakespeare’s time through to the early 20th century have fallen out of common usage, and we are undoubtedly the poorer for it. Here are 20 words that could only serve to add a bit more colour to our daily lives if they happened to come back into regular use.

1. Bunbury

noun

An imaginary person whose name is used as an excuse to some purpose, especially to visit a place.

“Auntie Jane the cottage dweller” was my go-to bunbury whenever I wanted to take a day off to go play in the forest.

2. Scurrilous

adjective

The description of something said or done unfairly to make people have a bad opinion of someone.

Mrs. Mumford had spread rather scurrilous gossip about Miss Violet in the hope of tarnishing her reputation. Honestly, who would do that sort of thing with a llama?

3. Gallimaufry

noun

A hodge-podge, or jumbled medley (can also refer to an edible dish).

Lydia’s casserole was a veritable gallimaufry of beans, raisins, cauliflower, sausage, cheap wine, and cabbage. Guests never asked for second helpings.

4. Thrice

adverb

Three times.

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I’ve told you twice not to eat raw pork with mustard or you’ll get sick—don’t make me say it thrice!

5. Blithering

adjective

Talking utterly and completely foolishly, OR used to describe a foolish person.

The blithering idiot was blithering on about something or other, but I tuned him out.

6. Pluviophile

noun

A person who takes great joy and comfort in rainy days.

Your average pluviophile will be in utter glory when thunder roils, as she can curl up with blankets and books while rain pours down outside.

7. Librocubularist

noun

One who reads in bed.

When you’re married to a librocubularist, you can rest assured that you’ll have to compete with a stack of books for nighttime attention.

8. Febricula

noun

A slight and transient fever.

Attending the opening of Twilight’s 17th sequel gave Arabella a mild febricula, but the air-conditioned cinema interior cleared it up quickly. 

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9. Starrify

verb

To decorate with stars.

The student council would starrify the high school gym every year in preparation for the homecoming dance. 

10. Sophronize

verb

To imbue with sound moral principles or self-control.

It’s vital that parents sophronize children, not just expect them to behave properly of their own volition—you know what havoc they’d wreak.

11. Mullock

noun

Rubbish, nonsense, or waste matter.

I don’t know what kind of mullock you’re gibbering on about today, but you really need to stop reading those conspiracy magazines.

12. Uglyography

noun

Poor handwriting, and bad spelling.

His uglyography was so heinous that his essay was used as kindling, but the flames extinguished themselves rather than be tainted by association.

13. Namelings

plural noun

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Those bearing the same name.

There were six boys named Jason in that particular class, prompting the teacher to address them all by their last names. When faced with namelings who both answered to “Jason Birch”, she called them “Birch” and “tree”, respectively.

14. Ultracrepidarianism

noun

The habit of giving opinions and advice on matters outside of one’s knowledge.

Child-free people who try to give parenting advice are often guilty of the worst kind of ultracrepidarianism.

15. Pannychis

noun

An all-night feast or ceremony.

Edmund took another energy drink, hoping that its caffeine content would help him survive this raucous pannychis.

16. Guttle

verb

To gobble greedily; to cram food into one’s gut.

The dinner guests watched in horror as Lord Penderquist guttled an entire roasted boar into his maw.

17. Snollyguster

noun

A person, especially a politician, who is guided by personal advantage rather than by consistent, respectable principles.

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The snollyguster who won the mayoral election just lines his pockets with cash to support his drug habit.

18. Welkin

noun

The upper sky; “vault” of heaven.

Icarus would have passed through the welkin on his legendary flight, but we all know how that turned out for him. 

19. Barbigerous

adjective

Characterized by having a beard.

I had wanted to compliment him on his fiancee’s beauty,  but her barbigerous aspect was so dominant that I had to remain silent.

20. Eventide

noun

The end of the day, just as evening approaches.

Moonflowers only bloom at eventide, opening their petals as the sun slips below the horizon.

As a special little addition, we’ll also reach into the annals of history for a fun little Anglo-Saxon term that we can all relate to:

Uhtceare

verb

To lie awake in the period just before dawn because you’re worrying too much to be able to sleep.

Caedda uhtcearan: Him þūhte þá éowa ēanian. Hwā wolde hē his wīf asecgan?

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Catherine Winter

Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 24, 2021

8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

We’ve all done it. We’ve gone out and bought useless gadgets that we don’t really need, just because they seemed really cool at the time. Then, we are stuck with a bunch of junk, and end up tossing it or trying to sell it on Ebay.

On the other hand, there are some pretty awesome tech inventions that are actually useful. For instance, many of the latest home gadgets do some of your work for you, from adjusting the home thermostat to locking your front door. And, if used as designed, these tools should really help to make your life a lot easier—and that’s not just a claim from some infomercial trying to sell you yet another useless gadget.

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Take a look at some of the most popular “smart gadgets” on the market:

1. Smart Door Locks

A smart lock lets you lock and unlock your doors by using your smartphone, a special key fob, or biometrics. These locks are keyless, and much more difficult for intruders to break into, making your home a lot safer. You can even use a special app to let people into your home if you are not there to greet them.

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2. Smart Kitchen Tools

Wouldn’t you just love to have a pot of coffee waiting for you when you get home from work? What about a “smart pan” that tells you exactly when you need to flip that omelet? From meat thermometers to kitchen scales, you’ll find a variety of “smart” gadgets designed to make culinary geeks salivate.

3. Mini Home Speaker Play:1

If you love big sound, but hate how much space big speakers take up, and if you want a stereo system that is no bigger than your fist, check out the Play:1 mini speaker. All you have to do is plug it in, connect, and then you can stream without worrying about any interruptions or interface. You can even add onto it, and have different music playing in different rooms.

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4. Wi-Fi Security Cameras

These are the latest in home security, and they connect to the Wi-Fi in your home. You can use your mobile devices to monitor what is going on in your home at all times, no matter where you are. Options include motion sensors, two-way audio, and different recording options.

5. Nest Thermostat

This is a thermostat that lives with you. It can sense seasonal changes, temperature changes, etc., and it will adjust itself automatically. You will never have to fiddle with a thermostat dial or keypad again, because this one basically does all of the work for you. It can also help you to save as much as 12% on heating bills, and 15% on cooling bills.

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6. Smart Lighting

Control your home lighting from your remote device. This is great if you are out and want to make sure that there are some lights on. It is designed to be energy efficient, so it will pay for itself over time because you won’t have to spend so much on your monthly energy bills.

7. Google Chromecast Ultra

Whether you love movies, television shows, music, etc., you can stream it all using Google Chromecast Ultra. Stream all of the entertainment you love in up to 4K UHD and HDR, for just $69 monthly.

8. Canary

This home security system will automatically contact emergency services when they are needed. This system offers both video and audio surveillance, so there will be evidence if there are any break-ins on your property. You can also use it to check up on what’s happening at home when you are not there, including to make sure the kids are doing their homework.

Featured photo credit: Karolina via kaboompics.com

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