All languages go through change. English is no exception. Slang helps to facilitate changes by giving old words new meanings. Pidgins (i.e. the blending of two or more languages) and Creoles (Pidgins that have grown in linguistic complexity) also create uniquely engaging ways to express thoughts. Pidgins can become a Creole and Creoles can become a new language. A new language builds a bridge to communicating and uniting different cultures. Over time a language either dies out due to lack of speakers and usefulness, or it evolves. When a language dies, a culture is lost. When it evolves, it lives, though some words are relegated to the obsolete pile. The obsolete tag is given by lexicographers, editors of dictionaries, to a word, or form of a word, that they no longer consider being actively used in speaking or writing. Lexicographers have also designated a difference between obsolete and archaic. Obsolete is the term given to entry or senses for which there is little, or no printed evidence of its use since 1755. The archaic word label is attached to any entry word or sense where signs of occasional use in print are found after 1755. Peter Meltzer, the author of “The Thinker’s Thesaurus,” explains it simply. “In general, the difference between an obsolete and an archaic word is that, although both have fallen into disuse, an obsolete word has done so more recently.” Compiled for your reading and trivia pleasure are fifty-five words, some dating back to the 1500’s which are no longer used. Several of these words need to stay in the obsolete bin, but there are a few that should make a return; they offer a more polite way to state something negative. Some should be revived as new slang. The choice is yours on which ones to add to your vocabulary.

Apricity- (1620’s) finding warmth in the sun on a cold winter’s day.

Beef-witted-(1590‘s) someone who is not nimble of brain or something that is really stupid.

Bibesy-(1700’s) a deep felt desire/need for a drink.

Bookwright-(1890’s) an author; also used as a term of slight contempt.

Brabble-(1500’s ) to quarrel in a noisy, loud way over something that matters little or has no importance to an issue.

Brannigan-(1890’s) American slang for drinking spree.

California Widow-(1880’s) a woman married to man who goes to work in far away from the area in which the married couple resides.

Callipygian-(1640’s) used to describe someone’s beautifully shaped behind. Corrade-(1900’s) to gather from various sources, scrape together.

Cockalorum-(1710’s) a little man with a high opinion of himself

Crapulous-(1530’s) to feel ill after a night of excessive eating and/or drinking. Curglaff-(1800’s) originated in Scotland. It means the reaction to a temperature shock a body feels after plunging into cold water.

Curmuring-(1880’s) the loud rumbling noise a stomach makes when it is empty and desires food.

Deliciate-(1910’s) To take one’s pleasure, to enjoy immensely, to revel, to luxuriate.

Elflock-(1590’s) what hair looks like after it’s been slept on and it’s tangled or matted.

Englishable-(1865) any word that may be rendered into English

Excogigate-(1520’s) to plot, plan, devise. It’s Latin roots mean, to bring out by thinking.

Freck-(1910’s) to move swiftly or nimbly

Fuzzle-(1910’s) drunk, intoxicated

Gorgonize-(early 1600’s) to have a mesmerizing effect upon a person

Groak-(?) to silently observe someone as they eat.

Grumpish-(1720’s) another way to say a person’s sullen or grumpy

Hoddypeak-()? A simpleton, noodle brain, fool, blockhead

Houppelande-(1200’s) medieval word meaning cloak

Hugger-Mugger-(1530’s) to act in a secretive manner I

llecebrous-() today’s eye candy, alluring, enticing

Jargogle-(1692) to jumble or confuse thoughts, or words

Jirble-(1800’s) to pour a liquid with an unsteady, trembling, hand

Jollux-(1780’s) refers to someone who is large

Kench-(1300’s) to laugh loudly

Lethophobia-(1700’s) the fear of oblivion

Ludibrious-(1910’s) describes a person apt to be the subject of mocking or jests Lumming-(1900’s) description of rain falling

Lunting-(1820’s) Walking while smoking a pipe after a meal

Malagrugrous-(1826)- Dismal, worried, wrinkled brow

Mawk-(1300’s) whim, fastidious fancy; Mawkish- someone nauseated by something they are too fastidious to eat

Monsterful-(1810’s) something that is more than good, wonderful, or extraordinary

Muckrake-(1678) a tool used to rake dung or muck

Perissology-(1880’s) using more words than needed; redundant, long-winded Pismore-(1380’s) combination of old words meaning piss and small insect to refer to something like an ant

Quagswagging-(1650’s) shaking someone or something back and forth Quockerwodger-(1850’s) a wooden puppet controlled by strings

Resistentialism-(1940’s) inanimate objects that display intense evil, ill, will, or hatred

Sanguinolency-(1400’s) an addiction to bloodshed

Scriptitation-(1600’s) writing constantly, continually

Sluberdegullion-(1600’s) slovenly, lack of moving, staying in one place Snowbrowth-(1590’s) newly melted snow

Snoutfair-(1500’s) used to describe someone considered good looking

Twattle-(1600’s) the act of talking as in gossiping

Twitter-Light-(1600’s) the time of day that happens after sunset and before evening referred to now as twilight.

Widdendream-(?) the state of mental confusion or mentally disturbed

Wonder-Wench-(?) a sweetheart

Yemeles-(1100’s) heedless, negligent, careless

Zafty-(1880’s) a person who is very easily imposed upon

Zenzizenzizenzic-(1500’s) math term meaning to the eighth power

Some of these words prove the world, and it’s people have not changed. Yemeles still exist, just ask a teacher. Perissology is still practiced by politicians and preachers. Many gamers can be accused of sanguinolency and some of us jargogle when we are excogigating out loud. Psychologists have stated, there are only a few personality types in the world. Apparently, from the words above, only language has evolved into new non-descriptive, factual ways of labeling people and their actions. Perhaps the time has come when we should let our politically correct quockwodger selves return to more archaic styles of expression. One thing is sure; few people would argue as they would have no idea what was said. How many of you are reading this with a malagrugrous visage while feeling widdendream?


BIO Julie Canfield currently lives in Richmond, Va. She shares her domicile with her two dogs and enough books to fill a library. Her new book, “What Hides Beneath” will be released by Black Rose Writing, August 2017.