Prepare to be shocked if you delve back a few centuries and check out some of the weird words that were in use. Just as new words like twerk and tweet are becoming commonplace today, there were a bunch of crazy terms bandied about in the olden days. Some old words are simply replaced with a more modern one. Others are ditched completely and forgotten. Some remain but take on an entirely new meaning. Either way, there are all sorts of wacky words that could be revived!
Check out our list of 18 bizarre words that are now obsolete but are worthy of resurrection. It’s worth nothing that some old words are cool but probably not that easy to work into everyday language and so haven’t made it on to our list. Take lunting for example. It may sound catchy but it can be defined as walking while smoking a pipe. Never say never, but how often does that really happen these days?
Have a read of this list of 18 awesome words below and bring these gems back into action because there’s plenty of ways to work them into conversation!
A snoutfair is, perhaps surprisingly, a good-looking person or a person with handsome countenance according to Jeffrey Kacirk’s book about forgotten English words. Snoutfair dates back to the 1500s but its use sadly dwindled.
How to use it: George Clooney is quite the snoutfair, isn’t he?
The archaic word, perissology, means to use more words than are necessary. It’s about superfluity of words. It was around in the late 16th century and even then was considered pretty obscure; it was used mainly by literary buffs.
How to use it: My first college paper was literally 3,000 words of perissology.
16 With Squirrel
Okay so it’s technically two words but this now obsolete phrase could make a comeback. The phrase with squirrel means pregnant according to Vance Randolph’s 1953 book about folk speech.
How to use it: Are you with squirrel?
A brannigan is a drinking bout or spree. It was originally a slang term and was mainly used in North America but it’s not used so much these days, having been replaced with terms like “binge”.
How to use it: I know it’s Tuesday, but do you want to have a sneaky brannigan?
The age-old word pussyvan isn’t something you could really guess the meaning of too easily. However, it simply means a flurry, a temper or to throw a tantrum. If you’ve got a two-year-old at home who skipped his nap and is about to unleash a temper tantrum, this word could come to good use.
How to use it: When I heard that How I Met Your Mother was ending, I was sent into a pussyvan.
Crapulous is when you feel sick because you’ve eaten and/or drunk way too much. It’s like the end of Thanksgiving weekend when you can barely walk upstairs to your bedroom due to excessive consumption of food and wine.
How to use it: All I remember from last night was tequila shots. Feeling crapulous.
The noun sanguinolency refers to an addiction to bloodshed. Considering our current love for zombies, apocalypse movies and violent video games, the terms could well come in handy.
How to use it: Playing Grand Theft Auto V aids my sanguinolency.
Dating back to the late 1800s, curmuring refers to that low, rumbling sound in your bowels. It may be icky but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be resurrected.
How to use it: I’m pretty sure he was curmuring on our first date.
Completely unrelated to sperm, the archaic word spermologer is used to describe a person who is a complete and utter gossip monger.
How to use it: Hollywood is full of spermologers.
The word callipygian, which came about in the mid-1600s, is an adjective and refers to having a nice, shapely behind. With celebs shaking their booties on every music video and concert stage around the world, there are a million reasons why this word should make a comeback.
How to use it: Jennifer Lopez is callipygian and she knows it.
It’s possible that everyone has experienced this at some point in life and didn’t have quite the right word to sum it up. Curglaff refers to that shock you feel with you first plunge into cold water, according to John Jamieson’s Etymological Scottish Dictionary published in 1808.
How to use it: You can’t swim in Canada without at least a little curglaff.
Perhaps most useful in rainy cities like Seattle or Vancouver, the word lumming refers to heavy rain and isn’t too old in the scheme of things – it was used until about 100 years ago.
How to use it: It was lumming down so I didn’t go to school.
The old English word kench means to laugh loudly. We’ve all done it but there’s not perfect word to sum it up in modern English so why not bring kench back in the mix?
How to use it: I saw your snapchat when I was in the library and couldn’t help but kench.
There’s a high chance you haven’t heard the word fuzzle anytime recently. This catchy word means to intoxicate or to make drunk and dates back to the early 1900s.
How to use it: That bottle of tequila will fuzzle you like there’s no tomorrow.
It’s a shame that this word died because twattling is all too common. Twattling means to gossip, while a tattler is someone who gossips.
How to use it: My girlfriend is constantly twattling.
Quagswagging is a noun that refers to the action of shaking to and fro. It’s probably most useful when talking about some dance floor shimmying.
How to use it: Give her one drink and she won’t stop with the quagswagging.
Generally the word “wench” isn’t very flattering in the English language, but in this case it is. The word wonder-wench means sweetheart.
How to use it: Emma Stone is a complete wonder-wench.
We’ve all experienced groak and it hurts. It’s when you quietly watch someone eat, just hoping that you’ll be invited to share the meal.
How to use it: I’m totally groaking the guy who’s eating a McFlurry right now.