The online world has created almost a dictionary’s worth of new words and acronyms. But evolving language at such an exponential rate comes at a cost, and some words have fallen out of fashion.
Experts at the University of York have compiled a list of 30 words that have fallen out of our consciousness and conversation, that could just make a comeback.
The researchers want these words return in the near future, according to Dominic Watt, senior linguistics lecturer at the University of York.
He told BBC News:
We've identified lost words that are both interesting and thought-provoking, in the hope of helping people re-engage with language of old.
To allow people to really imagine introducing these words back into their everyday lives, we’ve chosen words that fit within themes still relevant to the average person. Within these themes, we’ve identified lost words that are both interesting and thought-provoking, in the hope of helping people re-engage with language of old.
As professional linguists and historians of English we were intrigued by the challenge of developing a list of lost words that are still relevant to modern life, and that we could potentially campaign to bring back into modern day language.
Here’s the full list:
Ambodexter: One who takes bribes from both sides
Betrump: To deceive, cheat; to elude, slip from (no relation to the US president, of course...)
Coney-catch: To swindle, cheat; to trick, dupe, deceive
Hugger-mugger: Concealment, secrecy
Nickum: A cheating or dishonest person
Quacksalver: A person who dishonestly claims knowledge of or skill in medicine, a pedlar of false cures
Rouker: A person who whispers or murmurs, who spreads tales or rumours
Man-millinery: Suggestive of male vanity or pomposity
Parget: To daub or plaster the face or body with powder or paint
Snout-fair: Having a fair countenance; fair-faced, comely, handsome
Slug-a-bed: One who lies long in bed through laziness
Losenger: A false flatterer, a lying rascal, a deceiver
Momist: A person who habitually finds fault, a harsh critic
Peacockize: To behave like a peacock; esp. to pose or strut ostentatiously
Percher: A person who aspires to a higher rank or status; an ambitious or self-assertive person
Rouzy-bouzy: Boisterously drunk
Ruff: To swagger, bluster, domineer. To ruff it out / to brag or boast of a thing
Sillytonian: A silly or gullible person, esp. one considered as belonging to a notional sect of such people
Wlonk: Proud, haughty / Rich, splendid, fine, magnificent: in later use esp. as a conventional epithet in alliterative verse (N. A fair or beautiful one)
Fumish: Inclined to fume, hot-tempered, irascible, passionate; also, characterized by or exhibiting anger or irascibility
Awhape: To amaze, stupefy with fear, confound utterly
Hugge: To shudder, shrink, shiver, or shake with fear or with cold
Merry-go-sorry: A mixture of joy and sorrow
Stomaching: Full of malignity; given to cherish anger or resentment
Swerk: To be or become dark; in Old English often, to become gloomy, troubled, or sad
Teen: To vex, irritate, annoy, anger, enrage / To inflict suffering upon; to afflict, harass; to injure, harm
Tremblable: Causing dread or horror; dreadful
Wasteheart: Used to express grief, pity, regret, disappointment, or concern: ‘alas!’ ‘woe is me!’ Also wasteheart-a-day, wasteheart of me
Dowsabel: Applied generically to a sweetheart, ‘lady-love’
Ear-rent: The figurative cost to a person of listening to trivial or incessant talk
You can vote on your favourite word here.