Ten old words we need to start re-using immediately

Emily Shackleton
Friday 16 January 2015 18:00

Earlier this week, the Wayne State University in Michigan released its annual list of old words they believed should be used more often.

A new online thesaurus from the University of Glasgow purports to feature every English word from the last millennium - and is a rich source for our own list of ten words that it's time to start using again.


  • A person who remains aloof or independent, especially from party politics (1884).E.g. “Don’t be a mugwump - vote in the 2015 elections.”


  • Pretending to work when you're not actually doing anything at all (1700s). E.g. The workers hoped their boss wouldn’t realise that they were just fudgelling on Facebook all day.


  • To look at somebody while they're eating in the hope that they'll give you their food (Unknown). E.g. “If I keep groking at Kate, maybe she’ll give me the last of her brownie…”


  • To think or believe (c. 1200). E.g. I do not trow that I will be going to the cinema tonight.


  • To drink freely/intoxicating liqueur (1583). E.g. They still couldn’t believe how much Billy had bibbled at the office Christmas party last month.


  • To laugh loudly (1225 + c.1230). E.g. Kelly kenched on the train at the text she was just sent.


  • Dull/stupid (1902). E.g. They thought the other side’s argument was rather beef-witted.


  • To speak harshly/to talk excessively (1300–1774). W.g. John couldn’t bear how much Twitter was jangling on about Kim Kardashian’s ‘break the internet’ pictures.


  • A hopeful, but impractical romantic (1708–1810). E.g. Lucy loved the romantic gestures her boyfriend made, but often thought he was a quixote.


  • To cast amorous glances at (1668). E.g. He couldn’t help but smicker his shiny new iPad.