They say there’s nothing new under the sun, and that couldn’t be more appropriate for the following list of archaic words. History Hustle has unearthed a collection of lost words from premature graves to bring back to life – words that express timeless ideas, feelings, and concepts, but have been rolled over by the modernization and fine-tuning of language over time.
History Hustle founder Joe Gillard’s new book, The Little Book of Lost Words: Collywobbles, Snollygosters, and 86 Other Surprisingly Useful Terms Worth Resurrecting pulls from old dictionaries, medical books, literature, and slang to present the best of these old words, and examples of how they can be used in a modern context. It’s the perfect treat for history buffs and word nerds. To give you a taste, here are ten old words worth resurrecting.
Verb | fuh-juhl | Eighteenth century. English. Regional dialect.
To pretend to work without actually doing anything.
“It’s Friday, and I’m going to fudgel my way to the weekend.”
Verb | grohk | Nineteenth century. Scottish. Dialect.
To stare eagerly at someone who is eating, hoping they’ll give you food.
Terrence had been known to groke when his dormmates would come back with Taco Bell.
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Noun | sahy-uh-list | Seventeenth century. English.
One who only pretends to be knowledgeable on subjects.
The internet is a wasteland of sciolists and trolls.
Noun | sluhg-uh-bed | Sixteenth century. English.
A person who sleeps in later than is appropriate.
Ginny was a slugabed and once crushed her alarm clock with a brick.
Adverb | vair-uh-lee Fourteenth century. Middle English.
Certainly or truly.
Bubba could verily be a tool.
Noun | snahl-ee-gahs-ter | Nineteenth century. English. American slang.
A dishonest, corrupt, and unprincipled person, esp. a politician.
He was senior adviser to the snollygoster-in-chief.
Noun | uh-pan-thruh-pee | Nineteenth century. English. Medical terminology.
A desire to be alone; a distaste for the company of others.
“Sarah, your apanthropy is getting old; you can’t spend another weekend alone with mac and cheese and romcoms.”
Verb | ee-groht Eighteenth century. English.
To pretend to be sick.
He dramatically coughed into the phone to egrote his way out of the big PowerPoint presentation that day.
Noun | shiv-ee-ness | Nineteenth century. English. Regional dialect.
The unpleasant or itchy feeling that comes from wearing new underwear.
He went into the interview confident, but soon felt the shivviness of his new briefs and the sweat under his collar.
Noun | oot-kee-ar-uh | Tenth century. Old English.
Lying awake in bed feeling anxious.
Adam’s state of uhtceare kept him up the night before the convention, as he worried whether his cosplay would make the grade.
Featured Illustration by Mark Conlan