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Obsolete Words
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Recently I came across a list of obsolete English words...and...well, you know how I am. I just had to read the whole list and then share some of them with you.

The ones I didn't include here have perfectly good commonly-used 21st century synonyms, so I said "good riddance" to the obsolete terms and listed only the others.

What I find fascinating are the words which described a person or situation and for which we have no current word. Does that mean that the concept no longer exists? Or does it mean that we don't use a word for it because we do not any longer acknowledge the need.

To wit:

Lunting: Walking while smoking a pipe: John Mactaggart's "Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia," 1824--maybe so few smoke pipes these days that it is no longer needed. How about a word for "walking while texting"?

California widow: A married woman whose husband is away from her for any extended period:John Farmer's "Americanisms Old and New", 1889--my great-grandmother was made a California widow when my great-grandfather headed west to the Gold Rush.

Groak: To silently watch someone while they are eating, hoping to be invited to join them: www.ObsoleteWord.Blogspot.com--anyone with a dog knows this phenomenon.

Jirble : To pour out (a liquid) with an unsteady hand: as, he jirbles out a shot: www.Wordnik.com

Curglaff : The shock felt in bathing when one first plunges into the cold water: John Jamieson's Etymological Scottish Dictionary, 1808--especially the Polar Bear swim on New Year's Day!

Tyromancy: Divining by the coagulation of cheese: "The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten" by Jeffrey Kacirk--only if I can have a hunk to eat afterward....

Resistentialism : The seemingly spiteful behavior shown by inanimate objects: www.ObsoleteWord.Blogspot.com

Zafty: A person very easily imposed upon: Maj. B. Lowsley's "A Glossary of Berkshire Words and Phrases", 1888

I particularly like "resistentialism"--who among us has not been attacked by a malevolent object when tiptoeing around the house in the dark? Which of you has never felt that the computer deliberately died at the worst possible moment? And have you never cursed the copy machine that gave up the ghost just when the big presentation was due?

Ah, yes, I like resistentialism. Bring it back!

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