Have you ever felt betrumped, merry-go-sorry, or like a right sillytonian? Or maybe you fancy yourself as a bit of a percher.
Well you wouldn’t know, because all of those words have fallen out of the English language, even though we could really do with them.
Language experts at the University of York have compiled a list of lost words that fit within themes that could be highly relevant to modern life.
These are post-truth (deception), appearance, personality and behaviour, and emotions.
The linguists, in partnership with Privilege insurance, scoured historic texts and etymological dictionaries to compile the list of 30 words that we might find useful today, with the ultimate goal of bringing back everyday English.
Dominic Watt, senior lecturer in language and linguistic science at the University of York, said: “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 is the full list:
Ambodexter – One who takes bribes from both sides
Betrump – To deceive, cheat, elude, slip from
Coney-catch – To swindle, cheat, 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; one 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, 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 or to brag or boast of a thing
Sillytonian – A silly or gullible person, one considered as belonging to a notional sect of such people
Wlonk – Proud, haughty, rich, splendid, fine, magnificent
Fumish – Inclined to fume, hot-tempered, irascible, passionate
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, gloomy, troubled, or sad
Teen – To vex, irritate, annoy, anger, enrage, to inflict suffering upon
Tremblable – Causing dread or horror
Wasteheart – Used to express grief, pity, regret, disappointment, or concern
Dowsabel – Applied generically to a sweetheart, ‘lady-love’
Ear-rent – The figurative cost to a person of listening to trivial or incessant talk