Having Fun With Obsolete Words

Posted 12-26-18

The English language has a boatload of obsolete words we rarely or never use, and I find it interesting to get reacquainted with them every now and then. Writers, take note of these gems and look for ways to put them back in circulation. I have added “helpful” explanatory notes for each!

Farctatecompletely satiated or full to the point of bursting. (Usually followed by flatulate. I’m sure the words are related somehow.)

Philodoxa dogmatic person who is especially fond of his/her own opinions. (This term is especially useful when describing elected politicians.)

Gramercyan exclamation of pleased surprise. (See also “Lordhavemercy” for unpleasant surprises.)

Cavilto raise trivial and oftentimes irritating objections or to find fault unnecessarily. (Marriage counselors use this one a lot.)

Churlisha rude, boorish, or miserly person. (Normally, we simply say “stop being an ass”, but that requires four words.)

Frissona sudden, passing shudder of emotion or excitement. (I believe romance writers could get some mileage out of this one!)

Gargalesthesiaa term given to the sensation caused by being tickled. (Hmmm…I was sure this meant a fear of gargling.)

Beldama term for “grandmother”. (Related to Ohdam which means “mother-in-law” and Hotdam which refers to one’s wife.)

Defalcationthe act of misusing funds or embezzling. (Similar to defecation or “Oh Shit”, the expression used when one is caught defalcating.)

Vulpinecrafty and cunning. (This is less confusing than saying “foxy”, which may be confused with “Hotdam” above.)

Bucculathe fold of fatty tissue under the jaw, commonly called a “double chin”. (Related to Buttula, Guttula, or any other sagging body part.)

Brontidea rumbling sound like distant thunder. (Do not confuse with “farctate”, above.)

Morosopha learned fool, or one who puts up the pretense of knowledge or wisdom. (Most of us either live next to, or work with a Morosoph. See also gasbag, jackass, moron.)

Hypermnesiahaving an exceptional memory. (A little less clumsy than “memory like an elephant” and the opposite of amnesia or “can’t remember a damn thing”.)

Factotuma person having many diverse traits and different responsibilities or serving in a wide range of capacities. (Replaced in modern English with “Mom”.)

Viragoa large, strong, or domineering woman. (See note on “Ohdam” above.)

Lalocheziathe emotional relief gained by emitting vulgar or indecent words. (Huh! And all this time I just thought it was someone who lacked self control, manners, or a proper upbringing.)

And there you have it! English is fascinating, and it’s too bad we restrict our word usage to the tried and true. So, good luck preventing your churlish beldam from farctating in public. Gramercy!! 

(click HERE for the source article)






4 responses to “Having Fun With Obsolete Words”

  1. H.R.R. Gorman Avatar

    Get it done! Nice list.

    1. Alexander Elliott Avatar

      Thanks! I bet you could come up with a list of your own. So much to do, so little time…

  2. Theresa C Avatar
    Theresa C

    What a funny & informational post! I laughed out loud at some of your words. I’m glad you’re wrapping things up on “Traitor’s Moon”. Can’t wait to read how you “fixed his little red wagon” cuz I’m hoping it’s the #1 Morosoph from “Expectant Moon”. I really hoped you made it hurt!

    1. Alexander Elliott Avatar
      Alexander Elliott

      Why thank you! Unfortunately you and I seem to be the only ones who found the post amusing, or at least said so. Oh well, I laughed myself silly writing it up – it was great fun.

      I think you’ll like how it turns out, and trust me, by the time I’m through with the character you won’t even be able to identify the wagon! BTW, morosoph is about the nicest name I would ever use for the guy.

      Stay tuned, as Traitor’s Moon is almost finished and you can read the whole thing for yourself! Thanks for your comments.

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