Friday, October 17, 2008

Vintage Words (yes, there really is such a catagory!)

beblubbered adj. "swollen" from the Dictionary of the English Language, 1881.

Now why is this rolls wonderfully off the tongue word not in use anymore??
As hundreds of new words are annually added to our language, older ones are sacrificed, but fortunately have been captured in Jeffery Kacirk's book Word Museum. A delightful read, he has "rescued" the following for us, words that we should all work into our sentences at least once a day:

bloddy hand- "One of the four kinds of offences in the king's forest, by which the offender is supposed to have killed a deer." 1656

clapperclaw- "to tongue beat; to scold. To scratch, maul, or fight in an unskillful manner; generally used of women.....hence clapperclaw, a noisy woman. See also batterfanged and curtain-lecture. 1896 (I am not making these up)

cynathropy- "Madness caused by the bite of a dog, wherein the patient avoids light and water; or a particular kind of melancholy when men fancy themselves changed into dogs and imitate their actions. A frenzy which makes a man haunt unfrequented places." 1749
So there you go.


Lindsey said...

I can't even imagine a scenario that would allow me to use "cynathrophy".

Meg said...

How about "My husband is driving me nuts this week! He's acting like he's got a touch of cynathropy..."