Favorite Forgotten Words

Last year my mother gave me a desk calendar that had an obsolete English word for each day. It was geeky-cool to be greeted with an example of “Forgotten English” each day at work.

Some of the words are just too fun not to be shared. Others are so useful that I think they should be re-adopted into the English language.

Here are my favorite forgotten words of 2006:

  1. purfled: short-winded, especially in consequence of being too lusty (1808)
  2. squizzle: to let squizzle, to fire a gun (1956)
  3. chaddy: full of chads. The bread is chaddy [if] it has been made of meal not properly sifted to get out the husks, fragments of straw, or gritty particles of the mill-stone. (1830)
  4. tooth-saw: a fine frame-saw for sawing off portions of the teeth; used by dentists. (1874-77)
  5. lunting: walking and smoking a pipe (1824)
  6. curglaff: the shock felt in bathing when one first plunges into the cold water (1808)
  7. scurryfunge: a hasty tidying of the house between the time you see a neighbor and the time she knocks on the door (1882)
  8. flippercanorious: elegant (1934)
  9. irrisory: addicted to laughing or sneezing (1897)
  10. jirging: the noise too dry shoes make when walked with (1824)

My favorite is scurryfunge. What’s yours?

Note: All of the calendar pages © Jeffrey Kacirk. You can buy his book, Forgotten English, at amazon.com.

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