Friday, April 26, 2019

Netiquette IQ Blog Of 4/26/2019 - Interesting Obsolete Words

by Richard Nordquist from
Richard Nordquist is a freelance writer and former professor of English and Rhetoric who wrote college-level Grammar and Composition textbooks.
Updated February 27, 2018

Obsolete word is a temporal label commonly used by lexicographers (that is, editors of dictionaries) to indicate that a word (or a particular form or sense of a word) is no longer in active use in speech and writing.
"In general," notes Peter Meltzer, "the difference between an obsolete word and an archaic word is that, although both have fallen into disuse, an obsolete word has done so more recently" (The Thinker's Thesaurus, 2010).

The editors of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (2006) make this distinction:
Archaic. [T]his label is attached to entry words and senses for which there is only sporadic evidence in print after 1755 . . ..

Obsolete. [T]his label is attached to entry words and senses for which there is little or no printed evidence since 1755.
In addition, as Knud Sørensen points out, "it sometimes occurs that words which have become obsolete in Britain continue to be current in the United States (compare Amer. Engl. fall and Brit. Engl. autumn)" (Languages in Contact and Contrast, 1991).

Following are some examples of obsolete words:

"Illecebrous [ill-less-uh-brus] an obsolete word meaning 'attractive, alluring.' From a Latin word meaning 'to entice.'"
(Erin McKean, Totally Weird and Wonderful Words. Oxford University Press, 2006)
"The underlying meaning of mawkish is 'maggotish.' It was derived from a now obsolete word mawk, which meant literally 'maggot' but was used figuratively (like maggot itself) for a 'whim' or 'fastidious fancy.' Hence mawkish originally meant 'nauseated, as if repelled by something one is too fastidious to eat.' In the 18th century the notion of 'sickness' or 'sickliness' produced the present-day sense 'over-sentimental.'"
(John Ayto, Word Origins, 2nd ed. A & C Black, 2005)
"Mudslinging and muckraking--two words commonly connected with the pursuit of an elected office and the flotsam the campaigns leave in their wake.
"Voters seem fairly familiar with the term used to describe malicious or scandalous attacks against opponents, but the latter 'm' word may be new for some people. It is an obsolete word describing a tool used to rake muck or dung and used in reference to a character in John Bunyan’s classic Pilgrim’s Progress [1678]--'the Man with the Muck-rake' who rejected salvation to focus on filth."
(Vanessa Curry, "Don’t Muck It Up, and We Won’t Rake It." The Daily Herald [Columbia, TN], April 3, 2014)|
Slubberdegullion is "n: a slobbering or dirty fellow, a worthless sloven," 1610s, from slubber "to daub, smear, behave carelessly or negligently" (1520s), probably from Dutch or Low German (cf. slobber (v)). Second element appears to be an attempt to imitate French; or perhaps it is French, related to Old French goalon "a sloven." "Century Dictionary speculates the -de- means 'insignificant' or else is from hobbledehoy."
Snoutfair is a person with a handsome countenance (literally, a fair snout). Its origins are from the 1500s.
Lunting means to walk while smoking a pipe. Lunting is also the emantion of smoke or steam from a tobacco pipe, or the flame used to light a fire, torch, or pipe, The word lunting originated in the 1500s "from either the Dutch word 'lont' meaning a slow match or fuse or the Middle Low German 'lonte' meaning a wick.
With Squirrel
With squirrel is a euphemism that means pregnant. It originated in the Ozark Mountains in the early 20th century.
Curglaff is commonly felt by people in northern climes —it is the shock that one feels when first plunging into cold water. The word curglaff originated from Scotland in the 1800s. (Also spelled curgloff).
To groak (verb) is to watch someone longingly while they are eating, in the hope that they will give you some of their food. The origin is possibly Scottish. 
Cockalorum is a little man who has an over-inflated opinion of himself and thinks himself more important than he is; also, boastful speech. The origin of cockalorum may be from the from the obsolete Flemish word kockeloeren of the 1700s, meaning "to crow."

 April is the official month for:

  • From
The following events, industries, causes and emotions (yes, emotions) are observed all month long in April unless otherwise indicated. Even cannabis (fast becoming legalized), Florida tomatoes, celery, and soft pretzels are honored, beginning April 1 through April 30—every year. 
  • African-American Women's Fitness Month
  • Alcohol Awareness Month
  • Amateur Radio Month
  • American Cancer Society Month
  • Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month
  • Black Women's History Month 
  • Bowel Cancer Awareness Month 
  • Celebrate Diversity Month
  • Community Service Month
  • Confederate History Month 
  • Distracted Driving Awareness Month 
  • Financial Literacy Month 
  • Fresh Florida Tomato Month
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome Awareness Month 
  • Jewish-American Heritage Month
  • Keep America Beautiful Month 
  • Lawn and Garden Month 
  • Mathematics Awareness Month 
  • Month of the Military Child 
  • National Autism Awareness Month
  • National Better Hearing and Speech Month
  • National Canine Fitness Month
  • National Cannabis Awareness Month 
  • National Car Care Awareness Month 
  • National Child Abuse Awareness Month 
  • National Couple Appreciation Month 
  • National Deaf History Month (March 13 to April 15) 
  • National Decorating Month 
  • National Donate Life Awareness Month 
  • National Fair Housing Month 
  • National Food Month
  • National Fresh Celery Month 
  • National Garden Month
  • National Humor Month 
  • National Internship Awareness Month 
  • National Inventor's Month 
  • National Jazz Appreciation Month 

  • National Landscape Architecture Month 
  • National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week (last full week in April) 
  • National Mental Health Month
  • National Month of Hope
  • National Multiple Birth Awareness Month
  • National Occupational Therapy Month
  • National Older Americans Month
  • National Parkinson's Awareness Month
  • National Pecan Month
  • National Poetry Month 
  • National Safe Digging Month 
  • National Siblings Day (April 10) 
  • National Soft Pretzel Month
  • National Soy Foods Month

  • National STDs Education and Awareness Month
  • National Straw Hat Month 
  • National Volunteer Month 
  • National Welding Month 
  • Occupational Therapy Month 
  • Pets are Wonderful Month
  • Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month
  • Records and Information Management Month 
  • Scottish-American Heritage Month
  • Sexual Assault Awareness Month 
  • Stress Awareness Month
  • Thai Heritage Month
  • Women's Health Care Month
International and One-Day Observances
Because you may be in the business of working with internationals, we can not forget the participation of other countries. Here are a few international honorees, as well as some causes that are observed globally: 
  • April is International Guitar Month, recognized in several countries.
  • Ontario, Canada recognizes April as Sikh Heritage Month. 
  • April is National Pet Month in the United Kingdom, although the U.S. waits until May to honor Postsits non-human family members. 
  • International Pillow Fight Day is observed on April 6 in 2019. 
  • World Autism Awareness Day also falls on April 2 in 2019. 
  • World Health Day is April 7, in 2019. 

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