Life

From flapdoodle to rapscallion, ten lost words of the English language that are long overdue a revival

Published

In our race to assimilate modern slang - adorbs, hot mess and side boob were all recent additions to Oxford Dictionaries - it's easy to forget the rich tapestry of words that already exists at our fingertips. 

In recognition of this, the folks over at Word Warriors have come up with a list of long-neglected terms that they want to bring back into everyday conversation and prose.

Their wonderfully eloquent recommendations are created from tips from inside the group, as well as suggestions from devoted logophiles (word lovers) from all over the world. 

Now in its seventh year, this year's repertoire of forgotten words "worthy of retrieval from the linguistic closet" include some we know - think melange or philistine - and some we really don't.

But it has provided us with a veritable Aladdin's Cave of phrases to draw upon, as we chat flapdoodle or caterwaul in despair while obambulating around our offices every day.

"The English language has more words in its lexicon than any other," says Jerry Herron, a member of the Word Warriors' editorial board. "By making use of the repertoire available to us, we expand our ability to communicate clearly and help make our world a more interesting place. Bringing these words back into everyday conversation is just another way of broadening our horizons."

Scroll down to see their compilation of long-lost words and add in your own suggestions in the comments section, below. 

Life is just better with a good ol' caterwaul

Life is just better with a good ol' caterwaul

1. Caterwaul

A shrill howling or wailing noise

2. Concinnity

The skillful and harmonious arrangement or fitting together of the different parts of something

3. Flapdoodle

Nonsense

4. Knavery

A roguish or mischievous act

5. Melange

A mixture of different things

There's no denying it, this dog is a bit of a rapscallion

This pup has committed knavery on the sofa. What a rapscallion!

6. Obambulate

To walk about

7. Opsimath

A person who begins to learn or study only late in life

8. Philistine

A person who is hostile or indifferent to culture and the arts, or who has no understanding of them

9. Rapscallion

A mischievous person

10. Subtopia

Monotonous urban sprawl of standardized buildings

Photos: Rex Features

Share this article

Author

Related Posts