It’s true that language ebbs and flows with the generations at almost the same voracity as its fashions.
While some words may end up sticking around for awhile afterwards, or even picking up entirely new meanings, some words have fallen to the bottom of the language ocean just waiting to be brought to the surface by some language explorer. Alright, I’ll stop now with the metaphors and get to the list of some great English words which History has all but forgotten about.
A 16th century word for a bald head, which apparently resembled peeled garlic.
The cries of children.
This Middle English word originally meant “an incorrigible, dogmatic old pedant,” but eventually came to refer to an incorrect opinion that someone clung to. According to Kacirk, the word originated with an illiterate 15th century clergyman, who incorrectly copied the Latin word sumpsimus and read it in mass.
This Old English expression (probably borrowed from German) meant “fleeting weeks,” and refers to what we today call a honeymoon.
An uninvited dinner guest. So at your next Feast of St. Stevens which I’m sure you’ve been planning for all year, you now have a new word to try out.
Though this term comes from the 18th century, chances are you know a fribbler. He says he’s really into a lady, but just won’t commit. The behavior of a fribbler was called fribbledom. As they used to say, “Dost tho hateth the Fribbler? Nay! I say hateth thy game!” (They didn’t really say that)
Ale that is boiled, thickened with oatmeal and spiced.
Double handfuls, used as an approximate measurement.
For more old English words, check out Jeff Kacirk’s, Forgotten English