Good morning and Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Mine was spent relaxing and recuperating. The most productive thing I did for two days (other than producing Saturday’s blog post) was to get my hair cut (which was sorely needed).

The good news is that I feel good! Yay for antibiotics! Better living through pharmacology – that’s my motto.  “Pharmacology”. Now, there’s a good word. It rolls off the tongue and when used in a sentence makes the speaker or writer seem intelligent. I’m all for that.

I love words. I am a self-professed word-nerd. My linguistic obsession predates my desire to write them down in collected patterns sometimes referred to as a novel, since I’ve been reading a lot longer than I’ve been writing.

words, magnets, S. A. Younge, blogging, Monday

I used to have these magnets on my fridge – I took them down in favor of Gerard Butler.

I like learning new words and I have no objection to looking one up if I run across a word I don’t know. I subscribe to’s word-of-the-day and I have a calendar on my desk here in my office.  I also like to insert these new words into conversation, though I have been accused of  lexiphanicism*.

What I find really fascinating is how some words fall in and out of favor. I’m not talking about the pop-culture words or phrases that both the Oxford English and Merriam-Webster dictionaries add every year. I mean the now archaic words that sites like Grandiloquent Word of the Day unearth for our amusement.

For instance, one recent entry was “flapdoodle”, which means “words or ideas that are foolish and untrue”.  Now, why on earth would we ever stop using that one? It’s fun to say and lord knows there has never been a shortage of such a thing in the history of mankind.  I say we bring it back. Your mission is to insert flapdoodle into every conversation in which it’s relevant, from now on.  It worked for kerfuffle!

Kerfuffle, a noun meaning disorder, commotion or agitation, is a word, popular in the 1940s and 50s, that had fallen by the wayside, except by Brits. In recent years it’s made a comeback. We here at SS&S use it all the time, but I also see it in print and even heard it used on the national news not too long ago.

Another of our favorites is swivet (a state of nervous excitement, haste, or anxiety; flutter). If I didn’t know what it meant, I might think it was a small malodorous animal related to the skunk. (Don’t ask me why, that’s just what I picture.) doesn’t even recognize this word! It can be parsed out and one can find synonyms for all of its pieces, but why would you want to use any of them when there’s one great word that encapsulates them all?

My point is, there are millions of words in the English language alone (although they all have roots in other languages), so why not mix it up a little? Why should we keep using the same ones over and over again? Have some fun. There are a lot of choices on the Cheesecake Factory menu, but if you ate there every night, you would eventually get tired of it, right?

cheesecake, Cheesecake Factory, Monday, words, blogging, S. A. Young

gratuitous picture of cheesecake

Four years ago, Buzzfeed compiled this list of obsolete words that they believe we should endeavor to bring back. This is a good place to start:


Meaning: To silently watch someone while they are eating, hoping to be invited to join them.
Origin: Unknown
As in: It’s hard to enjoy your meal when the guy opposite is groaking you the whole time.

  1. Hugger-mugger

Meaning: To act in a secretive manner.
Origin: 1530s
As in: I’m sick of all these sneaky types, creeping around and hugger-muggering the whole time.

3. Crapulous

Meaning: To feel ill because of excessive eating/drinking.
Origin: 1530s
As in: Blerg. The morning after St. Patrick’s Day. I feel crapulous.

4. Grumpish

Meaning: Sullen. An alternative to grumpy.
Origin: 1720s
As in: I’m hungover, and I’ve got a ton of work to do. Think I’m allowed to be grumpish.

  1. Snowbroth

Meaning: Freshly melted snow.
Origin: 1590s
As in: Yesterday we woke up to a perfect carpet of white, but now it’s just snowbroth.

  1. Jargogle

Meaning: To confuse, bamboozle.
Origin: 1690s
As in: I don’t get string theory. It utterly jargogles my brain.

  1. Apricity

Meaning: The sun’s warmth on a cold winter’s day.
Origin: 1620s
As in: Even in darkest December you sometimes get a moment of beautiful apricity.


Meaning: To gossip, or talk idly.
Origin: 1600s
As in: I wish you’d quit twattling and get on with your work.

  1. Elflock

Meaning: Tangled hair, as if matted by elves.
Origin: 1590s
As in: Jeez, dude, look at the state of those elflocks — have you not heard of a comb?

  1. Gorgonize

Meaning: To have a paralyzing or mesmerizing effect on someone.
Origin: Early 17th century
As in: Don’t look into his eyes. He’s so charismatic, you’ll be gorgonized.

  1. Cockalorum

Meaning: A little man with a high opinion of himself.
Origin: 1710s
As in: He’s a boastful shortarse. Total cockalorum.

  1. Snoutfair

Meaning: A good-looking person.
Origin: 1500s

  1. Jollux

Meaning: Slang term for a fat person.
Origin: 1780s

  1. Curglaf

Meaning: The shock one feels upon first plunging into cold water.
Origin: Scots, 1800s
As in: Those outdoor swimmers must have balls of steel to cope with that kind of curglaff.

words, Monday, blogging, S. A. Young, Jamie Fraser, Sam Heughan

Sorry, couldn’t resist. The word is Scots Gaelic in origin after all. (Not sorry)

  1. Brabble

Meaning: To argue loudly about something inconsequential.
Origin: 1530s
As in: I can’t stand Question Time, it always descends into brabbling.

  1. Twitterlight

Meaning: An alternative to twilight.
Origin: Early 1600s
As in: London is at its most beautiful by twitter-light.

  1. Beef-witted

Meaning: Stupid, imbecilic.
Origin: 1590s
As in: The Only Way Is Essex is a TV show for the terminally beef-witted.

  1. Monsterful

Meaning: Wonderful and extraordinary.
Origin: 1810s
As in: The Breaking Bad finale was every bit as monsterful as I’d hoped.

  1. Callipygian

Meaning: Having beautifully shaped buttocks.
Origin: 1640s
As in: I admire Beyoncé for her musical talent. The fact she is highly callipygian is neither here nor there.

  1. Fuzzle

Meaning: To make drunk, intoxicate.
Origin: 1910s
As in: It’s never a good idea to operate heavy machinery while fuzzled.

  1. Quockerwodger

Meaning: A wooden puppet, controlled by strings.
Origin: 1850s
As in: The president has no real power, he is a mere quockerwodger.

  1. Resistentialism

Meaning: The seemingly malevolent behaviour displayed by inanimate objects.
Origin: 1940s
As in: That water bottle looks like it wants to kill me. It exhibits resistentialism.

  1. Lethophobia

Meaning: The fear of oblivion.
Origin: 1700s
As in: I’m terrified the world is about to end. I am lethophobic.

  1. Slubberdegullion

Meaning: A slovenly, slobbering person.
Origin: 1650s
As in: Look at that sluberdegullion, sprawled on the sofa with his tongue lolling out.

  1. Curmuring

Meaning: A low rumbling sound produced by the bowels.
Origin: 1880s
As in: Nothing worse than audibly curmuring during a job interview.

  1. Lumming

Meaning: Heavy rain.
Origin: Early 1900s
As in: Christ, it’s absolutely lumming down.

So, how do you feel about all of this? Anyone else consider themselves to be a “word collector”? Do you have a favorite seldom-heard word that you like to slip into conversation or writing?

In any case, I hope you have a ripping week!

*-The use of excessively learned and bombastic vocabulary or phraseology in a pretentious
and showy fashion.
-An instance or example of such vocabulary or phraseology.
-The habit of using a pompous or turgid style in speaking or writing.
-The use of pretentious words, language, or style.