Obsolete Words We Might Consider Reviving


Some obsolete words should still be used as they add interest to writing and speech. One verb, whose origin goes back to the 1530s, is hugger-muggering. The definition of this word is to act in a stealthy manner. Used in a sentence, you might say the following: “He has been hugger-muggering and behaving rather suspiciously.”



Grumpish, another obsolete word, could still be used today as well. Its use goes back to the 1720s, and is another way to say “grumpy.” For example, when used in a sentence, you might say, “I always feel a little grumpish until I’ve had my coffee.”


Yet another English word that might be re-purposed is the no-longer used word, brabble. This word means to quarrel loudly about trivial stuff. For example, you might use the word as follows: “Why are they brabbling about who arrived at the theater first?” You can also use this word as a noun as well, as in the following sentence: “Refrain from that inane brabble and do something useful!”


Writers like to create new words as they bring certain stories to life. It is also fun to use words that once were used quite regularly, which are no longer a part of everyday speech. One of these words is quagswaggling, which means to shake back and forth. The correct pronunciation is quag swaggling versus quags waggling – in case you are wondering.

So, if you want to invoke a little spark in your speech or writing, it does not hurt to review some of the words that are no longer used. In the next several blog posts, I will review other once used words that may deserve a repeat performance among linguists and writers alike.


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