Obsolete Words: Archaic words from the 1700s

Some words from the 1700s are certainly interesting conservation-starters. Sprinkling them every now and then in your speech or writing, adds some flavor and fun to your communicative style.

Bibliopoles and Chapmen

For example, back in the 1700’s a bibliopole was a bookseller while a chapman was a peddler. A cordwainer was a shoemaker while a mage was considered a learned person or a magician.

Grimalkins and Popinjays

Grimalkins were cats while popinjays were parrots. If you were wearing slipshod shoes, it meant your footwear was worn down at the heel. That is when you needed the services of the aforementioned cordwainer.

Rainbow Lorikeet, Parrot, Colourful


A crinkum-crankum was an elaborate detail or decoration, often seen on the raiment (clothing) of conceited and vain men (coxcombs). During days of yore, singers were known as melodists and a measure was called a dance. A mummer was a theater actor while teachers were known as schoolmen. Ushers were assistant teachers.

Sea Smoke

If you want to add a sense of mystery to a historical novel, you might refer to the fog as sea smoke, which is a term used during that time period. Slugabeds were lazy people, or individuals who liked to luxuriate in bed until the late hours of the day.

Images from Pickabay


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