Half of the words we use today would be unrecognizable to our ancestors. By the same token, many of the words and phrases they used are unrecognizable or strange to us. Here is a sampling..
Those of us who do not believe in a Devil or Satan are called adaemonist. But I would venture to say that most of us do believe that humans are agathokakological in nature, which is to say that we have a mingling of good and evil. Everyone would say that humans are autexousious; we have free will. And I do think that a great many of us are eternitarians; believing in the eternal soul. Because of the sharing we do here and on Street Prophets, we are all able to fellow-feel with one another and share our faith.
When you support, encourage and applaud a candidate, you are their aimcrier. On election night, we were ecstasiate and many chantpleured, that is, sang and cried at the same time. We faffled or stumbled on our words as we tried to speak of how we felt. But McCain supporters probably had the mubblefubbles for weeks.
Can't think of a word to refer to your lady friend? Well, she might be a bellibone or a poplolly. Bellibone is an Anglicization of the French belle et bonne (fair and good). Poplolly is also from the French, poupelet (little darling). Perhaps you'd prefer to use a nice Anglo-Saxon word like fairhead. All might catch the ear of your loved one. If you're lucky, she may give you a lip-clap. If you add a gift of a bulse (a bag of diamond or gold dust), she will love you forever!
Do the stories of bankruptcy and failure horrify you? Then you are as agruw as I am! Many of us are carked or fretfully anxious, about the economy. Dretched (tormented) by bill-collectors, we might crunkle (cry loudly). We might become hoful (careful) of answering the phone. More and more of us are flag-fallen (unemployed). We may feel nithe (envious & angry) towards those who are well-off. Most of us are pitchfuddled about how to fix things. Some people have become sloomy (lazy, dull, sleepy), lying on the sofa, foreheads crumpled into one big ribble (furrow). Some of us are thrunch (very angry) at the ingordigious wind-suckers (greedy bastards) who got us into this garboil. But we continue to dream of living in a dicaearchy and work for that fair government.
And now, a story. See if you can figure out what the words mean...
At cockshut, Squire Chriss and his boonfellow, Alan, entered the kidliwink and had a seat. They looked forward to some bellytimber and a jubbe of aleberry. There was a mung of people there already. The fopdoodle sat in the corner listening to the blob-tale gossip about the backstress who had made the tipsy-cake he was eating. There was a porknell tenterbelly in the other corner, gloping his lubberwort, his lambition as a noisy accompaniment. By the time their spitchcock came, it was firefanged. So they ordered some crug and a lagenarious vessel of kill-priest. With much bawdreaming, the whoopubb lasted until sparrow-fart.
Translation: At the end of the day, Chriss and his best buddy Alan went down pub. They anticipated food and a large vessel of ale boiled with sugar and spices. There was already a crowd there. The simpleton in the corner was being regaled by the gossip as she talked about the female baker who had made the cake saturated with wine, stuck with almonds and served with custard that he was eating. There was an obese glutton in the other corner gulping down his junk food and smacking and licking his fingers loudly. When their eel cooked with breadcrumbs came it was scorched. So they ordered some bread dipped in beer along with port wine in a flagon-shaped vessel. There was a lot of bawdy mischief and the hubbub lasted until dawn.
I don't usually like to do lists but there are so many other words that I just cannot work into a story. So, a list it is:
Adam's Ale -- A funny term for water; the only ale Adam had. Definitely not SAM Adam's ale.
Antipelargy -- Reciprocal or mutual kindness; love and care of children for their parents. Are you with us, kiddies?
Artigrapher -- A grammarian; one who writes grammar. I know a few are reading this.
Assything (emphasis on syth pronounced sithe)-- Something given as recompense; reparations. I know what you were thinking!
Barlafumble -- To call for a truce while wrestling, sort of like saying "uncle"; a request for a time out. I don't think "suspending a campaign" counts.
Bedswerver -- One who has been unfaithful to the marriage bed. Also, spousebreak. I am SO not going to touch this.
Brephophagy - Eating of babies. Something Witches do NOT do no matter what thousands of years of bad PR tell us.
Bugle-Beard -- A shaggy beard. Like Joaquin Phoenix now has.
Bumposopher -- A phrenologist, one who 'reads" the bumps on the head. As opposed to one who reads the bumps in the road.
Carpet-Knight -- Derogatory term for a knight who could achieve more in his lady's bedroom than in battle. What a great nickname for David Vitter!
Chermadic -- Descriptive of a heavy weight used as a projectile. You know... like Wile E. Coyote uses all the time.
Coverslut -- An apron; an architectural decoration to conceal ugliness. Aha! Caught you again!
Divinipotent -- Having extraordinary divinatory powers. Something Republicans did not have last summer.
Dweomercraft -- Juggling; the magical arts. So multi-tasking counts?
Fallaciloquence -- Deceitful speech. Bill-o is a great practitioner of this.
Flesh-Spades -- Fingernails, the digging implements we have in our own flesh. Or to dig into flesh? Catfight!
Ha-Ha -- A sunken trench or ditch which is invisible until one steps in it. From the Anglo-Saxon hoeh, meaning "hole." But that may only be cover for the etymology that you just thought of.
Homerkin -- An old liquid measure for beer. Mmmmm beer...
Interfation -- The act of interrupting someone while they are speaking. Hey, I'm talking here, don't inter------
Inwit -- Conscience, knowledge from within. As opposed to acquired knowledge, outwit. And then there is no knowledge at all or nitwit.
Jobler -- One who does small jobs, a handyman. Like Schneider. Remember him?
Keleusmatically -- In an imperative manner; forcefully. The way Obama should be talking to GOPers.
Kiss the Hare's-Foot -- Be late, especially for dinner. If one arrives too late for the good parts, they will only get the leftovers, i.e. the foot. One thing you would not want to be if invited to dinner at the White House.
Lickspigot -- One who fawns or acts subservient; a brown-nose. Um... I'll let you think of your own joke.
Medioxumate -- Descriptive of gods of intermediate rank, e.g., Robigus, the Roman god of mildew. Or of Congresscritters of intermediate rank, e.g., Paul Ryan.
Melpomenish -- Tragic, from the Greek muse of tragedy, Melpomene. Like the last eight years.
Merry-go-Sorry -- A tale that evokes mixed feelings of joy and sorrow. A tale of this past election would make a good merry-go-sorry.
Molrowing -- Caterwauling; cavorting with prostitutes. Perhaps both at the same time?
Nerterology -- Study and/or knowledge relating to the dead or the underworld. One of my macabre areas of study, so that makes me a nerterologist.
Nose of Wax -- A fickle person; one who accommodates others too easily. Often used to describe persons who would change their religion as a means of protecting themselves. Joe Liebermann!
Oddwoman -- An elder woman who serves as a mediator or arbitrator of disagreements. Hillary, is that you?
Orgiophant -- One who presides over orgies. Nice work if you can get it.
Palintocy -- Repayment of interest paid on a loan. There has to be a way to make this relate to her somehow....
Phlyarologist -- One who talks nonsense. Hey, we have another word for Rush!
Pissabed -- Name for dandelion because of its effect on urination. Perhaps a new nickname for (fill in your favorite)?
Plebicolar -- Courting or appealing to the common people. Boy, do we know some folks who fit this one.
Prickmedainty -- A dandy; a person of either gender who is finicky about style and dress. Not necessarily derogatory. Keith Olbermann, maybe.
Roaky -- Hazy or unclear. From the French, rauque which describes a thick or hoarse voice. Finally, a word for the explanations about the banks!
Rogitate -- To ask frequently. When the kids keep asking, "Are we there yet?" you can tell them not to rogitate. That oughta shut 'em up!
Shittle -- Unconstant, unstable. From Old Eng, sceotan "to run hastily." Get your mind out of the gutter!
Smellsmock -- A licentious man, specifically a man of the cloth who broke his vows; a lecherous womanizer who could "smell out" easy prey. Insert obligatory Bill Clinton joke here.
Stiricide -- Pertaining to the falling of icicles from a building. So, does it also describe murder by icicle? Those frozen fiends!
Stoop-gallant -- Something that humbles the great and makes them only human. Something like losing an election by a huge margin?
Tear Cat -- A derogatory term for over-acting thespians; a ham or scenery-chewer. Not invented solely for William Shatner.
Theomeny -- The wrath of God. Dogs and cats, living together...
Trundle-Tail -- A lowly mutt. Benji, where are you? Your nation needs your muttly charm.
Turngiddy -- Dizzy. Like you get when you play a drinking game while watching CPAC coverage.
Vampirarchy -- Rule by those comparable to vampires. Not rule by Dracula.
Velvet Horn -- A contemptuous term for a beginner; a newbie. From the horns of a young deer, covered in velvet. "They called Barrak a velvet horn but he proved them wrong. In a world where newbies are eaten like Sunday dinner, comes a man who can take it. It's... OBAMA!!"
Whiteliver -- A coward. Evolved into "lily-livered." Oh, there are just way too many jokes here. I'm getting turngiddy!
There are oh, so many more. I bet you know a few yourself. Or maybe you have a word that you think will soon become extinct. Please share with everyone.
Comments are closed on this story.