Conservation efforts at work

Every so often I see on the internet a list of obsolete and/or archaic words with fantastic meanings, words for which there are no equals today. The list is usually preceded by an appeal to the reader to bring the words back into the modern lexicon, but usually there is a hopelessness in the writer’s tone indicating that he or she knows that these words are dead forever.

Stop the hopelessness, dear writer. There are plenty of words we good folk have brought back from the dead, as evidenced by a number of entries in The Lost Beauties of the English Language from 1874, a 19th century version of these obsolete words lists. Believe it or not, at one time these words were considered “lost”:

  • pixie
  • squawk
  • squirm
  • dither
  • wilt
  • rift
  • thud
  • croon

but we revived them, because they were obviously necessary to us for communication purposes. And I say if we did it before, we can do it again. In that spirit, my nominee for resurrection today is

You know, groak – silently watching someone while they are eating, hoping to be invited to join them. I don’t know about you, but this is a necessary word for me, if only because I feel it’s more dignified to be called a groaker than being told I’m begging. Let’s bring it back, shall we?

Published in: on September 9, 2013 at 5:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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