Lost Words

Every so often there's a story in the news about new words being added to the dictionary. Every year I send in a suggestion of,

Echomonics. n, When you tell someone how much something costs and they're so shocked they say it right back to you.

It turns out you can't just suggest words, they are added into the dictionaries through common use. Lately we have seen terms like "selfie stick" gain popularity. I remember the days when if you said someone was "playing with their selfie stick" you meant something quite different, although you could use the same w-word to describe them.

The opposite also happens, where words fall out of popular use and disappear from the language. There are lots of old words you don't hear any more, like, "please" and "thank you", eh, eh, social commentary there.

A Detroit university has started a campaign to bring back some words we have lost. I like this, it's recycling.

They say we should save "knavery". You'd use it to describe a "roguish or mischievous act". It's such an old insult the only way to get it used more would be to let Andrew Mitchell near more police officers.

Also on the list there's "caterwaul," which means a shrill or wailing noise; "rapscallion," meaning a mischievous person; and "flapdoodle," or nonsense.

So you could say, "That rapscallion was caterwauling utter flapdoodle," if you wanted to sound like Russell Brand.

Why are fun words like that leaving the language yet we still call that crop "rape seed". Come on, we all feel odd about saying it. If we can change Marathon to Snickers we can find a new word for that crop. Or reuse an old one. I hear flapdoole might be free soon.

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