A Life Of Fiction CXIII

For those of you new to this WordPress site, this site is about me and my writing – and a little about my role-playing, as well. It gives readers a chance to sample my work before purchasing it on the Kindle store; and gives me the chance to say a little about the genesis of each novel, or about the process of writing in general.


Yet More Obscure Words: Those who have read a lot of my blog posts will realise, by now, that I have a fascination with obscure corners of our mother tongue. I like words which are dialectal; or which have fallen into disuse. if possible I try to rescue one or two of those words, and insert them into some story, or maybe into a poem. I don’t like the idea of having words disappear from our language.

The makers of dictionaries seem to be only interested in neologisms: into new words coming into our language. While those are interesting – although you will never catch me saying hashtag anything – I think that an equal amount of time should be given towards resurrecting some of the old words of the past. Each single word makes our language richer, and a little more interesting. Also, as a writer, it is a case of more synonyms the better, as you want to avoid repetition if you can.

These words I have discovered on various interesting sites on the internet. One is the Phrontistery. another is the Oxford Dictionary (online).

With very few exceptions I find that the Word program does not like these words. It underlines nearly all of them in red. So if any of you want to use these words in your writing, you might want to add them to whatever dictionary your computer is using, or have bits of red all over the computer screen.

Well, here are the words. I hope that you find some of them interesting, or maybe even useful:


Animalcule: A microscopic animal.


Bibliopole: This is a dealer in books.


Bruit: This means a report or a rumour.


Chapman: A pedlar.


Delate: Thos means to report an offence.


Endlong: This means lengthwise.


Filibeg: This is a kilt. I have encountered this word before, But I included it as it is one of my favourite words.


Gramercy: This is an expression of surprise. It may also be an expression of thanks.


Habiliment: Clothing.


Izzard: The letter Z. when I used to run Dungeons and Dragons one of my friends had a wizard called Izzard.


Jakes: An outdoor toilet.


Kickshaw: This is, apparently, a fancy but less than substantial cooked dish. And we poets now have something to rhyme with rickshaw.


Lurdan: this is an idle or useless person.


Maugre: This means in spite of.


Natheless: This mean nevertheless.


Numbles: This means the entrails of a deer, used as food. The word is in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.


Otherwhere: This means elsewhere, although it does sound like a place which Neal Gaiman might invent.


Pollard: This is an animal which has lost its horns or antlers.


Quidnunc: a gossip or nosy person.


Recreant: Cowardly.


Semovedly: This means separately.


Sweven: This means a vision (seen while sleeping) or a dream. I understand that it is used in the work 1001 Nights (the Richard Burton translation).


Swoopstake: In a rather indiscriminate manner.


Thole: This means to suffer or to endure something.


Venery: Hunting (animals).


Wist: To know.


Well, not quite an A to Z. But I hope that some of the above words might be useful. Let’s resurrect some of them, and not let them slip from our wonderful language. Back next time with a post which will not merely be a list (there are enough of those on the internet).




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s