Wordsmiths Weigh In On Which Obscure Words They Wish Were Used More
Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

English is an ever-evolving language, with new words coming to be and old words falling out of fashion all the time.

Some older words are actually quite useful or fun, though, and could have a place in the modern language.

Reddit user emkatherine asked:

“In the English language, what's an old-fashioned or obscure word you wish were used more often?"

“Overmorrow/ereyesterday just easier to say than the day after/before tomorrow/yesterday. l still use these terms in Dutch (overmorgen/eergisteren).”

“I wonder why the English stopped.”


“Quibble: a slight objection or criticism of a trivial matter.”


“Clement, which means mild and is most often used as an adjective to describe weather. We use ‘inclement weather’ all the time, so why not ’clement weather?’”


“Perambulate ~ Walking for pleasure”


I use this and my girlfriend rolls her eyes.“

“I take the cat on his morning perambulations.”


​“Boondoggle. Something that is a waste of time, but has the appearance of being practical.”


“Boondoggle is super common in American politics. I don't know if it's used elsewhere. Politically, it's often used to describe an expensive project that is presented as being for the public good but is actually a favor to a particular donor or a way to filter government funds to the contractor that builds it.”


“Gobsmacked, I thinks it's more common in the Commonwealth but not in America.”


“‘Common in the commonwealth’ tickled me a tad.”


“Defenestration—the act of throwing something or someone out of a window.”


If I could throw in an Old English word I wish we used?”

“Bōchord or maybe bochord : library, collection of books, essentially book +‎ hoard.”


“Aglet. That's what the end of a shoelace is called but I never hear it being used.”


“Swell. It has such a endearing charm to it.”
"’Mmm this chicken is swell!’”
"’I had a swell time with you last night’"


These words may have fallen out of fashion in much of the world, but there’s no reason we can’t bring them back. ​

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