10 English words we don’t use anymore, but should

The English language is constantly on the move; always adapting and ever-changing, morphing and creating new meanings. “Selfie-stick” and “yolo” are some of the latest new additions to our everyday language, but today we wanted to remind you of ten words that probably don’t make it into your everyday vernacular (but we think they should).

Cavilverb
 Make petty objections
“They cavilled over the menu selection”

Crapulentadjective
Given to indulging in alcohol; resulting from drunkenness

 Falderolnoun
A gewgaw or trifle; a trivial display
“There was a lot of falderol over the sporting event”

Graunchverb
Make or cause to make a crunching or grinding sound
“The train graunched against the steel tracks”

Grundyverb
A person embodying conventional propriety and prudery

Habilimentnoun
Clothing suited to a particular purpose

Meretriciousadjective
(Of decorations, literary style etc…) showily but falsely attractive
“We received meretricious gifts from his trip”

Pusillanimousadjective
Lacking courage; timid 

Quadragesimanoun
The first Sunday in Lent

Zoundsexclamation
Expressing surprise or indignation

For extra fun, we’ve also graphed the use of these words in print over time (1800s – 2000s), using Google’s Ngram Viewer.

Google Ngram chart

Click to enlarge

 

While these results aren’t exactly surprising, there’s definitely room for improvement. Zounds! Let’s use these words more often!

What words do you think should be incorporated more into colloquial speech? Don’t be pusillanimous and let us know what you think.

Oxford Australian DictionaryAll definitions are taken from the Australian Oxford Dictionary
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