10 Uncommon Words We Need to Bring Back

Due to a sometimes cringe-worthy marriage between young teens and social media, new words are getting created all the time. Hashtags and Snapchat videos can circulate these hip terms fairly quickly. Some of my favorites include the ironic use of “bae,” the not ironic use of “yeet,” and the always proud, “retweet!” Language is quickly evolving, more so now than ever before. That’s fine; however, along the way, I think we’ve neglected to use some great old-fashioned words. Some of them are so seldom used that they sound like entirely new words when spoken. I hereby request that we, as an urban society, start paying homage to the following forgotten words.

  1. Groovy. This is a word not so much lost as it is underappreciated. When someone asks how you’re doing, instead of responding with the typical, “I’m good” or, “I’m fine,” try throwing in a, “groovy.” Most of the time when people hear it, they look at you funny but they usually laugh, too. Don’t overuse it, though, lest it lose its luster.
  2. Dandy. This is another one that I like to throw into introductory conversations. It’s fun! It’s different! It’s positive! It’s…dandy!
  3. Gruntled. Most of us are familiar with the word “disgruntled.” Yet, we always seem to leave its equally charming antonym, “gruntled,” to rot in the dictionary. It means exactly what you think it would: to be content and satisfied. I like this one because it doesn’t sound pleasant, but the meaning of it is.
  4. Piffle. Piffle is nonsense. To me, this sounds like it would be an onomatopoeia for blowing puffs off a dandelion, but it isn’t. Similar to wonderful words like “impossible” or “outrageous,” “piffle” is simply another way to say, “that’s ridiculous!”
  5. Curmudgeon. You may not know it, but you’ve met a heap of curmudgeons in your lifetime. They are bad-tempered, cranky folk who are difficult to please. Anybody who has ever worked in fast-food has encountered countless curmudgeons. Can I get an amen?
  6. Loquacious. I remember learning this in an elementary literature course and thinking, “Hey, that describes me!” “Loquacious” means talkative. Next time your friend won’t stop going on and on, consider groaning, “Ugh, you’re so loquacious!” instead of the overused, “Shut up!”
  7. Subterfuge. This one can have varying implications, depending on the context. You can subterfuge someone, meaning, to deceive or trick. It is also possible to subterfuge a rule or escape a consequence. The word sounds mysterious, and the meaning of it is too. How groovy!
  8. Grumpish. Curmudgeons are often grumpish. When somebody frowns or snaps at you, you might say, “Why so grumpish?”
  9. Gorgonize. This word is derived from mythology. Medusa, for example was a gorgon. As a result, “gorgonize” means to hypnotize someone. I admit, there probably isn’t much room in daily conversation for this one, but it’s a good word to keep in your back pocket in case you want to impress somebody.
  10. Twaddle. Last but not least, never spew twaddle! Twaddling is to write or speak in a juvenile manner. Twaddle produces poor grammar habits and repetitious speech patterns. By applying the above words to your vocabulary, you can more easily avoid the atrocity which is twaddle.

What are some of your favorite words?

Written by Karoline

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