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Words We Don't Use

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Rowan
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Words We Don't Use

Post by Rowan » Mon January 16th, 2012, 8:05 pm

Okay I'm going to try to remember to do this for a whole year and maybe get some conversations going as well. I bought the 2012 desk calendar 'Forgotten English' and thought that this might be a good place to share these words. So every day I'll post a new forgotten word and its meaning. Hopefully someone will find these useful. :o

Here are all of the words/phrases up to 16/01/12:

hoppinjohn - black-eyed peas cooked with hog jowl, the traditional New Year's dinner in many well-to-do families who would not eat such coarse food on any other day... In Civil War days, some planters who had nothing to eat but black-eyed peas at a New Year's dinner were lucky enough to regain their fortunes, and later on the somehow connected this good luck with the New Year's hoppinjohn... It is considered very important in some districts to have black-eyed peas for dinner on New Year's Day. I have known country folk who rode a long way to get these peas for a New Year's dinner, even though they did not care particularly for black-eyed peas, and seldom ate them at any other time. ~Vance Randolph's Ozark Superstitions, 1947

ambigu - In the 18th century the word was used to describe a plentiful assemblage of hot and cold dishes. When George II and his Queen attended the wedding of their son Frederick there was a "Supper in Ambigu"... [in which] guests were offered forty-five hot dishes and fifteen cold. "Ambo" is the Latin for both, and both temperatures were certainly there to taste. Yet the great "spread" has a title which suggests uncertainty. There was much on the royal tables to invite overeating and nothing to cause intellectual confusion, unless the composition of some of the dishes was mysterious and misleading, and so menacing to those with queasy stomachs. But the title [ambigu] can hardly have been chosen as an admonition to go carefully. It sounded well; it looked imposing; it made hot and cold look distressingly plebeian. So for a while it was a vogue word and gave joy to those who had acquired it. It may return. Vogues are brief, and perhaps the restaurant which seeks modish customers by announcing its agreeable ambiance may now announces the pleasures of an ambigu. ~Ivor Brown's Ring of Words, 1967

toad-under-a-harrow - The comparative situation of a poor fellow whose wife - not satisfied with the mere henpecking of her helpmate - takes care that all the world shall witness the indignities she puts upon him. The expression is also applied to any other similar, if such there be, state of misery. ~John Brockett's Glossary of North Country Woods, 1825

crazelty - Infirm or dilapidated. It is said of a sick person or one out of sorts; a gate ready to fall is crazelty. ~Alfred Easther's Dialect of Almondbury and Huddersfield, 1883

Crazeling, a person affected with a craze or mania. ~ Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1893.

dashelled - Beaten about and wetted by bad weather. ~John Bactaggart's Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia, 1824

[Related to] dashel, a brush for sprinkling holy water; [1500s]. ~Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1897.

bundling - The betrothed or engaged pair went to bed, or more frequently lay together in their clothes... Even among families of good position it is tacitly recognized and tolerated, and it was at the outset the product of the clothed state, where touch had to play the part of sight in the unclothed. Bundling used to be a widely diffused Welsh custom before marriage.

gubbertushed - Having projecting teeth. ~William Whitney's Century Dictionary, 1889

good man's croft - It was customary for famers to leave a portion of their fields uncropped, which was a dedication to the evil spirit called good man's croft. The Church exerted itself for a long time to abolish this practice, but farmers... were afraid to discontinue the practice for fear of ill luck. I remember a farmer as late as 1825 always leaving a small piece of field uncropped, but then did not know why. At length he gave the right of working these bits to a poor labourer, who did well with it, and in a few years the farmer cultivated the whole himself. ~James Napier's Superstitious Beliefs in the West of Scotland, 1879

drury - Gallantry, courtship; love, delight; from French drue, a mistress. ~Herbert Coleridge's Oldest Words in the English Language, 1863.

sennight - A period of seven (days and) nights; a week. ~Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1914.

lycanthropia - A variety of melancholy in which the person believes himself to be changed into a wolf, and imitates the voice and habits of that animal. ~Robley Dunglison's Dictionary of Medical Science, 1844

benedict - A married man. From Benedict, the husband of Beatrice, in Much Ado About Nothing. ~James Maitland's American Slang Dictionary, 1891

galericulate - Covered, as with a hat. ~Samuel Johnson's Dictionary of the English Language, 1755.

petrified kidneys - Kidney-shaped stones formerly used to pave the footpaths, and even now to be met with in remote villages. ~G.F. Northall's Warwickshire Word-Book, 1896

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LoveHistory
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Post by LoveHistory » Mon January 16th, 2012, 8:39 pm

Beatrice's suitor in Much Ado About Nothing is Benedick, not Benedict.

I use the word sennight, though only in my writing.

I like the explantion of drury. That would make Drury Lane akin to Lovers Lane.

Love crazelty! Ambigu is nice as well.

Wasn't one or both participants in bundling supposed to be sewn into a cloth so that nothing untoward could occur?

I've heard of Hoppin' John before. Must be I read it in a book.

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Rowan
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Post by Rowan » Mon January 16th, 2012, 8:46 pm

[quote=""LoveHistory""]Beatrice's suitor in Much Ado About Nothing is Benedick, not Benedict.[/quote]

Guess Mr Maitland wasn't as familiar with Shakespeare as he hoped. :p

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Post by annis » Tue January 17th, 2012, 4:08 am

I definitely feel crazelty at times, especially at the moment while trying to cope wth a new computer system at work :( Crazeling is good, too.

I like the Northern English word mazelin as well - it means a simpleton or someone who's not quite with it. Like many words from the north of England it originates from Old Norse- there was large-scale Norse settlement of areas like Cumbria in the 10th century and a lot of ON is still apparent in local dialect and place names.

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Madeleine
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Post by Madeleine » Tue January 17th, 2012, 9:55 am

I've come across sennight, I think in EC's books.

Looking forward to the word of the day!
Currently reading: "Fear on the Phantom Special" by Edward Marston.

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Rowan
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Post by Rowan » Tue January 17th, 2012, 1:41 pm

Not sure I understand the definition of today's phrase, but here goes:

graveyard issues - A bold and gruesome metaphor to describe what can only be carried out by extreme measures, and to obtain which one might have to fight to the death. ~John Farmer's Americanisms Old and New, 1889

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Brenna
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Post by Brenna » Tue January 17th, 2012, 1:59 pm

bundling - The betrothed or engaged pair went to bed, or more frequently lay together in their clothes... Even among families of good position it is tacitly recognized and tolerated, and it was at the outset the product of the clothed state, where touch had to play the part of sight in the unclothed. Bundling used to be a widely diffused Welsh custom before marriage.

I think that is still used and yes, I think it means that one or both of people are "bundled" into blankets. Actually, if I'm not mistake, they are each rolled into their own blankets and then laid next to each other for warmth.
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fljustice
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Post by fljustice » Tue January 17th, 2012, 3:36 pm

[quote=""Rowan""]bundling - The betrothed or engaged pair went to bed, or more frequently lay together in their clothes... Even among families of good position it is tacitly recognized and tolerated, and it was at the outset the product of the clothed state, where touch had to play the part of sight in the unclothed. Bundling used to be a widely diffused Welsh custom before marriage.[/quote]

I've heard of "bundling boards" which were put (edge on) down the middle of the bed to separate the sleepers.

Agree crazelty is a great word!
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Ludmilla
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Post by Ludmilla » Tue January 17th, 2012, 6:45 pm

[quote=""Madeleine""]I've come across sennight, I think in EC's books.

Looking forward to the word of the day![/quote]

Sennight is used a lot in fantasy as well as older historicals and historical romances.

I like dashelled and hope my husband never feels like a toad-under-a-harrow.

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Alisha Marie Klapheke
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Post by Alisha Marie Klapheke » Tue January 17th, 2012, 9:19 pm

I read a scene about bundling in Deborah Harkness' A Discovery of Witches. It's rather sexy. I also saw a bundling scene in the movie The Patriot with Mel Gibson (eye roll) and the sadly now deceased Heath Ledger. Very cute one there.

I was dashelled today. A tornado came winding its nasty way down my road. I'm fine. Just a bit dashelled. : )

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