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August 20, 2015 at 10:14 am

19 amazing English words we’ve totally forgotten about

1. Twirlblast

A tornado, according to people in the 1700s. Why we switched to tornado, I’ll never understand.

2. Chork

The act of making the sound your shoes make when you’re walking in them and they’re full of water.

3. Interrobang

This actually does not refer to the activities of a successful third date, but rather refers to a specific punctuation mark that is a mixture of a question mark and an exclamation mark (‽). The fact that we choose to write ?!?! instead of using interrobangs is just sheer laziness.

4. Groaning-cheese

This amazing word refers to the Medieval belief that a woman in labor could be made to feel better by giving her some cheese. Nowadays, it’s simply cheese that’s celebratory of a birth.

5. Uglyography

Poor handwriting.

6. Ultracrepidarian

One who gives their opinions on things they don’t know about. This is a very old word derived from a Greek story. A shoemaker had approached the famous Greek painter, Apelles of Kos, and pointed out that he had drawn the sandal wrong. When Apelles fixed the sandal, the excited shoemaker began critiquing other parts of the painting. Apelles said to him, ”Sutor, ne ultra crepidum,” or, “Shoemaker, not above the sandal.” The term “ultracrepidarianism” became popular in Britain in the 19th century.

7. Feague

To put a live eel up a horse’s butt. Bafflingly, this is sometimes used to refer to trying to lift someone’s spirits. Or maybe horses really love having live eels up their butts. I know very little about horses.

8. Trumpery

Things that look nice, but are actually pretty worthless. Shockingly, this is a very old, medieval English saying, and not one that was invented in reference to a current politician.

9. Throttlebottom

A dishonest public official.

 

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