English is a crustacean language. It grows and sheds words to make room for new ones, which is a good thing. People may be aghast that “literally” now also means figuratively, but all words and their definitions are made up. We can use them however we want–change the meaning, mash them together, and throw away the old ones. No one can tell me they feel good when a Boomer uses flibbertigibbet in a sentence. But sometimes, old garbage becomes vintage. In which case, it’s high value, and you’ll always regret throwing away that sweater-set your mother gave you when you were 14 because it was ugly and smelled weird.
Here are 10 weird words in the trash heap of the English language that we should all consider bringing back.
Photo by ActionVance on Unsplash
To pawn, mortgage, or pledge. Kind of like how the 1% has impignorated the planet’s future for an absurd amount of wealth hoarding now. Throw this in your next @ Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk.
This term was explicitly for sugarcane plants to describe small shoots from the base of the plant. But since we’re all plant parents now, I say we co-opt it for our purposes. Like, “I’m feeling blessed today, I’ve got a lot of ratoons on my pothos.”
Like the opposite of yeet. When you consume something quickly, you xertz it. “We gotta go, my guy, xertz that bag of chips, and let’s get out of here.”
Photo by Danylo Suprun on Unsplash
If you dread speaking up in your Zoom meetings but feel insecure about it, drop this three-dollar word to let people know you’re not shy and riddled with anxiety, you’re a refined form of eloquent. It’s an adjective meaning to use few words, either in speeches or conversation.
Leaving suddenly. “Irish goodbye,” is a tired turn of phrase and doesn’t even have a cohesive definition. Use it around Irish Boomers, and they think it means saying goodbye but never leaving because that’s how the Irish did it in their day. Instead, say someone absquatulated from the party.
If you bought GME at $4, you experienced nikhedonia at the end of January as prices climbed to almost $500. It’s the anticipation of success, either from watching a sporting event, playing a game with friends, or when you realize you only need a 70% on your final to get an A for the semester.
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
So far, 2021 has been a kind of malneirophrenia, the feeling you get after waking up from a bad dream. I don’t know why we collectively decided 12/31/2020 would be a reset on the pandemic, but for the past six weeks, it’s been the mounting realization that COVID will be a yearS long issue.
We’ve been doing a lot of fat-sorrow work over the past year. Fat-sorrow is the sadness made better by buying stuff. It comes from the phrase, “A fat-sorrow is better than a lean-sorrow.” Which is just saying it’s better to be bummed out and rich than bummed out and poor.
Sickness from gluttony. Describing drinking until you throw up as crapulence is basic, instead apply it to the areas of your life where you’re a real glutton, “I need to lock my phone up, I have crapulence from TikTok, again.”
I’m not recommending we use this word in our daily language, I’m saying we all know this definition intimately, without knowing the word. Kakkorhaphiophobia is the fear of failure. Ironic since it’s impossible to pronounce, so it causes you to fail.