Running out of words? Bring these back into your vocabulary!
A Michigan university has released a list of words that deserve to be used more. For the fifth year in a row, Wayne State University's Word Warriors' program announced a top 10 list of "words worth reviving."
The school asked visitors to its website to nominate words they think should be brought back into popularity. According to the website, the university's "Word Warriors" believe people limit themselves to words that are "momentarily popular" or "broadly applicable." Since English has more words than any other language, the Word Warriors want people to use as many as possible.
The website says this year's top 10 words "should be brought back to enrich our language."
1. Buncombe: Rubbish; nonsense; empty or misleading talk.
What a relief to have the election over -- that great festival of buncombe that so distracted the nation for months.
2. Cerulean: The blue of the sky.
Her eyes were a clear, deep cerulean blue, like no eyes Trevor had ever seen, and looking into them made him feel lighter than air, as though he could fly, but even if he could have flown he would have stayed where he was, content just to look.
3. Chelonian: Like a turtle (and who doesn’t like turtles?).
Weighed down by bickering and blather, the farm bill crept through Congress at a chelonian pace.
4. Dragoon: To compel by coercion; to force someone to do something they’d rather not.
After working in the yard all day, Michael was dragooned into going to the ballet instead of flopping down to watch the Red Wings on TV.
5. Fantods: Extreme anxiety, distress, nervousness or irritability.
Jeremy’s love of islands was tempered by the fact that driving over high bridges always gave him the raging fantods.
6. Mawkish: Excessively sentimental; sappy; hopelessly trite.
To her surprise, Beth found Robert’s words of love to be so mawkish that they made her feel sticky, as though she were being painted with molasses.
7. Natter: To talk aimlessly, often at great length; rarely, it means simply to converse.
You can tell our staff meetings are winding down when everybody starts nattering about their kids.
8. Persiflage: Banter; frivolous talk.
Emma hoped to get Lady Astor into a serious conversation, but as long as the King was around she could elicit only persiflage and gossip.
Literally, a cave-dweller. More frequently a backward, mentally sluggish person.
Susan felt she could have saved the company if only the troglodytes in management had taken her advice.
10. Winkle: To pry out or extract something; from the process of removing the snail from an edible periwinkle.
Jack showed no inclination to leave his seat beside Alice, but Roger was determined to winkle him out of that chair no matter what it took.
Earlier this month, a different Michigan university released its annual list of words it believes should be banned from the English language.