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11 Old Words We Should Bring Back

Published: April 23, 2018

Language is always changing, like a living, breathing animal. But some words are more like roadkill, forsaken to a time gone by. They don’t have to be, however. Here are some outdated words that deserve a comeback along with examples of how they might be used today.


Carking: (adjective) burdensome, annoying

Ashley would have been on time for her yoga class if it hadn’t been for the carking traffic.


Afternoonified: (adjective) presentable, smart or sophisticated

It’s a shame Henry is sporting a Merlot stain on his otherwise afternoonified linen suit.


Chockablock: (adjective) full

“We will have to part with your stepmother’s wooden swan collection since our storage unit is chockablock with golf clubs and wicker baskets.”


Chirr: (noun) the short vibrant or trilled sound of an insect

Henrietta’s know-it-all granddaughter advised her that the sound of the cicadas was not a chirp, but a chirr.


Aphonia: (noun) loss of voice and of all but whispered speech

Henrietta was admittedly appreciative of her granddaughter’s aphonia after a week of babysitting the little smart aleck.


Orotund: (adjective) marked by fullness, strength, and clarity of sound

The preacher’s orotund voice is captivating, but this sermon is pushing two hours.


Rawgabbit: (noun) a person who speaks confidently but ignorantly

Dr. McKinney was accustomed to dealing with rawgabbits, but she never thought her son-in-law would attempt to explain obstetrics to her.


Lummox: (noun) a clumsy person

A cracked iPhone screen is the calling card of a hopeless lummox.


Chuffy: (adjective) fat or chubby

After months on the gluten-free diet, Karen is still as chuffy as ever.


Termagant: (noun) a harsh-tempered or overbearing woman

Gerald learned a tough lesson when he tossed around the word termagant in an argument with his wife.


Overmorrow: (adverb) the day after tomorrow

“I wish today would never end, because I have a root canal tomorrow and a colonoscopy overmorrow.”


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  • Gerard Andree

    “Carking” would be a good and acceptable substitute for the F-bomb alternative that is becoming all too prevalent.

  • These ARE interesting words, and like your examples of how they could be revived (or recycled?) for modern use. If any of these might have a second chance, it could be ‘Lummox’ because it seems related to clumsy.

    ‘Rawgabbit’, but not for the example stated here. No. This sounds like a cleaned-up (albeit goofy) version of one of my fairly often used swear words when something upsetting happens. I know God would be pleased.

    ‘Chocablock’ too, but not for the example stated here either. I’m thinking maybe for a chocolate product like “Choc-a-Block” or “Block-a-Choc” ? As for the rest, they’re good for throwing people for a loop if/when you need to.