11 Old Words We Should Bring Back

Introduce some afternoonified words to your vocabulary.


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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 Here are some outdated words that deserve a comeback along with examples of how they might be used today.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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  1. “Carking” would be a good and acceptable substitute for the F-bomb alternative that is becoming all too prevalent.

  2. 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.


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