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 Here are some outdated words that deserve a comeback along with examples of how they might be used today.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.”