The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten
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The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  141 ratings  ·  20 reviews
As the largest and most dynamic collection of words ever assembled, the English language continues to expand. But as hundreds of new words are added annually, older ones are sacrificed. Now from the author of Forgotten English comes a collection of fascinating archaic words and phrases, providing an enticing glimpse into the past. With be...more
Paperback, 234 pages
Published September 7th 2000 by Touchstone
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Jason Koivu
Glory of glories! A book about dead words! HUZZAH!

Some English words are no longer used. Jeffrey Kacirk poured through old dictionaries and found some gems. Let's go already!!! --->>>

Roozles: Wretchedness of mind; the "miserables".

Quanked: Overpowered by fatigue.

Spermologer: A picker-up of trivia, of current news; a gossip-monger; what we today would call a columnist.

Beblubbered: Swollen.

Puke-stocking: "Wilt thou rob this…puke-stocking [knave]?" 1 Henry IV Here, puke-stocking probably m...more
Probably not meant to be read cover-to-cover, but I did anyway. By my rough estimate, the words included are:
50% alcohol
25% bizarre forms of divination
12.5% hunting
12.5% prostitutes
95% excellent names for bands
A quick, fun look at some forgotten English-language words. Although it's not surprising that they're forgotten -- I can't think of much occasion to use most of these nowadays.

And then there are some that I wouldn't even consider forgotten to begin with: bedfellow, bowdlerize, Dutch auction, errorist, fabulosity, incubus, japers, jongleur, loup-garou, merkin (this word certainly made a comeback), phrenology, resurrectionist, sorditude, succubus.
Even though spell-check isn't recognizing some of t...more
Jan 24, 2009 Anna rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: word lovers
Never take a drink of all sorts.

I admit it. I gave this book a 5-star rating because of the coolness factor, and because I'm a word geek.

Here are a few of the words that have been forgotten over the centuries:

Adam's ale: Water. From the supposition that Adam had nothing but water to drink.

all sorts: A slang term designating the drippings of glasses in saloons, collected and sold at half-price to drinkers who are not overly particular.

cat-Latin: Incoherent or idle talk.

maffle: To stammer; to stut...more
Jeoparty-trot. I finally have the name for the half-run my poor legs undertake when I'm dreaming. For that knowledge alone, I truly enjoyed this book. It's full of English words that seemed to have been prevalent in various British villages since medieval times, until the rapid progress of 20th century Americanisms wiped out such eccentric language.

Ramfeezled...'I am absolutely ramfeezled at work. They're giving me too many accounts to handle.'

Knevel...'His knevel is so manly. I wonder if he bru...more
May 04, 2011 Mary rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Any who loves words and the English language
A very interesting book filled with words that have been forgotten. A couple of favorites would be:

Quidnunc (Bill O'Reilly words of the day for those of you who are Fox News Fans) - An inquisitive person, always seeking for news. The Latin words translated simply signify "What now?"

Quockerwodger - a wooden toy figure which, when pulled by a string, jerks its limbs about. The term is used in a slang sense to signify a pseudo-politician, one whose strings are pulled by somebody else. Sound familia...more
Some of the words are lovely and amusing, but I do think "most remarkable" is a stretch. This collection has a handful of remarkable words, but there is a reason most of the words included are obsolete - the actions or nouns they refer to are also obsolete, referring to outmoded ways of life. It is more a history in the guise of a dictionary. That being said, there are a few gems in here, to be found with patience, and to be mourned for their absence in our modern lives.
Nov 07, 2007 Aiyaruk rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: word lovers!
Shelves: read-nonfiction
This book is basically just a list of obscure historical words. I've almost given it away several times, but I can't bear to let go of it. It's just so much fun! Perhaps it's even a workout for the brain, too.. who knows. I like it. It's nothing all that special, and you may get bored with it while reading for more than a few minutes at a time, but it's entertaining nonetheless.
Maria Catherino
I wish the author would have gone more into depth about what these words (and their exclusion from the present day vernacular) say about society. He begins on these lines in the introduction before abandoning this line of thought entirely and simply piecing together a small dictionary.
These are all lost words that we no longer use, but they have incredibly bizzare meanings.
Some of my favorites:
abracadabrant: marvelous or stunning
feff: a bad smell or stench
hurple: to shrug against the cold
This was a gift that I read a bit at a time (I think I"m on "N" now) and it's just a lot of fun to read. Lots of goofy words and words for goofy things that thankfully we don't do as a culture anymore!
A decent collection of archaic words. The author clearly cites his sources, which is nice, but sometimes I would have liked some scholarly interpretation.

My favorite: camelopardal. Look it up.
Sandy D.
A fun book, perfect for browsing. My take on it is here.
Heather the Hillbilly Banjo Queen
Here are some of my favorites: Flurch, as in a flurch of cheerios. Cark, to be fretfully anxious. Ninny-broth, a name for coffee.
Bonnie Jeanne
Jan 25, 2009 Bonnie Jeanne marked it as to-read
The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten by Jeffrey Kacirk (2000)
Fun to go through. My favorite is "aflunters" which is how my hair looks when I wake up.
Kathi Olsen
There are so many fun things you could say to people!
Gwen Burrow
Some truly fun words in here.
Fun! I'll enjoy reading it again.
brian tanabe
Another great book for word lovers.
Evandro Da nóbrega
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Sep 15, 2014
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