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The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  202 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
ENTER A GALLERY OF WIT AND WHIMSY
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
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Paperback, 234 pages
Published September 7th 2000 by Touchstone
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Dan Schwent
Jan 22, 2014 Dan Schwent rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, christmas-2015
The Word Museum is a collection of words that have gone into disuse. Some of these words are absolutely marvellous. Rather than quote the entire book, I've selected a word for each letter of the alphabet.

abracadabrant - marvellous or stunning
barley-child - a child born in wedlock but in the first six months of marriage
chaser - a ram that has only one testicle
deosculation - kissing
extranean - an outsider
flamfoo - a gaudily dressed female
gallywow - a man destitute of power of begetting children
hag
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Jason Koivu
Jan 16, 2014 Jason Koivu rated it it was amazing
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
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Tony
Apr 13, 2015 Tony rated it really liked it
THE WORD MUSEUM. (2000). Jeffrey Kacirk. ****.
I’m a push-over for books about words – language in general – and this one offers lots of queer words that have somehow disappeared from our English language. The author has made forays into well-out-of-print dictionaries to find words that used to be but no longer are. He has provided definitions and cited sources. This is not a book you use to curl up in front of your fireplace with, but one that you keep handy to skim through at the odd moment. It
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Margaret
Oct 19, 2015 Margaret rated it did not like it
Didn't enjoy.

As I knew many of the words as they are STILL IN USE IN MY VOCABULARY I found it hard to consider the words "forgotten".

I think the book would have benefited from more research, more explanation of word derivation, and detailed reasoning as to why the words were chosen. Would have made for a longer book and probably a more interesting one.
Bagtree
Sep 09, 2011 Bagtree rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Krystle
Apr 27, 2013 Krystle rated it liked it
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
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GoldGato
Aug 03, 2012 GoldGato rated it really liked it
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
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Steven Burgauer
Nov 01, 2016 Steven Burgauer rated it really liked it
Entertaining.
Anna
Jan 15, 2009 Anna rated it it was amazing
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
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Mary
Apr 21, 2011 Mary rated it liked it
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
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dejah_thoris
May 27, 2016 dejah_thoris rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
If you love collecting rare English words like I do then this is the book for you! I wrote down at least 60 new words that I'm going to try to bring back and I learned many more. WARNING: The book is basically a dictionary, so if reading words and their definitions even sounds boring, don't bother trying it. Each definition is a nice little etymological history within itself, so if you do love words there's LOTS to learn even if you choose a slower method of absorption, like reading a page or a ...more
Julia
Jan 03, 2017 Julia rated it liked it
It wasn't as interesting as I hoped, mainly because of the repetition of different words used for "drunkards, lazy people, weak people, women, women who have sex, men/women who cheat, etc."
Still, a few of them were very entertaining and I wish we could bring them back:
"flesh tailor" - a surgeon
"vomitory" - a door of a large building by which the crod is let out
"tongue-fence" - debate, discussion, argument
"soul-case" - the body
"planet-ruler" - an strologer; a person who professed to tell fortunes
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Michaela
Apr 12, 2010 Michaela rated it liked it
Shelves: dictionaries
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.
Fraser Sherman
Oct 26, 2015 Fraser Sherman rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
A fun book collecting a variety of oddball archaic words and terms (though some, such as "resurrectionist" for grave robber I wouldn't have thought that obscure). However I was annoyed that individual entries don't give any dates for when the word was in use, and I've read too many mythbusting discussions of language to take all the "this word was derived from ..." theories seriously. A fun browse, but not deep.
Aiyaruk
Nov 07, 2007 Aiyaruk rated it liked it
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.
Karen
Mar 03, 2009 Karen rated it it was amazing
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
Rebes
Nov 24, 2008 Rebes rated it really liked it
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!
Maria Catherino
Mar 30, 2013 Maria Catherino rated it liked it
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.
Annette McIntyre
A short book with lots of very interesting old English words. Some very weird, some that should be revivied and some I know very well as they are still used in New Zealand
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.
Hannah
Jan 31, 2013 Hannah rated it really liked it
Fun! I'll enjoy reading it again.
Storyheart
Aug 29, 2012 Storyheart rated it really liked it
Fun way to learn new words like "pettilashery" "flamfoo" and "carfumish"
Kathi Olsen
Feb 17, 2009 Kathi Olsen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
There are so many fun things you could say to people!
Joanne
Apr 17, 2013 Joanne rated it liked it
Fun to go through. My favorite is "aflunters" which is how my hair looks when I wake up.
Gwen Burrow
Jun 17, 2010 Gwen Burrow rated it it was amazing
Shelves: logophilia
Some truly fun words in here.
brian tanabe
Sep 30, 2007 brian tanabe rated it really liked it
Another great book for word lovers.
Alaina
Apr 21, 2009 Alaina rated it liked it
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.
Douglas Wilson
Jan 21, 2009 Douglas Wilson rated it really liked it
Shelves: wordsmithing
Fun.
Boots
Boots rated it really liked it
Apr 29, 2008
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