Culture

13 Old-Timey Words We Should Bring Back And Two We Shouldn’t

by Tod Perry

August 13, 2018

Like any other aspect of culture, our language evolves over time. With the advent of mass media and the internet, language, especially slang, has changed at an even faster pace. 

Obviously, there are words that have racist or sexist origins which are best left to the dustbin of history, but there are a lot of funny and useful words that have fallen by the wayside that we should definitely bring back.


1. Humbug 

Def: Deceptive or false talk or behavior.
Use: “P.T. Barnum referred to himself as the ‘Prince of Humbugs.’

2. Grubbling

Def: The art of searching through your pockets for for small objects.
Use: “After leaving the Uber, Malcolm went grubbling through his pockets to be sure he had his cell phone.”

3. Kakistocracy

Def: A state or country run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens.
Use: “Under Trump, the United States has devolved into a kakistocracy.”

4. Chuckaboo

Def: A best friend or really close friend.
Use: “Me and my chuckaboo are going to hit the pub for some libations.”

5. Jargogle

Def: To confuse, jumble.  
Use: “Don’t jargogle my mind with all your facts and figures. Just tell me that I’m right.”

6. Deliciate

Def: To take one’s pleasure, enjoy oneself, revel, luxuriate.
Use: “After this fine dinner, I’m going to deliciate myself over some cheesecake at Junior’s.”

7. Freck

Def: To move swiftly or nimbly.
Use: “She frecked her way from the blue line to the goal with the grace of a swan.”

8. Brannigan

Def: A drinking bout; a spree or binge.
Use: “My chuckaboo and I went on a brannigan last night and now my brain feels like hamburger.”

via GIPHY

9. Illecebrous 

Def: Alluring, enticing, attractive.
Use: “Beyonce looked illecebrous during the Super Bowl halftime show.”

10. Thrice

Def: Three times.
Use: “Once, twice, thrice times a lady.” — Lionel Richie

11. Febricula

Def: Light, transient fever.
Use: “Sorry, boss. Looks like I’ve come down with a bit of a febricula. I can’t come into work.”

12. Namelings

Def: Those bearing the same name.
Use: “Graham Greene, the actor, and Graham Greene, the author, are namelings.”

13. Barbigerous

Def: Characterised by having a beard.

Use: “David Letterman used to be clean-shaven, now he’s barbigerous.”

via GIPHY

Two we shouldn’t bring back.

1. Hussy

Def: Derogatory term for the female head of a household.
Use: “Andrea is too assertive. What a hussy.”

Why should a calling someone a hussy be an insult?

2. Bugger

Def: To mess up.

Use: “I buggered the question.”

The word was originally a homophobic term for men who practiced anal sex. 

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13 Old-Timey Words We Should Bring Back And Two We Shouldn’t