Obsolete words

Obsolete words

Jargogle (verb) “To confuse, jumble” – First of all this word is just fun to say in its various forms. John Locke used the word in a 1692 publication, writing “I fear, that the jumbling of those good and plausible Words in your Head..might a little jargogle your Thoughts…” I’m planning to use it next time my husband attempts to explain complicated Physics concepts to me for fun: “Seriously, I don’t need you to further jargogle my brain.”

Widdendream (noun) “A state of mental disturbance or confusion” – I can start using this obsolete Scottish word right away: “While working on writing my thesis, I find I am constantly in widdendream.”

Malagrugrous (adj.) “Dismal” – This adjective is from Scots and may be derived from an old Irish word that refers to the wrinkling of one’s brow. An 1826 example of its use is “He looketh malagrugorous and world-wearied.” I’m tempted to also make the word into a noun: “Stop being such a malagrug!”

With thanks to HEATHER CARREIRO https://matadornetwork.com/abroad/20-obsolete-english-words-that-should-make-a-comeback/2/

Untranslatable words

Toska (Russian) – Vladmir Nabokov describes it best: “No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody or something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom.”

Litost (Czech) – Milan Kundera, author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, remarked that, “As for the meaning of this word, I have looked in vain in other languages for an equivalent, though I find it difficult to imagine how anyone can understand the human soul without it.” The closest definition is a state of agony and torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery.

Cafuné (Brazilian Portuguese) “The act of tenderly running one’s fingers through someone’s hair.”

Torschlusspanik (German) – Translated literally, this word means “gate-closing panic,” but its contextual meaning refers to “the fear of diminishing opportunities as one ages.”

Wabi-Sabi (Japanese) – Much has been written on this Japanese concept, but in a sentence, one might be able to understand it as “a way of living that focuses on finding beauty within the imperfections of life and accepting peacefully the natural cycle of growth and decay.”

Dépaysement (French) – The feeling that comes from not being in one’s home country.

Hyggelig (Danish) – Its “literal” translation into English gives connotations of a warm, friendly, cozy demeanor, but it’s unlikely that these words truly capture the essence of a hyggelig; it’s something that must be experienced to be known. I think of good friends, cold beer, and a warm fire.

Duende (Spanish) – While originally used to describe a mythical, spritelike entity that possesses humans and creates the feeling of awe of one’s surroundings in nature, its meaning has transitioned into referring to “the mysterious power that a work of art has to deeply move a person.” There’s actually a nightclub in the town of La Linea de la Concepcion, where I teach, named after this word.

Saudade (Portuguese) – One of the most beautiful of all words, translatable or not, this word “refers to the feeling of longing for something or someone that you love and which/who is lost.” Fado music, a type of mournful singing, relates to saudade.

With thanks to JASON WIRE at https://matadornetwork.com/abroad/20-awesomely-untranslatable-words-from-around-the-world/

Some more untranslatable words

Struisvogelpolitiek (Dutch) Literally, “ostrich politics.” It’s for those times when you act like you didn’t notice when something bad happened and you decide to carry on like normal.

Jugaad (Hindi) Ensuring that things happen, even when there’s minimal resources.

Poronkusema (Finnish) The distance a reindeer can comfortably travel before taking a rest.

Drachenfutter (German) The present a husband gives his wife when he’s attempting to make up for bad behavior.

With thanks to CATHY BROWN at https://matadornetwork.com/abroad/fantastic-words-around-world-impossible-translate-directly

Additional strange words

With thanks to brownielocks.com

Bloviate – To speak in a pompous or overbearing way.

Boeotian – Dull (as in personality)

Bogglish – To be uncertain, doubtful or a wee bit skittish about something.

Bouquinist – A person who deals in second-hand books.  Today, we’d call him a Used Book Salesman.

Bumbledom – Behavior such as pettiness, fussiness, pomposity, arrogance and inefficiency by minor officials.

Curwhibble –  A thing-a-ma-jig or a what-ya-ma-callit?

Flambuginous – A sham, deception, ficticious.

Kakistocracy – A government that’s run by its worst citizens

Laetificant – An adjective that means something is an anti-depressant.

Lethean  – A state of oblivion or forgetfulness.

Malist – Someone who feels that this world is just bad, not the worst or terrible place, but, nevertheless, still pretty bad.

Nihilarian – A person who deals with things of no importance.

Nithing – A contemptible or despicable  person.

Oggannition – Snarling or growling.

Ombrifuge – A shelter from rain.

Ostrobogulous – Bizarre, unusual or interesting.

Petrichor  –  After a dry spell, this is the nice smell that comes after it rains finally.

Retardataire – Behind the times (used mainly about artistic styles).

Rhyparographer – An artist whose subject matter  is sorrowful or unpleasant topics.

Snollygoster – A dishonest politician, especially shrewd or calculating

Thwarterous – Adjective meaning twisted or gnarled.

cockalorum: A little man with a high opinion of himself. Origin: 1710s As in: He’s a boastful shortarse. Total cockalorum.


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