1 January 2018 Susannah

Being a Kwaussie

Kwaussie Graphic

The National Australian Dictionary chose as its ‘new word of the year’ a word that describes me aptly – ‘Kwaussie’ (ie, someone who is both a Kiwi and an Australian).

The English language is so fabulously rich. The Oxford English Dictionary currently lists 171,476 words in current use and another 47,156 obsolete words. I would love to see a come-back for some of these old words:

  • When I wrinkle my brow it is ‘malagrugrous’
  • To ‘jargogle’ is to confuse or jumble
  • ‘Crapulous’ is what we all feel after eating too much food
  • A ‘snoutfair’ is a good-looking person
  • ‘Lunting’ is going for a walk and smoking a pipe
  • A ‘quockerwodger’ is a wooden puppet controlled by strings
  • And a ‘slubberdegullion’ is what I’d like to be for most of January (a person sprawled on a sofa with no intention of moving)
The Extraordinary Story of The Book That Defined the World

The Extraordinary Story of The Book That Defined the World

Words are endlessly fascinating and I am fond of books about lexicography, the art of writing dictionaries.

Here are some favourites you might like to try: Dr Johnson’s Dictionary: The Extraordinary Story of the Book that Defined the World by Henry Hitchings, The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester, The Surgeon of Crowthorne by Simon Winchester and Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries by Kory Stamper.

I hope the New Year celebrations do not bring you any ‘woofits’ (hangovers) from being a ‘vinipote’ (wine drinker), that your Christmas banquets have not made you ‘batten’ (grow fat) and that you have a ‘chatillionte’ (delightful, sparkling) New Year.

Do you have any favourite words that have fallen out of common usage? Let me know yours in the comments.

  Susannah Fullerton: HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Dr Samuel Johnson
  Susannah Fullerton: Do You Ditch or Endure?

   Dr Johnson’s Dictionary: The Extraordinary Story of the Book that Defined the World by Henry Hitchings
   The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester
   The Surgeon of Crowthorne by Simon Winchester
   Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries by Kory Stamper

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Featured image credit- Kwaussie Graphics, http://www.graphicsbuzz.com/graphics/kwaussie-graphics-3aaa90.html
Body image credit- Dr Johnson’s Dictionary: The Extraordinary Story of the Book that Defined the World by Henry Hitchings, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/75610.Defining_the_World
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Comments (6)

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Especially if it is persiflage about Jane Austen?? It is a fabulous word!

  1. I like ‘bloviate’ and ‘bloviating’, old words that have come back into fashion over the last year, where they have made many appearances, particularly in the American press. And I have long been fond of the term ‘rebarbative’ (unpleasant, aggressive, literally ‘beard to beard’)- another word that could well be revived for our times!

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Rebarbative is wonderful – even sounds harsh and aggressive, with those bs in it. Happy New Year Ros.

  2. Cathy Morrison

    “To groak”. To watch someone eat, hoping they will give you a bit.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Love it! I should be groaking all of Jan, if I can manage to start my diet!

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