Monday 31 December 2012

Lost Words

Playing with Parquet means I’ve been finding all manner of lost or dead words to add to those I’ve long treasured. It’s a good idea when writing not to use a word that no one is going to understand. It doesn’t make you clever; it just demonstrates what a colossal arse the writer is. You do not egress the portal, you walk through a door – even if you have to mention that at all. Nonetheless and for names and for titles, for places or things they can be fabulous as in fictional worlds there is a certain expectation for invention anyway. In the likes of Parquet, an exercise purely to enjoy spinning a world when taking a break from doing that at work anyway, it’s a lot more fun to actually use a  word that means what it says (even if in context then it looks like something made up). So as names, as places, but not as a demonstration of one’s ability to hide what is actually being written.
            These are some of my favourites that can be used in such a way. Many are old slang, some are just dead words. Some just sound good.
Acrasial. Bad-tempered, particularly mean, even unfair.
Altham. A vagabond’s woman.
Barque (of frailty). A wanton, a trollop.
Bawker. A player of games with a strong following, one with fans that howl and deride his opponent.
Belemite. Malingerer.
Bonifate,  Lucky, a fortunate man.
Botcher. Clothes-mender.
Bosky. Drunk.
Callet. Drab, dull.
Calvert. To exaggerate one’s achievements or status,
Clewner. A false scholar.
Castaldy. A position of responsibility over another’s means, the act of a reeve, a steward.
Cit. Derisory term for a trader.
Coxcomb. A fop, a dandy.
Crassulent. Grossly fat.
Crocus. A surgeon.
Crepuscule. Twilight.
Derrick. A hangman.
Dottrel. Easy mark or prey.
Drigger. A thief.
Duckies. Breasts.
Faradiddles. Lies.
Foppotee. A fool, an idiot.
Fustigate. To beat with a stick or club.
Gullgrope. To lend money.
Gully. A dagger.
Homerkin. Seventy-five gallons of beer or ale, a barrel holding that amount.
Jangles. Rumour and gossip.
Jordan. A chamberpot, (oh, the hilarity).
Mingent. One that is having a piss, or the act itself.
Murklins. The dark, in the dark.
Nithing. A weak man.
Palliard. A beggar.
Picaroon. A rogue, a pirate.
Punkateero. A pimp.
Salwog. To chase, to plunder.
Scut. A cut or dent in part of a ship.
Shonnies. Venereal diseases.
Skilly. Broth, thin soup with little substance.
Veney. Sword practise with sticks.


  1. I think I must have read 'crepuscular' for 'twilight' at some stage, because I recall wandering round the supermarket muttering 'crepuscule' under my breath as if it was a French insult. It was probably a review of one of the eponymous 'teen vampire but without any of the redeeming humour of Buffy' series of books, come to think of it.

  2. Sam HellmorMay 09, 2019

    What's this, a corner piece?