15 Amazing Old Words That Have Gone Unused For Far Too Long

Some words that have fallen out of use, and we think they’re too much fun not to say anymore.

Like everything in life, words are constantly changing. Go back in time, say 600 years ago, and the English language becomes almost unrecognizable. We have idioms and sayings that spring up from current events every so often. Each generation is always creating its own slang terms and phrases; it’s difficult to keep up with! That said, there are some words that have fallen out of use, and we think they’re too much fun not to say anymore. So we’ve scoured the dictionary to come up with 15 old-timey words that we feel need to make their way back into the lexicon. Check them out below and let us know your favorite in the comments section (bonus points if you use them in a sentence).

1. Poppycock

Definition– foolish words or ideas.

Etymology– 1865, American English, probably from Dutch dialect pappekak.

2. Gobbledegook

Definition– speech or writing that is complicated and difficult to understand.

Etymology– 1944, American English, first used by U.S. Rep. Maury Maverick, D.-Texas (Said he made up the word in the imitation of a turkey noise).

3. Blatherskite

Definition– a person who blathers a lot.

Etymology– 1650, bletherskate, in Scottish song “Maggie Lauder.”

4. Hornswoggle

Definition– to dupe or hoax.

Etymology– 1829, probably a fanciful formation.

5. Skosh

Definition– a small amount.

Etymology– Korean War armed forces slang, from Japanese sukoshi “few, little, some.”

6. Noodge (N)

Definition– a person who persistently pesters, annoys, or complains.

Etymology– from Yiddish nudyen, to be tedious, bore

7. Flibbertigibbet

Definition– a silly flighty person.

Etymology– 1540s, “chattering gossip, flighty woman,” probably a nonsense word meant to sound like fast talking.

8. Ballyhoo

Definition– talk or writing that is designed to get people excited or interested in something.

Etymology– 1908, from circus slang, “a short sample of a sideshow”

With these words in your vocab, you’ll be the next Shakespeare!

9. Pettifogger

Definition– a lawyer whose methods are petty, underhanded, or disreputable.

Etymology– 1560s, from petty; the second element possibly from obsolete Dutch focker, from Flemish focken “to cheat.”

10. Higgledy-piggledy

Definition– in a messy way, without order.

Etymology– 1590s, a “vocal gesture” [OED] probably formed from pig and the animal’s suggestions of mess and disorder.

11. Callipygian

Definition– having shapely buttocks.

Etymology– 1800, Latinized from Greek kallipygos, name of a statue of Aphrodite at Syracuse, from kalli-, combining form of kallos “beauty” + pyge “rump, buttocks.”

12. Effluvium

Definition– an offensive exhalation or smell.

Etymology– 1640s, from Latin effluvium “a flowing out, an outlet,” from effluere “to flow out.”

13. Hoosegow

Definition– jail.

Etymology– 1911, western U.S., probably from mispronunciation of Mexican Spanish juzgao “tribunal, court,” from juzgar “to judge.”

14. Gallimaufry

Definition– a hodgepodge, a jumbled medley.

Etymology– 1550s, from French galimafrée “hash, ragout, dish made of odds and ends.”

15. Humbuggery

Definition– false or deceptive behavior.

Etymology– 751, student slang, “trick, jest, hoax, imposition, deception,” of unknown origin.