Humans come up with words to describe reality. But sometimes words drop out of common usage, and when they do, we lose the insights they gave us. And so, reports the BBC:
Paul Anthony Jones has compiled 366 ‘forgotten words’ in his new book The Cabinet of Linguistic Curiosities. It has a different phrase for every day of the year (including 29 February) – with entries ranging from ‘ambilaevous’, or ‘equally clumsy in both hands’, to ‘stirrup-cup’, ‘one last drink before a departure’. While it offers titillation for the curious mind, it also serves a more noble purpose – retrieving words from languishing unread and unspoken.
What kind of words does he love most?
“I like finding words that fill in a gap – there’s one called ‘frowst’ – it’s an old 19th-Century schoolboy slang word for ‘extra time spent in bed on a Sunday’. The fact that anyone thought to come up with that word is great – it’s something that everybody needs,” says Jones. “A lot of them are dialect – I found one, ‘shivviness’, in an English dialect dictionary; it means ‘the uncomfortable feeling of wearing new underwear’ and comes from ‘shiv’, which is an old Yorkshire dialect word for a splinter or a loose thread. It’s that idea of something being itchy.”
But let's get to the Let Grow point. For our purposes, it's a shame that we have lost this particular word:
From Yorkshire dialect, meaning ‘weak as an adult due to a sheltered or pampered childhood’.
How is it that another era recognized this obvious truth, but today we do not have a word for this same problem? Time to revive OAF-ROCKED! Use it today! In fact, if so moved, use it in your comments.