Dust off some of these vanishing locutions to regale and enchant your kith and kin
The Global Language Monitor recently released its Top Words of the Decade (2000-2009), which include the top-ranked global warming (actually that’s two words; curiously, climate change was the top phrase), slumdog and misunderestimate.
The list of now-ubiquitous terms prompted a bit of nostalgia (which, by the way, is not an affliction of the nostrils). What about all those wonderful words that have fallen into disuse?
Here, then, is a potpourri, a mélange, a hodgepodge, a salmagundi, a pastiche of words whose use might be called a dearth or paucity, in some cases whose utilization has reached a nadir.
One of my favorites is fortnight, meaning a period of two weeks, derived from 14 nights. The only high-profile use of “fortnight” in my memory was in “So I Married an Axe Murderer” (Mike Myers playing both father Stuart and son Charlie, below):
Stuart: Oh, I hated the Colonel with his wee, beady eyes, and that smug look on his face. “Oh, you’re gonna buy my chicken! Ohhhhh!”