Betrump, tremblable and rouzy-bouzy – York Uni discovers 30 old words we should all be using today

They've been delving deep into the dictionary. Photograph © stevepb on Pixabay
17 Sep 2017 @ 5.03 pm
| Education, History

Are you one of those losengers who likes to betrump a snout-fair maiden?

Or perhaps an awhaping nickum who causes folk to tremblable and hugge? Why, you make me swerk…

That could soon be a typical exchange if University of York researchers get their way.

They have compiled a list of “lost” English words in the hope that they could be brought back into modern day usage.

Are you a dowsabel or a momist?

Does the word ‘betrump’ remind you of anyone? Photograph © Gage Skidmore on Flickr

A team from the Department of Language and Linguistic Science spent three months scouring historic texts to uncover 30 words that are no longer used but could still be relevant today.

The list includes words such as “betrump” – meaning to deceive, cheat or elude – and “slug-a-bed” – a person who lies in late. You can read the full list below.

“We were intrigued by the challenge of developing a list of lost words that are still relevant to modern life and that we could potentially campaign to bring back into modern day language,” said senior lecturer Dominic Watt.

“To allow people to really imagine introducing these words back into their everyday lives, we’ve chosen words that fit within themes still relevant to the average person.

“Within these themes, we’ve identified lost words that are both interesting and thought-provoking, in the hope of helping people re-engage with language of old.”

A campaign has now been launched, by insurance company Privilege Insurance, to bring back the public’s favourite words from the list to modern English.

To vote go here.

The new old words

Ambodexterone who takes bribes from both sides
Awhapeto amaze, stupefy with fear, confound utterly
Betrumpto deceive, cheat; to elude, slip from
Coney-catchto swindle, cheat; to trick, dupe, deceive
Dowsabela sweetheart
Ear-rentthe figurative cost to a person of listening to trivial or incessant talk
Fumish inclined to fume, hot-tempered, irascible, passionate; characterised by or exhibiting anger or irascibility
Huggeto shudder, shrink, shiver, or shake with fear or with cold
Hugger-muggerconcealment, secrecy
Losengera false flatterer, a lying rascal, a deceiver
Man-millinerysuggestive of male vanity or pomposity
Merry-go-sorrya mixture of joy and sorrow
Momista person who habitually finds fault; a harsh critic
Nickuma cheating or dishonest person
Pargetto daub or plaster the face or body with powder or paint; to cover with cosmetic
Peacockizeto behave like a peacock; to pose or strut ostentatiously
Perchera person who aspires to a higher rank or status; an ambitious or self-assertive person
Quacksalver a person who dishonestly claims knowledge of or skill in medicine; a pedlar of false cures
Roukera person who whispers or murmurs; one who spreads tales or rumours
Rouzy-bouzyboisterously drunk
Ruffto swagger, bluster, domineer
Sillytoniana silly or gullible person
Slug-a-bedone who lies long in bed through laziness
Snout-fairhaving a fair countenance; fair-faced, comely, handsome
Stomachingfull of malignity; given to cherish anger or resentment
Swerkto be or become dark; to become gloomy, troubled, or sad
Teento vex, irritate, annoy, anger, enrage; to inflict suffering upon; to afflict, harass; to injure, harm
Tremblablecausing dread or horror; dreadful
Wasteheartused to express grief, pity, regret, disappointment or concern
Wlonkproud, haughty; rich, splendid, fine, magnificent.