Though these days the term wordmonger refers to "a writer or speaker who uses language pretentiously or carelessly," please join me in proposing a new meaning. A fishmonger appreciates and promotes fish, therefore, a wordmonger does the same for words.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Lost words of the crass variety


Lost words of the crass variety


Last week’s post involved some lost words I thought we should consider reviving from Susan Kelz Sperling’s fascinating book, Poplollies and Bellibones. In the comments section, Rachel6 suggested that maybe at least one of the words I chose was better off dead. Her comment inspired this post, which features some words nobody would want to be called. Though the behaviors that inspired the words continue, it’s unlikely anyone will drag these words out from their graves & sling them in the direction of anyone alive today.

breedbate – one who starts quarrels for the joy of it

fopdoodle – a fool, a simpleminded & insignificant fellow

lickspittle – a toady or fawning subordinate (much like last week’s lickspigot)

wallydraigle – a trifling, weak and ineffective person, or a slovenly woman

rutterkin – a crafty, misleading swindler

a nose of wax – this refers to a person so weakly fickle s/he will accommodate others at any cost, even to the point of denying those things or people most important to him/her

hufty-tufty – a man so full of himself he’s compelled to brag non-stop

smellsmock – a womanizer, a lecher, a man with roving eyes & more

Though I’m certain anyone reading this post is 100% sweetness & light, please imagine briefly that you were the sort who might use such crass words as these. Which one(s) would you most want at your disposal?


9 comments:

  1. "Lickspittle." Shakespearean bite, contemptuous inflection...it's the perfect insult for the high and mighty! "Smellsmock" is also quite evocative.

    But "breedbate?" Hm. That one I'll not exhume.

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  2. Breedbate! I've been looking for another word for Internet troll. I think that one might do nicely. I always feel like a wallydraigle around them. All fabulous words, Mr. Monger!

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  3. Hey Rachel6 & Anne - One of you would like to breathe new life into breedbate, while the other would like to see breedbate stay forever interred. Life's funny that way. And Anne, I've never thought of you as a wallydraigle.

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  4. Oh, I like hufty-tufty. I know a couple of folks who tend toward hufty-tuftiness and I think the next time I have to sit through a self aggrandizing episode I will smile and sing hufty-tufty to myself. Or dare I sing it out loud? Nah, that might turn me into a breedbate.

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  5. Hey Christine - I officially dub you a non-breedbate; you can sing whatever you like under your breath.

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  6. I KNEW A GUY NAMED WALLY DRAIGLE. HE FLUNKED KINDERGARTEN.

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  7. I have to admit, rutterkin just tickles my funnybone. That one will definitely make it into my YA fantasy series (though its definition might change on the 4th dimension), and I have a feeling that lickspittle just might hitchhick along... Thanks for the great "dead" but resurrectable words, Mr. Monger. And look for Destany's Daughter sometime in 2015...

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  8. Charlie, it's a toss up between smellsmock and hufty tufty. But I think I'd go with huffy tufty. I know somef people who would qualify. :) Again a wonderful post. Cheers, P.

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  9. Hey Steve, Susan & Paul,
    Thanks for joining me once again in the world of word fetish.

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