For those who are a stickler on language and grammar....
The English language, like any other living thing, is continually in a state of change. Just as cells in our bodies die each day and are replaced with new ones, an almost imperceptible attrition in vocabulary regularly takes place, balancing the hundreds of fledgling terms that make their way into our conversations and dictionaries each year. Example of this change is the term: "Mcjob".
Examples of words long dead:
What?s forgotten about this word is its 16th century meaning which was ?an odd or inappropriate combination of two or more liquors, such as ale and wine? (or even beer and butter-milk). No one get any ideas here..
In the 18th century this meant ?to administer to a horse a suppository made of raw ginger . . . to make the horse livelier?, usually when selling the animal. Livelier, indeed.
Thus, you feaguing horse thief! Is a very good curse.
A jarkman was a 16th century ?vagabond who used his literary talents underhandedly?. Able to read and write, some even knowing Latin, such educated beggars roamed the countryside selling counterfeit passes, licenses and other certificates with official-looking seals appended. The word was still in use in the 1830s.
Again, what?s forgotten here is the word?s original meaning (in the 18th century) of the barrel (butt) on a ship from which drinking water could be scooped (scuttled); thus more generally ?a place for informal conversation?, then later ?gossip?.
But for sheer irresistible appeal, both in its resonance and in its meaning, what can compare with the noun prick-me-dainty?
A prick-me-dainty was a 16th century ?man-about town who coifed himself in an overly careful manner, frequently seeking the services of his barber, and who was . . . ridiculously exact in dress or carriage?. A dandy, in other words. Just try to slip that into a bar conversation...
A survey of some words from the past which never quite made it into Modern English. The wonderful sounds these forgotten words make ? nimgimmer, tup-running, mocteroof, frubbish, grog-blossom, wayzgoose, galligaskin, sockdolager ? are half the fun. Their fabulous meanings, particularly those that seem inevitable once you learn them, make up the rest.
Too bad it many words aren't in use anymore. We could have one tup-running conversation and no one would be the wiser.