One of my most prized books is a single-volume edition of the Oxford Universal Dictionary. Longer, of course, than the Shorter Oxford but nowhere as long as the 12-volume Complete Oxford, its 2515 pages nevertheless contain tens of thousands of words that do not reside in a 21st Century Anglophone’s daily vocabulary. I always enjoy opening it at random and seeing how many words completely unknown to me I can find. Sometimes I even commit a few to memory and try to use them – after all, a word is still a word, even if it has fallen into disuse. And so, ignoring the countless botanical, chemical and biological terms in the book, I have found easily enough for many Thursday Thirteens. Here’s one:
13 Obscure, Obsolete or Otherwise Unusual Words
Exust – To burn up.
Cervelat – A short reed instrument
Cunctator – Someone who is tardy or delays matters
Porrect – Stretched out forward
Looby – A lout, clown
Purfle – The embroidered edge of a garment
Fard – White paint used as face make-up
Patefy – To disclose, make open
Roband – Nautical term for a small piece of rope
Shoat – A young pig
Neaf – A fist
Recado – A gift or compliment
Izzard – The letter Z. This has become shortened to Zed in the English speaking world, except in the USA, where for some reason I have never been able to ascertain, it is known as Zee.