Bygone Words

Useful, Yet Forgotten

I was reading through a series of posts on a hobby forum when I came across the word mollycoddle. It was being used to describe the treatment of a merchant with an apparent penchant for bad service. Another visitor, no doubt a dandiprat, mocked the perfect use of mollycoddle.

This short exchange got me thinking about other great, underappreciated, and nearly abandoned words. Here are a few of my favorites.

Barbigerous : verb – characterized by having a beard

Snollyguster : noun – a person, especially a politician, who is guided by personal advantage rather than by consistent, respectable principles.

Mollycoddle : adjective – treat a person very indulgently or protectively

Jiggery-pokery : noun – dishonest or suspicious activity; trickery

Circumjacent : adjective – surrounding, lying adjacent on all sides

Dandiprat : noun – a young or insignificant person

Fandangle : noun – nonsense, elaborate ornament

Gadzooks : exclamation – an exclamation of surprise or annoyance

Hornswoggle : verb – get the better of (someone) by cheating or deception

Gingerly : adverb – in a careful or cautious manner

Father of three amazing boys and husband to their wonderful mother. Advocate for non-traditional education, and an outspoken critic of public schools.

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