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Random English Words and Facts

October 19, 2019

I love words and find the old ones fascinating. This is part of a list that I came across while clearing out some old files. I hope you find them as fun and interesting as I did. Connie

1. Bumblebees were nicknamed foggy-toddlers in 18th century England.
2. Cowards have been called chickens since the 14th century.
3. A monepic sentence is one that contains a single word.
4. The distance between your thumb and the opposite side of your hand when it’s extended is called the shaftment.
5. An anepronym is a trade name that has come to be used generally in the language, like Kleenex, Jacuzzi or hoover.
6. In Elizabethan English, a clap of thunder was nicknamed a rounce-robble-hobble.
7. To dismantle originally meant “to remove a cloak.”
8. If you wrote out every number in the standard English counting system (one, two, three, four) in alphabetical order, no matter how high you counted the first number would always be eight. The second would always be eight billion.
9. Bystanders were originally called stander-bys.
10. The opposite of serendipity is zemblanity.
11. Mediocre literally means “halfway up a mountain.”
12. Counting on your fingers is properly called dactylonymy.
13. The words a, and, be, have, he, I, in, of, that, the and to make up 25% of all written English.
14. The proper name for taking your shoes off is discalceation.
15. The name rum is a shortened form of rumbullion.
16. An aquabib is someone who chooses to drink water rather than alcohol.
17. The creases in the skin on the inside of your wrists are called the rasceta.
18. The word sheepish is a palindrome in Morse Code.
19. The proper name for speaking through clenched teeth is dentiloquy.
20. Saturday wit was Tudor slang for dirty jokes.
21. The sentence “this sentence contains thirty-six letters” contains 36 letters.
22. If something is obliviable then it’s able to be forgotten.
23. Chameleon literally means “dwarf lion.”
24. The head of an asparagus is called the squib.
25. To frowst is to keep yourself warm in cold weather.
26. Anything described as hippocrepiform is shaped like a horseshoe.
27. Shakespeare invented the word lackluster.
28. A myriad is literally 10,000 of something.
29. In 1920s slang, a wagger-pagger-bagger was a wastepaper basket.
30. A doryphore is a pestering person who draws attention to other people’s errors.
31. GIF stands for “graphics interchange format.” According to its inventor, it should be pronounced “jiff” not “giff.”
32. To snirtle is to try to suppress a laugh.
33. In Elizabethan slang, tailors were nicknamed snip-snappers.
34. A lampus is an awkward and clumsy fall, part way through which you try to grab onto something to try and stop from falling.

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4 Comments
  1. Yeah! My favourite! Word lists! Connie, these are great and I love learning about the history of words. Who knew mediocre meant half-way up a mountain?! As for lampus, I’ve experienced a few of those!

    • I’m like you and love words. I especially loved the old word for thunder and wastepaper basket. The article I used had 100 words so I will be doing another one. With my Myasthenia Gravis I am always lampusing about! (Spellcheck does not like that word)

      • Connie, I was typing some of these words to friends and also found the spellcheck just rejected them. Sorry to read about your illness … is medication helping at all. Hope so. Xx

  2. Thank you. Medication helps, but unfortunately the disease is progressive. I was diagnosed back in 2011 and now need a cane to help steady me. A wheelchair is next followed by not being able to get out of bed. I have so much to look forward to! I am trusting in the Lord that He won’t let me get too bad. MG is a neuromuscular weakness which can cause me to walk and talk like a drunk. I often wonder what the Lord was thinking when He allowed me to have this. Makes for a great testimony when I’m acting drunk in the middle of the day!

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