Apr 6, 2016

Etymology Expeditions: Forgotten Words

Do you ever wonder why some words endure and others fall into oblivion? Maybe what they refer to ceases to matter, or a better synonym displaces them, or maybe they just fall out of favour, or sound old-fashioned.

I like forgotten words, and I found this awesome site: Luciferous Logolepsy. It's a collection of obscure and fascinating words.

Let's explore a few.

Jagannath is the name of a Karin Tidbek story collection. It means juggernaut.The word comes from Hindi Jagannath, "lord of the world."

Obambulate means to walk about, to wander. I'm guessing this is from Latin ambulare, "to walk."

Schizothemia is a digression by a long reminiscence. Wow, there's actually a word for that? Schizo- means to divide, split, from Greek skhizo. I'm not sure about themia. Maybe from the Latin thema, "subject, thesis"?

Sciamachy means fighting a shadow, an invisible enemy, shadow-boxing. From Greek skia "shadow"+makhe "battle."

Wergeld is the value of a man's life, the money you pay if you kill him. From Old English wer "man" + geld "payment."

Malneirophrenia: depression after a nightmare.  Mal "bad"+oneiro "dream"+phren- "mind."

Okay, I'm off to use these in a sentence now.

See you next week!


Luciferous Logolepsy

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