Let’s exuviate these olid words!

TIME reports that the Collins English Dictionary (which we have never heard of, but whatever) is looking to get rid of some old, defunct words to make way for new ones. Here’s a list of words on the verge of retirement…

Abstergent: Cleansing

Agrestic: Rural

Apodeictic: Unquestionably true by virtue of demonstration

Caducity: Perishableness

Caliginosity: Dimness

Compossible: Possible in coexistence with something else

Embrangle: To confuse

Exuviate: To shed

Fatidical: Prophetic

Fubsy: Squat

Griseous: Somewhat grey

Malison: A curse

Mansuetude: Gentleness

Muliebrity: The condition of being a woman

Niddering: Cowardly

Nitid: Bright

Olid: Foul-smelling

Oppugnant: Combative

Periapt: An amulet

Recrement: Refuse

Roborant: Tending to fortify

Skirr: A whirring sound, as of the wings of birds in flight

Vaticinate: Prophesy

Vilipend: To treat with contempt

We can’t say we’ve ever used – or heard of – any of these words, but RIP to all of them.

And now, a bold attempt to use all 24 words in one suitably morbid paragraph:

The abstergent air of early dawn was cool and clear; as the first nitid rays of sunlight pierced the caliginosity of night, revealing the agrestic landscape, Joan fingered the olid periapt that hung around her neck and whispered, “How I vilipend the malison of my muliebrity.” A fatidical skirr filled the air as a flock of birds launched from a field into the sky: Joan vaticinated, “thus shall my soul soon exuviate the caducity of mortal life, for my melancholy and ill health are not compossible.” Her prediction proved apodeictic, for she was soon struck by an oppugnant humour…she collapsed on her divan, her face a griseous visage. The suddenness of this spell embrangled Joan’s niddering, fubsy nursemaid Hester, who waddled over to offer comfort with her usual mansuetude, saying, “what has happened, milady?” Joan waved Hester away, saying “Leave me be, my aged body is but nature’s recrement…and this roborant ordeal leaves me more sure than ever that life’s journey is but a cruel, cruel joke.” And with that, Joan expired.

About Alpine McGregor
Just like you, man. I got the shotgun, you got the briefcase. All in the game, though, right?

One Response to Let’s exuviate these olid words!

  1. Nils Coq au Vin, Esq. says:

    Sir – While I often find your observational humor at least tepidly funny, I was dismayed to read your column this morning and discover you more ignorant than I had previously imagined. Apparently, you are not a subscriber to the television channel Showtime or a regular viewer of the critically acclaimed televised serial drama, Weeds. For if you were, you would likely recognize Agrestic as the name of the principal characters’ sub-development. More accurately, however I should say, it would be the former name of their sub-development. For fear of being a “spoiler” I’ll leave the details that maddeningly vague. But, shame on you for neglecting Mary-Louise Parker and her intoxicating charm. Sincerely, N.C.a.V

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