Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Lost Lexicon

Logo - a prefix combining form from Greek meaning "word" or "speech."  Phile - a suffix combining form from Greek meaning "lover of" or "enthusiast for."  Logophile: a lover of words.  I am a logophile; and happily, too.  We are currently in an age where it is considered gauche or pretentious to have a large lexicon (or a collection of words, often a dictionary or vocabulary).  Despite that, there are many out there, like myself, who still enjoy and are quite proud to know and frequently use what are commonly referred to as "big words." 

That being said, there's a certain class of word that even the most pretentious of we logophiles beetle our brows at; a type of word that would be used only by the most obtuse or insane of individuals.  This is not a naughty word, nor a word so complex it makes psuedoantidisestablishmentarianism look simplistic.  Rather it's a word that is, frankly, old, obsolete, or very anachronistic. 

For one reason or another, these "lost words" have fallen out of use in the English language.  Some were created for very specific purposes but never won favor in common use, such as sacricolist, meaning a devout worshipper; others were rather esoteric such as vampirarchy, meaning a set of rulers comparable to vampires.  Others still were used to describe things that we don't really do any more, such as ascoliasm, a game of beating each other with gloves or leather while hopping.  And then some were just a bit too smart for their own pants, such as epalpebrate - lacking in eyebrows. 

Fortunately, Stephan Chrisomalis has been kind enough to provide castaldy (or stewardship) over the website - phrontistery meaning a thinking place.  Mr. Chrisomalis has created a lexicon of the lost, compiling many non-noscible (not well-known) words for posterity sake.

By studying this collection, an artigrapher - writer or composer of grammar - who is familicose (often or very hungry) for language may be able to brush up on their fallaciloquence, or deceitful speech.  Perhaps, you may be able to impress a foppotee, better known as a simpleton, by saying that you are an archigrapher, rather than a head clerk or secretary.  One might even be able to say that these oncethmus (braying) politicians would be better replaced by an icthyarchy - or rule of fish.  Although, I might warn you that such vernacular may not be very leeftail, or in high demand, as most of these words are quite ficulnean - worthless - in nature. 

Take some time to look over this lost dictionary.  If for no more reason than to go riviating (or fishing) for some perantique, or ancient, language.  Perhaps, you too could become a portmantologist, one who studies or coins portmanteaus, or rupographer, as in the art of taking impression of coins or metals in sealing wax.  Although, probably not the latter.  Let's face it.  That sounds like a boreism (the behavior of a boring person).