There's a word for pretty much everything, you just have to know where to find them. One of the best places to look? To the past!
If you're a flibbertigibbet, you already know that words are imperative to communication. Plus, you probably have some impressive words in your back pocket to challenge your friends' vocabulary. Yet, you can always learn more. We think you need to cultivate the deep history words, ones that will make your friends think you're a wise soul. This quiz is more than just a chance to challenge your knowledge of the English language. It's an opportunity to see just how many old words might actually fit your day to day experiences.
That may seem a little crazy at first, but challenge yourself: as you go through the answers in this quiz, see how many of them might apply to people you know or situations from your life. You might have to stretch a bit, but chances are a lot of these words (though not all) could still be reasonably used, even if you'd have to dust them off first. So what are you dilly-dallying for? Dive in and see the possibilities that the vast English language has to offer!
"Antediluvian" refers to the time before the Biblical flood and means anything really, really old. While Noah's Ark may have survived the story, this word doesn't make too many modern appearances.
The word haberdasher originated in trading of goods. Often it means a hatmaker, but it may also mean someone who sells men's clothing. Basically, they've got you covered.
A more modern word for "Fibbertigibbet" may be loquacious, though it's rare to hear that word too. Hopefully you don't chat too much to be called either. Though flibbertigibbet does just roll off the tongue, doesn't it?
A rapscallion is a roguish, mischievous person with a bad rap. You may call your jokester friend this name, or the dog next door that barks all day long and steals your packages from your front porch.
Twelvemonth is an old word for year. It makes sense to call a year out as how many months it includes. Threesixtyfiveday doesn't have the same ring. What if April was called fourthmonth? That could get confusing come December.
"Peradventure" can provide a way to express an unresolved issue or something that is still up in the air. As an adverb, it was used as an alternative to "perhaps." Try mixing it up your emails and add some excitement, peradventure.
Crinkum-crankum is a great alliteration of a word to use at the next fancy house party you go to. Add it to your vocabulary by remarking "that staircase of yours is crinkum-crankum."
Omphalokepsis means gazing at your belly button to aid meditation, or just someone who's wrapped up in colloquial navel-gazing. After your next yoga class, see if your instructor knows this type of meditative self-awareness.
Legend tells us that someone named Braham the Terror made up this Victorian word. Ethuzimuzzy is a term to poke fun at a bunch of crazed fans or someone who's super excited about the next pizza topping.
A sesquipedalian word has a lot of syllables like "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." But you could also describe your grandfather as sesquipedalian when he tells his prolonged fishing stories.
"Gallimaufry" is a word that can be employed to define anything from a clutter of junk in your closet to the patchwork quilt placed on your bed. Merriam-Webster simply defines is as a "hodgepodge."
Netflix and chill didn't exist before the 21st century. So people read and chilled in their beds, and those people are called "librocubularists." Hopefully you don't fall asleep with a book on your face.
Ultracrepidarians are people who talk about fields of which they're ignorant. The more modern term may be a "mansplainer." According to Merriam-Webster, the story goes that the famous painter Apelles was judged by a cobbler for how he painted a foot. Apelles remarked that the cobbler was "beyond the sole" due to his lowly profession. That phrase in Latin eventually became "ultracrepidarian."
If someone is callipygian, their buttocks are of an attractive shape. It literally translates from Greek as "beauty buttocks." Check out the Roman statue Venus Callipyge, which features a marble woman checking out her backside.
A pettifogger is a notoriously "petty" lawyer that took lesser cases. It more generally can mean someone who's involved in sketchy business. Similarly, its second meaning can refer to someone who is a quibbler over unimportant matters.
A barbigerous person has a beard. Though it sounds like Barbie, we haven't seen a nonbinary doll quite yet, though we bet one is on the way! For now, use it to describe your hipster friend, or your hairy brothers.
A prognosticator discusses what they think will happen in the future. Anyone can do it, not just fortune tellers. We'd recommend looking to Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog day to prognosticate the coming of spring.
A pusillanimous person has no gumption and could also be described as spineless. The Cowardly Lion from "The Wizard of Oz" is pusillanimous at first in the story, and later becomes brave.
If you're moving widdershins, you're going counter-clockwise. There's a folktale that said that demons went to the devil widdershins, according to Merriam-Webster. You definitely don't want to go that direction.
Ragamuffin is another old-timey word that could mean the same thing as tatterdemalion. Either can be used to describe someone dressed in beat-up clothing, who presents an unpleasant image.
Higgeldy-piggeldy means messy or not well-organized. According to Merriam-Webster's "Word of the Day" podcast, the word probably came from pigs, and the thought that pigs were disorganized and messy animals (in fact, they are not). When you put two words like this together, it's known as reduplication. We just hope you don't reduplicate your mess after organizing it.
A concupiscent manner is a lustful one. It's not only a word for a desire of being with another person; in the Catholic Church is is used to describe the inclination to evil and sin.
This old slang word is what you'd use to describe someone who robbed a bank and absquatulated with the money. Decamp is another synonym of the word, which means to literally take down your camp.
You've been bamboozled! Hornswoggle means to trick or cheat someone. Next time you're deceived by a friend, attempt to use this verb describe the horrible wrongs they did. They'll be so confused, they may just leave you alone.
A harridan is a mean, domineering, often older, woman. You know the Shakespearean comedy "The Taming of the Shrew"? This would describe the main character Katherina, who stands up to anyone who attempts to gain her hand in marriage.
A hobbledehoy (clumsy, ungainly) person would run into something. Remember the awkward teenage years where your arms seemed too long for your body? This would've described you perfectly.
You'd find gullyfluff in pockets, often of young kids. We hope that nothing else but dust and crumbs was left in your pockets when you put your pants in the washer. Although that fresh-washed dollar bill is always a nice surprise.
Rumbustious sounds a lot like rambunctious, and you'd be right to notice that. It means disorderly and full of lots of noise. 1777 was the first known occurrence of this word, but there's no data on what caused such a noise to make up a word for it.
A sneeze-lurker throws pepper (or some dust-like substance) in your face, then robs you while you're distracted. As recent as 2007, pickpockets in some parts of Argentina were doing this very thing, only with ketchup packets.
Something "afternoonified" is appropriate for fancy, high society. This is a "victorianism," or slang of the late 19th century. A proper lady may have turned her nose when something wasn't afternoonified enough.
Podsnappery is when you're smugly interested in only yourself, and ignore the world around you. In Charles Dickens "Our Mutual Friend," Mr. Podsnap is a pompous character and this word was created about him.
If you're gutfoundered, you're starving. It probably is at the worst point as you're trying to figure out what you should eat for dinner. It comes from the Newfoundland dialect of English.
If you're acersecomic, you probably have the longest locks in your town. You're saving a lot of money by not having to go to the salon. Maybe you have tonsurephobia, the fear of getting your hair cut.
"Quockerwodger" is a political insult. It means someone who's being controlled by someone else. It comes from the term that describes the kid who pulls that wooden duck on a rope all around town.
Gigglemug is used to describe someone's face when they are always smiling. Constant happiness does exist! We'd recommend encouraging your friends to have more gigglemugs.