Good English words on their way out?

JW   Sun Oct 08, 2006 7:10 pm GMT
This thread was inspired in part by Brennus's comments in another thread. I was just wondering if you folks knew of any really useful and/or sonorous words that are falling out of use. I'd like this thread to be a sort of lexical endangered species list.
j   Sun Oct 08, 2006 8:26 pm GMT
to fret
Liz   Sun Oct 08, 2006 8:49 pm GMT
<<to fret>>

Really? Is it falling out of use? As far as I know, it is still used.
Sexy lad   Sun Oct 08, 2006 9:11 pm GMT
JW   Sun Oct 08, 2006 9:57 pm GMT
I think the subordinating conjunction "lest" should be used much more often than it is.
Robin   Sun Oct 08, 2006 11:56 pm GMT
I know that Scottish people feel that there is a risk of some distinctly Scottish words dying out. Consequently, there has been an effort to incorporate them into ordinary 'BBC' English.

So, when describing the weather, the sea mist that comes of the North Sea, when the sea is warmer than the land, is called 'the Haar'.

A horrible cold and wet day, is called 'dreich'.

DREICH (adj)

Continuing our national propensity for relishing the downright miserable, "dreich" is one of those classic Scots words, the translation of which into English can never quite capture the full essence. Though often applied to weather, it actually means "long-drawn-out, protracted, hence tedious, wearisome... hard to bear", and can be applied to everything from overlong sermons to the likes of "Dreich the road, an' unco lang". It has roots in Middle English and Old Norse.

<<FINE words may butter no parsnips, as the old English proverb has it, but they still fascinate us - and, it seems, TV programme-makers. Tonight sees the start of a new BBC2 series, Balderdash & Piffle, which traces the histories of some choice words and phrases and investigates those whose origins remain obscure.

Each week, presenter Victoria Coren and her guest "word investigators" will travel around Britain - and indeed the wider English-speaking world - on a lexicographical safari.>>


<<While in many ways Scots is the Cinderella of Scottish linguistics compared with Gaelic, research carried out by the General Register Office for Scotland has suggested that as many as 1.5 million of us still use some form of Scots as a primary means of expression >>
j   Mon Oct 09, 2006 5:28 am GMT
<<<to fret>>

Really? Is it falling out of use? As far as I know, it is still used.>

There was a discussion about 'fret' 8 months ago on this forum. As some native speakers was saying, the word is losing its position nowadays.
Phelps   Wed Oct 11, 2006 4:01 am GMT
Inasmuch as
Rene   Wed Oct 11, 2006 4:22 pm GMT
Here's some that may be used once in a great while and usually only in writing:

thither, heretofore, eddy, balderdash, censure... that's all I can come up with right now.
Benjamin   Wed Oct 11, 2006 4:44 pm GMT
— I use it a lot in writing, but rarely in speaking; most people hardly ever use it at all.