Quick! Start using these words before they are removed from the dictionary

by David

The Collins English Dictionary is planning to remove 24 words from their dictionary to “make room for up to 2,000 new entries”, according to Time Magazine’s website. I don’t know if they are removing them from an unabridged version or if perhaps they are cleaning up a pocket-sized dictionary. Removal from an unabridged dictionary seems inappropriate, even if they are extremely uncommon words. In any case, I vilipend the idea.

It also seems the new words are going to be quite short. Removing these 24 words is going to make room for 2,000 new ones.

Here are the words. You decide their fate. If you can use any of these in a sentence, maybe they can be revived.

For those of you who speak Spanish, can you spot the four words that are cognates of Spanish words commonly used today?

  • AbstergentCleansing.
  • AgresticRural.
  • ApodeicticUnquestionably true by virtue of demonstration.
  • CaducityPerishableness.
  • CaliginosityDimness.
  • CompossiblePossible in coexistence with something else.
  • EmbrangleTo confuse.
  • ExuviateTo shed.
  • FatidicalProphetic.
  • FubsySquat.
  • GriseousSomewhat grey.
  • MalisonA curse.
  • MansuetudeGentleness.
  • MuliebrityThe condition of being a woman.
  • NidderingCowardly.
  • NitidBright.
  • OlidFoul-smelling.
  • OppugnantCombative.
  • PeriaptAn amulet.
  • RecrementRefuse.
  • RoborantTending to fortify.
  • SkirrA whirring sound, as of the wings of birds in flight.
  • VaticinateProphesy.
  • VilipendTo treat with contempt.

Did you know any of those before reading the list?

7 Comments  leave one »

06.Oct.2008 - 9:42 pm

My Spanish isn’t that good yet, so the only guess I have is griseous, because gris means gray in Spanish.

07.Oct.2008 - 3:11 am

Good call Peter, that’s one of them. “Grisáceo” means greyish in Spanish.

Now who’s going to step up to the plate and find the other three?

10.Oct.2008 - 12:05 pm

Well, I’m glad they are being removed. I don’t think anyone in their right mind would use those words!

Or, what do you think?


12.Oct.2008 - 4:27 am

Why would they remove 24 words for new 2000? Is their database too small or something? lol

21.Oct.2008 - 4:02 pm

I think there’s more than three:
Caducity -> Caducidad
Vaticinate -> Vaticinar
Agrestic -> Agreste
Abstergent -> Abstergente
Nitid -> Nítido
Vilipend -> Vilipendear
Fatidical -> Fatídico
Caliginosity -> Caliginosidad
They are not very common in spanish either, but they are used. Fecha de caducidad, vaticinar el futuro, un paisaje agreste, un producto abstergente, una imagen nítida, vilipeandear a una persona, un destino fatídico, la caliginosidad del cielo en un día nublado.

Facundo Quiroga
26.Oct.2008 - 2:34 am

Good job Facundo! The four common Spanish words used today, that I saw as soon as I read the list, were:


Concerning the rest of the words you mention, I cannot comment on how common they are, since I’m not a native speaker.

29.Oct.2008 - 12:50 pm

I don’t care how old or new words are, they chould keep them in there! Particularly pariapt and recrement, because those are actually known enough that I recently saw them somewhere. I don’t remember where, but I remember it.

john doe

Leave a Comment