Where can yesterday be found after tomorrow? In the dictionary!
16 October is National Dictionary Day and also not so coincidentally, the birthday of Noah Webster, the father of the modern dictionary. In 1806 he published the first dictionary, A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language, and the dictionary has been evolving alongside the English language ever since.
Thousands of words from the dictionaries of old are now redundant, and thousands of new words continue to emerge in this modern era. In honour of National Dictionary Day, we’ve taken a look at some of the words which have fallen out of favour, and those that were released earlier this month.
Additions – October 2019
Chipmunky – “Resembling or characteristic of a chipmunk, typically with reference to a person having prominent checks of a perky, mischievous character.”
Chillax - To calm down and relax; to take it easy, to chill (see chill v. additions 4). Often in imperative: ‘relax’, ‘calm down’.
E-bike - An electric bike; electric bicycle.
Omnishambles - Chiefly in political contexts: a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, or is characterized by a series of blunders and miscalculations.
Peoplekind - The human race; humankind
Sewist - A person who sews, esp, as a hobby
Spritzer - Any of various implements used to spray or squirt a liquid; esp. a spray bottle or atomiser
Obsolete and out-dated words are continually removed from concise dictionary editions to make room for new words. Those below have already been dropped over recent years:
Aerodrome - a location where aircraft activity and operations take place.
Cassette player - a machine for playing or recording audio cassettes.
Growlery - a place to 'growl in', a private room or den. (Similar to a modern day 'man-cave'.)
Threequel - the third film, book, event, etc. in a series.
Video jockey - a person who introduces and plays music videos on television.
Younker - a young gentleman.
The beauty of the English language is that it's constantly growing; and although it is sad to see words being removed from our dictionary books, they will always have their place in our history books.