About Some Strange Words
Words that are strange-looking, with consonant combinations
ver.: 29 December 2007
One of my many fun ventures has been to see if I could find certain non-standard words that I remember knowing as a child. I was not raised on anything but standard English (the only English my parents, neighbors and grandparents knew). Yet for some reason I took for granted that certain words were standard when in fact they were not, and despite the fact I had not heard anyone use them. As I got older, I went looking for where those words came from. Even the Oxford Dictionary didn't have most of them. I still haven't found about a third of them, but the others proved to be related to various Scandinavian, Lowland-Scot, East Anglian, Yorkshire and Lowland-Germanic languages or dialects. (My suspicion is that so are the others, but I haven't found them yet.) And I still have no idea where I got them from.
While I was out looking, I gathered some other words that sounded great, had a rich heritage, or had a special unique meaning. This includes words with certain letters or combinations. Such as
A few of these are commonly understood but rarely used; most are rarely understood. Feel free to use them; none are my own inventions. (That would defeat my original childhood purpose.) A larger battery of words are also available for you to look through :
OE= Old English; ON= Old Norse; OF= Old French; L= Latin; ME= Middle English; Dan= Danish, Du= Dutch; Fris= West Lauwers Frisian; Sylt= North Frisian, former dialect of Sylt; Scot= Scottish; Ork= Orkney Islands; Shet= Shetland; York= rural Yorkshire; PD=Plattdeutsch (Low German) Nyn= Nynorsk Norwegian; Bok or Norw= Bökmal Norwegian; Icel= Icelandic; Sp= Spanish; Ger= standard High German; Lith= Lithuanian; Gmc= hypoth. Common Germanic; IE= hypoth. Indo-European. *: hypothetical (an educated guess at an early form of the word).
If you have a good one to add to the words on these lists, not counting technical words or words directly from Latin or a modern Romance language (indirect is okay), or if a definition needs correction, leave me a note. It may take a while to get to it, what with all the other stuff I'm doing, but I'll get to it eventually.
Copyright © 2007 Robert Longman Jr.