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WORDS from the past, present and future

In the spirit of Christmas and admittedly a tenuous link to the famous Charles Dickens novel “A Christmas Carol,” my Christmas blog is about the words from the past, present and future!

Just like food, words in the English language have a life-span! Some words we use today are actually thousands of years old and originate from other languages like Latin or Greek. Others have changed their meaning with time, been replaced or completely ditched.

The following words that were used years ago and unless you read them in classic literature, are no longer used.

Apothecary - An apothecary was a person who prepared and sold medicine for a living.

Bibliopole - A bibliopole was a person who used to buy and sell books for a living.

Crinkum-crankum - This is an elaborate decoration or detail such as baroque or rococo.

Dulcify - This is a word which can mean to sweeten (as in make drink or food sweeter), or to calm or soothe someone who is upset.

Esurient - This is a word that we definitely do not use these days. It means hungry.

English language is forever evolving. Words today have different meanings than they used to and will no doubt continue to develop.

Awful - In the past, this word used to mean things that were worthy of awe, hence the saying, “the awful majesty of God”.

These days awful means totally the opposite, words like disgusting, terrible or ghastly have the same implication.

Bachelor - In days gone by, this word described a young knight.

Now a bachelor means a single man, or someone who has an undergraduate

academic degree.

Clue - Centuries ago, a clue was a ball of wool. Nowadays, a clue is a hint or a suggestion.

Divest - 300 years ago, this word meant depriving other people of their rights. Now it means selling off investments.

Egregious - This word used to mean remarkably good. Now it means the total opposite, outstandingly bad.

These words have only recently been introduced into the English language and bring us right up to date.

Bling - This word means expensive or ostentatious, especially when it comes to clothes or


Chillax - This word is a combination of the word chill and relax. Need I say more?

D’oh - This word describes a person who has done something stupid.

Frankenfood - This word defines food which has been genetically modified.

Infomania - This word talks about a person who likes to gather news and information via their mobile phone or computer.

As it’s Christmas, here are a few words both old and new that are related to this time of year.

Angel - The word angel is Greek and it means messenger.

Bough- In old English, bough meant the shoulder or leg of a person.

Now it means part of a tree. “Deck the halls with boughs of holly.”

Carol - The word carol comes from the Latin word choraula which means a choral song.

The word carol has the same meaning today and is normally sung at Christmas.

Frankincense - This word means high quality incense which is a liquid sap that comes from the frankincense tree which is grown on the Arabian Peninsula.

Gift - A gift is something which is given to another person without expecting anything in

return. The word gift is an old German word meaning to give. Nowadays, the word gift is replaced by the word present.

I hope you enjoyed my blog and in the words of Tiny Tim:

“God bless us, everyone!”

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