The fascinating Compendium of Lost Words indexes the rarest modern English words. The words must appear in the Oxford English Dictionary, and must have been used in standard modern English, rather than a regional dialect. They also must not have appeared on the Internet in their proper context, so hopefully this post won’t reduce the glorious list.
Some seem so useful that one wonders why they have slipped from common usage:
- airgonaut: one who journeys through the air
- boreism: behaviour of a boring person
- redamancy: act of loving in return
- speustic: made or baked in haste
- uglyography: bad handwriting
Others, meanwhile, are perhaps rare for a reason:
- quadragintireme: vessel with forty rows of oars
- triclavianism: belief that only three nails were used at Christ’s crucifixion
- urette: dried animal urine absorbed into calcareous soi
On that note, I’ll let you explore the remainder yourself.