The Word Museum

The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Words Ever Forgotten by Jeffery Kacirk

Word MuseumAs a living organism and the largest and one of the most dynamic collections of words ever collected, the English language continues to expand.  Every year hundreds of new words are added to the language.  These words may describe new technologies, migrate from other languages, come to common usage from slang, or be current words that have a new definition.  Some of the new words recognized by Merriam-Webster in the last few years include blamestorming, bromance, and ginormous.

At the same time words are being added to the language, many words fall out of usage and ultimately disappear.  These retired words are often found in literature, but are not used in common conversation.  These include words like "merry-go-sorry" (a mixture of laughing and crying), "quakle" (to choke), "bouffage" (very satisfying), "bibliothecary" (a librarian), and "dansey-headed" (giddy or thoughtless).


In his book The Word Museum, Jeffery Kacirk has gathered hundreds of words that have fallen from common usage.  He has compiled them by going through old dictionaries and glossaries.  The definitions used in the book come from original sources.  This gives the reader a special relationship with those historical wordsmiths.  He is also the author of Forgotten English, and Altered English, as well as the Forgotten English Calendar.  He lives in Marin County, California.