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From 'sillytonian' to 'betrump', the lost words language experts say are due a comeback

The discovery of 30 lost words may leave some people awhaped. Credit: AP

Do you think you're snout-fair? Perhaps you like to parget in the mornings or get rouzy-bouzy in the evenings?

These Harry Potter-worthy words are among 30 that have fallen out of usage that linguists would like to see return.

Language experts at the University of York believe the list of lost words would have a great deal of relevance in the times we live in.

The list groups words into themes - post-truth (deception), appearance, personality and behaviour, and emotions.

The linguists, in partnership with Privilege Insurance, researched historic texts and dictionaries and hope their efforts will lead to a revival of such expressions as coney-catch (to swindle, cheat, trick, dupe, deceive) or betrump (to deceive, cheat, elude, slip from).

Dominic Watt, senior lecturer in language and linguistic science at the University of York, said: "As professional linguists and historians of English we were intrigued by the challenge of developing a list of lost words that are still relevant to modern life, and that we could potentially campaign to bring back into modern day language."

The list in full

  • Ambodexter - One who takes bribes from both sides
  • Betrump - To deceive, cheat, elude, slip from
  • Coney-catch - To swindle, cheat, trick, dupe, deceive
  • Hugger-mugger - Concealment, secrecy
  • Nickum - A cheating or dishonest person
  • Quacksalver - A person who dishonestly claims knowledge of or skill in medicine; a pedlar of false cures
  • Rouker - A person who whispers or murmurs; one who spreads tales or rumours
  • Man-millinery - Suggestive of male vanity or pomposity
  • Parget - To daub or plaster (the face or body) with powder or paint
  • Snout-fair - Having a fair countenance; fair-faced, comely, handsome
  • Slug-a-bed - One who lies long in bed through laziness
  • Losenger - A false flatterer, a lying rascal, a deceiver
  • Momist - A person who habitually finds fault; a harsh critic
  • Peacockize - To behave like a peacock, to pose or strut ostentatiously
  • Percher - A person who aspires to a higher rank or status; an ambitious or self-assertive person
  • Rouzy-bouzy - Boisterously drunk
  • Ruff - To swagger, bluster, domineer. To ruff it out or to brag or boast of a thing
  • Sillytonian - A silly or gullible person, one considered as belonging to a notional sect of such people
  • Wlonk - Proud, haughty, rich, splendid, fine, magnificent
  • Fumish - Inclined to fume, hot-tempered, irascible, passionate
  • Awhape - To amaze, stupefy with fear, confound utterly
  • Hugge - To shudder, shrink, shiver, or shake with fear or with cold
  • Merry-go-sorry - A mixture of joy and sorrow
  • Stomaching - Full of malignity, given to cherish anger or resentment
  • Swerk - To be or become dark, gloomy, troubled, or sad
  • Teen - To vex, irritate, annoy, anger, enrage, to inflict suffering upon
  • Tremblable - Causing dread or horror
  • Wasteheart - Used to express grief, pity, regret, disappointment, or concern
  • Dowsabel - Applied generically to a sweetheart, 'lady-love'
  • Ear-rent - The figurative cost to a person of listening to trivial or incessant talk