The English language is always evolving as words come into and go out of common usage. Some old words fade away for unclear reasons, while others become obsolete due to advances in technology.
24/7 Tempo used Lexico.com’s list of Archaic Words That Used To Be Common In English to compile a list of once-popular words and expressions no one uses anymore.
This list contains once-popular words and sayings dating back to the 16th century or earlier. Most people would have to look up their meanings now. Some, like egad and zounds, are euphemistic versions of swear words or blasphemous language.
Though no one says “fourscore” for twenty anymore, it’s still familiar from the Gettysburg Address. And while few may know what a “scaramouche” is, they’d recognize the term from Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Other words like “horseless carriage” or “Walkman” were common until recently, but sound outdated today. Just 20 years ago, terms like “Walkman” and “floppy disk” were ubiquitous, whereas now they belong in museums.
As old phrases decline, new words have emerged to take their place in the evolving English language. (These are 36 old words we use today with completely new meaning.)
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