Historical Words That Should be Revived

Hey, you zwodder—stop fudgeling about!

When you’re a voracious reader — online and off — you come across a wide variety of interesting content.

And when I collect ideas, I’m always trying to link them to leadership lessons we can glean from history and literature.

But some ideas and content don’t always fit neatly into that bin.

So I’ve started this new section of Timeless & Timely that I’m calling Off the Clock.

Whenever the mood strikes me (and perhaps on a regular basis), I’ll add interesting tidbits to this section—which you can see in the sections at the top of the main site. It’ll be an ad hoc effort.

I’d be interested in your feedback.

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Words have always fascinated me. Especially the English language, with all of its quirkiness.

There are times when we know a feeling or circumstance, but struggle to come up with a word that describes the situation.

Arthur Schopenhauer wrote “One should use common words to say uncommon things.” Perhaps the opposite is true: we should use uncommon words to say common things.

Well, look no further! History has examples of English words that fill those gaps.


A person who has intelligence but no principles

Peg puff

A young woman with the manners of an old one


The act of giving the impression of working but actually doing nothing


Gossiping idly about unimportant matters


People who are angry or unhappy with the government

Hum durgeon

An imaginary illness


Someone who stares at you hoping you'll share your food


The uncomfortable feeling of wearing new underwear


Feeling ill as a result of having eaten too much


Someone of authority who affects being above petty squabbles


Difficulty getting out of bed in the morning

Hugger mugger

Secretive or covert behavior


Tangled hair (as if matted by elves)


One who gives opinions on a subjects he knows nothing about


Things that look good but are essentially worthless


To confuse or jumble up


Having beautiful, well-shaped buttocks


Someone who always conveniently shows up with no money


A small man with a big opinion of himself


A drowsy and stupid state of mind

Did any of these speak to you? Leave a comment.

Please share this with someone you’d think would enjoy these kinds of words. And maybe even use some of them in your conversations.