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13 medieval words that are ripe for a comeback

13 medieval words that are ripe for a comeback

Middle English speakers certainly had a way with words. With dramatic flair and multicultural influences, speakers of English during the Medieval time period used an array of interesting and elaborate words and phrases to express themselves. Some words we might not even recognize today. Archaic spellings and unfamiliar letter combinations were hallmarks of the English language during the Middle Ages, so many of these words have been forgotten or fallen out of use.

Understanding how people spoke English during that time helps us see how the language has evolved in the centuries since and helps us gain insights into the people who lived during that time period. It can also make for some fun new additions to your linguistic arsenal. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite medieval words that are ready for a comeback. Some you may already know and love, while others could become your new favorite terms to throw into casual conversation!

1. Respair

This word has roots in the French language and describes the feeling of having fresh hope after a difficult time of despair.

2. Gobemouche

Borrowed from French, this word literally means "flycatcher”. It was used to describe someone who is easily gullible or susceptible to believing anything they are told. In modern times, we might use the term "sucker" or "pushover," but "gobemouche" has a certain old-world charm.

3. Cockalorum

This term, which refers to a person who is excessively boastful or arrogant, has its roots in the Middle English word "cok," meaning "rooster." Imagine calling someone a "cockalorum" the next time they brag too much about their accomplishments.

4. Quixotic

A rather interesting word that describes something characterized by extravagantly chivalrous, romantic, or idealistic notions or actions.

5. Sinecure

Crack this one out to describe someone with a cushy, yet well paid job that requires little to no actual work.

6. Flummox

This word, which means to confuse or bewilder, has a fun, playful sound and describes those moments when you just can't seem to make sense of something.

7. Fopdoodle

This hilarious word, which means a foolish or vain person, is a great alternative to the more commonly used term "idiot." It's a bit more playful and less harsh.

8. Blandish

If someone is coaxing you with flattery or sweet talk in order to positively influence your affections, they’re blandishing you.

9. Nefarious

Throw this one into conversation to describe something extremely wicked or villainous. It comes from the Latin adjective nefarius and the Latin noun nefas, which means "crime."

10. Garrulous

Someone chatting your ear off? If they’re excessively or pointlessly talkative and tend to speak at length, they’re garrulous.

11. Fastidious

This one means attentive to detail — if something or someone is meticulous and showing or demanding excessive care you can sub in this word.

12. Persiflage

An amusing one, referring to light, frivolous banter or good-natured ridicule said in jest.

13. Sparple

This word is not only fun to say, it can also come in handy. It means to deflect attention from one thing by making a big deal of something else entirely.

So there you have it — a bevy of medieval words that are ready for their comeback into everyday English. These words not only add some fun and humor to your vocabulary, but have a rich history behind them. So why not give them a try and see how they can add some medieval flair to your day.

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