Oxford urges you to adopt endangered words

Pin it

Oxford University Press urges you to adopt a word.

In an attempt to rescue words that might otherwise disappear, Oxford University Press has launched an interactive campaign (replete with a design-y website) to save the English language. A timely move, given that we Scanners were fretting over the fate of our shared language (and thus our jobs) just today

The OUP warns that "each year hundreds of words are dropped from the English language," a sobering statistic for anyone who is easily sobered. The site also points out that a mere 7,000 words make up 90% of "everything we write."

Those who view the OED as a prescriptive means of maintaining social/cultural hierarchies will probably argue that words should be allowed to disappear from languages in a natural fashion. But assuming that you're not a postgraduate linguist, you think a campaign to save words from obsolescence is a pretty cool idea. To help you get started, we've picked out ten highly eligible, Nerve-relevant words for you to awkwardly insert into conversations with your charitably polite friends.

  • lubency: willingness, pleasure.

  • ephydriad: water-nymph.

  • orgiophant: a person in charge of orgies.

  • piladex: game where an inflated bag is hit with hand to keep aloft. [A Scanner pastime.]

  • ovablasitc: making eggs burst open in the womb.

  • brephophagist: one who eats babies.

  • [Prescriptivism alert!] pantdress: a woman's one-piece garment with the lower part like pants.

  • pilimiction: passing of hair-like bodies in the urine.

  • pregnatress: female power that generates or gives birth to something. [Anything?]

  • snobographer: one who describes or writes about snobs.