Biting the Ong-Tongue
by Susan Kelz Sperling
If you hear, in a brangling mung,
You're the butt of a winxing ong-tongue.
Lunge for her felly,
Aim for mouth or for belly
Till you've an assything wrung.
Susan Kelz Sperling is the author of several books about archaic words. What use is that, you ask? Besides being part of the magnificence of the English language, it's the sort of amusing fadoodle that makes anyone who isn't a linguistic hoddypeak giggle in adlubescence! Some of those old, old words are absolutely excellent. They fill in the gaps and stop up the cracks and make sure that no concept without a word to express it sneaks through the nyle!
One of the great beauties of the English language is its mind-boggling vocabulary. Why should we lose any of this endless possibility to mere time? Keeping old words alive keeps us from slipping into ho hum doldrum expression, when we could be fantastically diverse.
Why use two words to tell someone that you are experiencing epistaxis? Why not accord your kosarian neighbour his or her proper title? Old words like the ones in this node are useful, or just plain fun. If everyone made an effort to keep a widely varying vocabulary, old words would live on at the same time as new ones were created. Think of the poetic possibilities!
I challenge you, gentle reader, to look above and beyond everyday words. Whether you use words which are longer than most, more unusual than most, older than most, or newer than most, spice up your speech! Keep the English language sparkling and growing!
Archaic Words, in order of appearance
ong-tongue - Tattle-tale.
brangling - Noisy, wrangling
mung - A crowd of people; chicken feed. Both refer to mixing together of disparate elements.
winxing - Braying.
felly - Harshly.
assything - Compensation for an offense.
fadoodle - Nonsense, something foolish.
hoddypeak - Simpleton, blockhead.
adlubescence - Pleasure, delight.
nyle - Fog, mist.
epistaxis - Bleeding from the nose.
kosarian - Someone who grows roses. (Also a member of the Confraternity of the Rosary)
Source (poem, words, definitions)
The Joy of Lex, by Gyles Brandreth. Morrow, 1980
Less than 10% used without permission; original material added.