HOUSTON, TX – We told you about the newest words added to the English dictionary. You know ‘selfie,’ ‘hastag,’ and ‘baby bump.’ MentalFloss.com came out with 16 words time forgot, or at least we have.
Words like ‘fribbler.’ A fribbler is the 18th century version of “he’s just not that into you.” A guy who fancies a girl, but just won’t commit.
Another one is “eye-servant.” Chances are you know a few of these at work. An eye-servant is that lazy bum that does just enough to not get fired, until management walks within eye-shot, when they miraculously turn into “Mr. Productivity.”
And last but not least is “crapulence.” It sounds dirtier than what it is. It means hangover.
So how did all these words get lost?
Suzanne Kemmer, Associate Professor of Linguistics and Cognitive Science at Rice University, says sometimes words fall out of use because what they describe no longer exists; “eye-servant” for instance. “We don’t really have servants anymore, we rarely refer to people that serve us as ‘servants’,” she says.
So the next time you have to call in sick from a night of ‘intemperance,’ you can say you’re “suffering from crapulence” rather than a hangover. Then again, probably better off just saying “stomach flu.”