With reference to my prvious post, I’m pleased to say that our friend Michael has pointed me in the direction of the full list of words on the chopping block. From The Times Online via Editorial Ass, here’s the list of 24 words in trouble:

Abstergent – Cleansing or scouring

Agrestic – Rural; rustic; unpolished; uncouth

Apodeictic – Unquestionably true by virtue of demonstration

Caducity – Perishableness; senility

Caliginosity – Dimness; darkness

Compossible – Possible in coexistence with something else

Embrangle – To confuse or entangle

Exuviate – To shed (a skin or similar outer covering)

Fatidical – Prophetic

Fubsy – Short and stout; squat

Griseous – Streaked or mixed with grey; somewhat grey

Malison – A curse

Mansuetude – Gentleness or mildness

Muliebrity – The condition of being a woman

Niddering – Cowardly

Nitid – Bright; glistening

Olid – Foul-smelling

Oppugnant – Combative, antagonistic or contrary

Periapt – A charm or amulet

Recrement – Waste matter; refuse; dross

Roborant – Tending to fortify or increase strength

Skirr – A whirring or grating sound, as of the wings of birds in flight

Vaticinate – To foretell; prophesy

Vilipend – To treat or regard with contempt

So, now I have to keep my promise and finish the little nonsense story that I started and somehow shoehorn all 24 words into it. Here goes – wish me luck.


The King and the Lost Words

The King looked up as the skirr of a passing nightingale disturbed him. He frowned, annoyed that his train of thought had been derailed. He clambered down from the wall he was sitting on, a considerable effort for his fubsy frame, and wandered back towards the castle.

He had been thinking about the best way to deter the oppugnant Clitheroe from making another play for his lands in the north. Clitheroe was a tribal king of considerable caliginosity, but he was not a niddering man. The King knew that if he wasn’t careful he would become embrangled in another long and drawn out skirmish.

As he walked he remembered the fatidical comments of his court advisor when the man had suggested that he destroy Clitheroe years ago in the Battle of the Swamps. If only he had listened then. The thing was, Clitheroe’s intentions were unclear. He seemed to be on a mission of wild abstergent glee, clearing the countryside of all agrestic people he could find, leaving only the gentry untouched. The fact that nothing but gentlemen and well dressed ladies were left in Scotland was apodeictic proof. And now those people had no farmers and were starving, no blacksmiths to shoe their horses, no maids to clean the scullery.

The King stroked his griseous beard. Was this Clitheroe really on such a bizarre mission? And why? Why did he vilipend the common folk so? The words of the King’s court advisor rang in his ears again. “Listen as I vaticinate, my Lord. Clitheroe, if not killed now, will only cause more trouble!”

The King harrumphed. “Damn my caducity!” he cried. “Is the existence of Clitheroe not compossible with my rule and the common man? The man is a malison on the land! Nothing but olid recrement.”

A messenger came running to the King. He carried a nitid silver tray and, upon it, a letter. The King tore open the missive. It was from Clitheroe. It read:

You are no doubt starting to consider engaging me in battle. I warn you, our army becomes larger and our defences more roborant by the day. You may be well recognised for your mansuetude, but it has led to the decay of society and, more importantly, language. Have you heard the way these common folk speak? Your rule has been less of leadership and more of muliebrity. It is time to exuviate the land of these coarse tongued commoners before it is too late!

“Right!” said the King, outraged. “That’s it!” He turned to the messenger. “Tell the Generals to mobilise the army and fetch my periapt of manly strength – we go to war!”


Blimey, that was harder than I thought it would be. Anyway, share it around and save the words.