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9 comments on “For the worship of words”
  1. Betul Erbasi says:

    I wish I knew some old words:(

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  2. That’s a great word.
    I’ve always enjoyed using obscure words with my children rather than calling them naughty or awkward: the obscure ones tend not to get internalised so much (as they never hear them from anyone else) and they’re also fun to use, which takes any irritation out of the insult. So some favourites are obstreperous, incorrigible and reprobate.

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    1. Some of my parents favourite words!
      I thought obstropolous was a made up word until I saw it in a Victoria hislop novel. Incorrigible and reprobate are very English words. I once called someone a reprobate and it didn’t go down well with my dad.

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      1. I think I probably got all of them from my mum, and she had several more besides, which I have never found in any dictionary and assume they must have been Ulster colloquialisms.

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        1. Maybe but neither of my parents were Irish.

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          1. Oh, no the words I listed we’re definitely English- it’s the other ones she used that I’m not sure of the origins – like bism.

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          2. Never heard of that. Care to share your Irish words?

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  3. I have no idea on spelling (or even if they are actually Irish or she just used made up words).
    Heems: you made a right heems of that (a bloody mess)
    Wee bism – something like naughty child
    She’d also use phrases like ‘hot press’ for ‘airing cupboard’ (press is archaic English anyway).

    I don’t remember many of them now – she didn’t use them so much as we got older (she moved over here when she was pregnant with me so I guess most of them just disappeared through English socialisation)

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    1. I haven’t come across those but I’m sure there Gaelic in origin as they sound Scottish to me. It’s probs where my parents got them from as they both had an affinity for all things Scottish.

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