Happy new year my darling word lovers, I am here to delight you with five of Susie Dent’s lovely old words. Without any further ado…
Blutterbunged (adj. – 19th century): Many of these lovely words are less useful in everyday speech than they are worth knowing for writers and people who have a lot of describing to do, like teachers. Teachers who have blutterbunged students should be proud because it means they have left their pupils dumbfounded and in awe. On second thought, slack-jawed in amazement is probably not the preferred reaction to a rereading of the syllabus.
Dumfungled (verb – Scots): A word that perhaps draws the mind to the blutterbunging, because of its similarity to ‘dumbfounded.’ It in fact means something closer to past Weekly Words such as ‘forswunk’ and ‘ramfeezled’– meaning worn out and utterly exhausted.
Overmused (adj. – 17th century): Perhaps one is tired as one writes this article, for, like ‘dumfungled,’ to be overmused is to be exhausted. It specifically refers to being wearied by way too much thinking. I would imagine it is a fairly universal experience to intensely think until one’s brain decides to just stop working.
Latibulate (verb – 17th century): On occasion when one is dumfungled or overmused, one is overcome with the need to latibulate for a little while. There is safety that can be found in latibulating, which is to find a corner and hide in it. While a literal corner can be comforting, the value of a metaphorical corner mustn’t be ignored either.
Sequacity (adj. – 17th century): Whilst one might be congratulated by their superior for their sequacity, one shouldn’t take that as a compliment. One’s readiness to follow a person or cause without any thinking of their own (or, in other words, an extreme lack of judgment) is not necessarily something one would want to be lauded for. Sequacious people are impressionable and unquestioning, almost buxom (the historical meaning of buxom, that is, when it meant ‘compliant’ or ‘obliging,’ and was usually applied to men).
I should hope these words don’t leave you dumbfungled, dear reader, as I want you to return next time. But in case your overmused mind needs to latibulate for a time, adieu!