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How many of these ‘lost’ words do you know? What Suffolk words would you bring back?

PUBLISHED: 13:44 16 September 2017 | UPDATED: 14:15 16 September 2017

The researchers scoured historical texts to find examples of lost words. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

The researchers scoured historical texts to find examples of lost words. Picture: GETTY IMAGES


Are you feeling fumish after a chance encounter with a nickum or quacksalver?

Perhaps my choice of language has left you awhape.

Enough of this ear-rent, I hear you cry, you’re making me swerk.

If you’re wondering what I’m on about that’s because these phrases contain some of the “lost“ English words that language experts are hoping to revive into modern usage.

A team of researchers from the Department of Language and Linguistic Science at the University of York spent three months scouring historic texts to uncover 30 words that are no longer used but could still be relevant today.

Dominic Watt, a senior lecturer at the university, said: “We were intrigued by the challenge of developing a list of lost words that are still relevant to modern life and that we could potentially campaign to bring back into modern day language.

“To allow people to really imagine introducing these words back into their everyday lives, we’ve chosen words that fit within themes still relevant to the average person.

“Within these themes, we’ve identified lost words that are both interesting and thought-provoking, in the hope of helping people re-engage with language of old.”

A campaign has been launched by Privilege Insurance to bring back the public’s favourite words from the list to modern English.

Visit here for a full list of the words and their meanings to cast your vote.

But not before you take our quiz to see how many of the words’ meanings you can guess correctly.

Perhaps you have some suggestions of your own. Can you think of any Suffolk words that have fallen out of usage? Comment below or email here with your suggestions.

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