Forgotten Words to Use in 2021

By Blythe

From Inside Higher Ed:

At Wayne State University, the Word Warriors release annually a list of words “worthy of retrieval from the linguistic cellar.”  Check out their very fitting list for 2021:

Anagapesis — Loss of feelings for someone who was formerly loved.
Blatteroon — A senseless babbler or boaster.
Brontide — A low, muffled sound like distant thunder heard in certain seismic regions, especially along seacoasts and over lakes and thought to be caused by feeble earth tremors.
Dysania — The state of finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning.
Footle — Engage in fruitless activity; mess about.
Maleolent — Foul-smelling, odorous.
Paralian — Someone who lives by the sea.
Snollygoster — A shrewd, unprincipled person, especially a politician.
Sophronize — To imbue with moral principles or self-control.
Ultracrepidarian — Expressing opinions on matters outside the scope of one’s knowledge or expertise.

How many of these words can you use in a sentence? Do you have a favorite forgotten word to nominate for the list?

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22 thoughts on “Forgotten Words to Use in 2021

  1. ‘Snollygoster’, a word for “an unprincipled but shrewd person,” might derive from the word ‘snallygaster’, which is used to describe a mythical creature from rural Maryland that is half reptile and half bird.

    I’m more interested in the fact that rural Maryland has its own mythical beasts.

  2. LOL Rhett! I also love “snollygoster”, but “ultracrepidarian” seems like one we could teach the kids so they could insult people without them knowing. ;)

  3. A couple of DD’s friends are snollygosters. She is dealing with dysania since one of the snollygosters thinks she is an ultracrepidarian about everything in their friend group. It feels like 6th grade all over again and the worst part is that this kid is in all of DD’s classes. Luckily, she attends with the other cohort, but it is still upsetting to DD. She has been friends with most of these kids for over a decade so I think she is frustrated with this new person trying to bully and dominate the group. It happened due to covid since she seems to have lost her old group and now she has found some of DD’s friends on Thur/Fri.

    It is not my story to tell, but June 2022 can’t come fast enough. I don’t want to have the empty nest, but I can’t wait for DD to be in a much larger school.

  4. I like the word footle – I footle during the day on The Totebag.

    K-2 went back to school today. I was out walking past the school when it was getting out and it warmed my heart. You could hear the joy in the noise of the chatter. Yay for in-person learning!

  5. DD was able to practice driving after school because the road test should be fine. There is snow tomorrow, but it looks like that larger storm is going to stay to the south later this week. She usually drives home from school, but she wanted to practice parallel parking. They are not allowed to use the camera, but I didn’t think about all fo the beeping when she gets close to the curb. I don’t think that is allowed either. This is the first time that I was in the car when she parallel parked because she always did it with the drivers ed instructor until today. His car is so old that it doesn’t have a camera or any sensors.

    I am a decent parallel parker since I learned in the city, but she was able to park the car most of the time. I don’t know how this guy taught the kids, but it seemed to work almost every time. I realized if she passes the test that tomorrow will be the last time that I drive her to/from school.

    My car update: the Audi Q3 was crap. My X1 is nicer and that isn’t saying much. It is so frustrating that I want a small SUV or small sedan with nice interiors. That doesn’t seem to really exist unless you move up tp larger cars. I am going to look at Volvos later this week. The xc40 might have enough luxury on the inside according to some of my friends that adore their 60s and 90s.

  6. I like the styling of the GLA. Th exterior looks more sporty than the typical Mercedes lineup.

  7. On second thought the F-Pace is the size of a Q5 or GLC which is a size larger than you wanted. So it’s back to the GLA.

  8. I have not considered Mercedes, but maybe I should look at this car. My friends always complain about the local dealer, so I won’t considering Mercedes in the mix. It seems like I should test drive this car too. All of these dealers are close to each other so it is easy for me to do this on one day.

    Another neighbor drives a Navigator and she is having it repaired due to a collision with a deer. The rental agency loaned her the Cadillac XT4 for one week and the Lincoln Corsair for the second week. She liked both of these cars and she suggested that I look at them. I was surprised to find that DH was not interested in an American car, but then I reminded him that most of these other cars are actually manufactured in the US or Mexico. I think the Cadillac might fall into the same category as the genesis….I generally see older people driving these cars so I have a bias against the Cadillac.

  9. It is funny how our perspectives of cars differ. I think of Mercedes, as well as Lexus sedans, as an older person’s car, but see the Cadillac demographic lowering in my area. What is funny about Cadillac is that several years ago they moved their HQ to NYC in hopes to lure the younger car buyer. It didn’t work, and they have since moved back to Detroit.

    I think opinions on cars are really hard to change. More so then any other product. My parents love their Chrysler 300C, which is no longer in production. I suggested they look at Mercedes, since the 300C was essentially a Mercedes with the Chrysler label. My dad scoffed at the suggestion, telling me that he is not that type of driver and would never spend that kind of money on a car. The 300C they drove had all the bells and whistles and was comparable in price to Mercedes.

  10. LT, I would never drive a Lexus, Mercedes or Cadillac sedan because of the older person car thing. I have a different opinion about their SUVs.

  11. Harvard Applications Surge as Students Flock to Top Names – Bloomberg News
    2021-01-25 22:06:30.100 GMT

    By Janet Lorin
    (Bloomberg) — Applications to Harvard University’s
    undergraduate college for regular decision surged more than 42%
    for the 2021-22 academic year.
    Harvard fielded a record of more than 57,000 applications
    from high school students seeking admission for the fall
    semester, the Ivy League School in Cambridge, Massachusetts,
    said Monday in an emailed statement.
    The pandemic has altered the way students are applying to
    colleges. They no longer need to submit test scores at Harvard
    and dozens of other selective schools, which dropped the
    requirement as test centers were shuttered to contain the spread
    of Covid-19.
    Separately on Monday, Ivy League member Cornell University
    said current high school juniors will not be required to submit
    standardized test scores with their applications for the 2022-23
    academic year.
    The health crisis has also curtailed traditional campus
    visits, which help students decide where to apply, so they’re
    flocking to the biggest names, said David Rion, director of
    college guidance at the private Loomis Chaffee School in
    Windsor, Connecticut.
    “You have a lot of students doing online research and word
    of mouth,” Rion said. “It’s easy for the rich to get richer in
    that environment.”
    Read more: College Board Jettisons SAT Subject Tests and
    Optional Essay
    Because of the deluge of applications, the eight Ivy League
    members, including Harvard, Yale and Princeton universities,
    agreed to postpone their joint decision release date until April
    Princeton’s applications rose 15% to more than 37,000, said
    spokesman Michael Hotchkiss. The school eliminated the early
    round this year to give students and schools more time to
    complete the application, he said.
    Yale, in New Haven, Connecticut, received a record 7,939
    applications for its early-action round — a 38% increase from a
    year earlier. Jeremiah Quinlan, the dean of undergraduate
    admissions, said the school expects to release more complete
    application data in April.

    To contact the reporter on this story:
    Janet Lorin in New York at
    To contact the editors responsible for this story:
    Sam Mamudi at
    Peter Eichenbaum, Steve Dickson

    To view this story in Bloomberg click here:

  12. Back to the OT of words worthy of bringing back: I think I discovered the word “widdershins” in one of the A Series of Unfortunate Events books. It sounds much cooler than “counter clockwise.” Our family uses the word when we mix baking ingredients. The kids will stir three times each direction and murmur to themselves “clockwise…widdershins…clockwise…widdershins…”

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