Dictionary Gives Rare Words One Last Chance

Apodiectic use could save niddering and oppugnant
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2008 8:49 AM CDT
The Collins English dictionary has made public a list of rarely used words it is considering deleting to make room for new words.   (AP Photo/Al Grillo)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – The Collins English Dictionary is giving rarely used words a last chance before they are dumped from the new edition, Time reports. Language lovers were outraged at plans to  exuviate (shed) words like oppugnant (combative), so the editors have made public a list of 24 candidates for deletion. If the words reappear in the dictionary's database of English usage before January, they can stay.

Politicians have started working words like niddering (cowardly) and caliginosity (dim) into their speeches, while Britain's poet laureate plans to use skirr (the sound of a bird's wings) in a poem. The Times of London offered readers a chance to vote for words to save. Embrangle (to confuse) and fubsy (short and stout) are in the lead, while roborant (tending to fortify) and nitid (bright) have attracted few fans.