The following is a weekly segment where I will be rooting through the abyss of words and phrases long since forgotten. I will challenge my readers to revitalize these words and phrases at least once in their daily lives and report back to me. Each week, if I have any responses, I’ll pick the most creative, funny, or interesting story of word usage, and feature that in the following week’s post.
On this Halloween, I shall begin with the first letter in the alphabet.
Arfname (noun). This word, which has Norse and Gothic roots, means heir, or inheritance.
Why did I pick arfname? It caught my eye as I scanned through the list of forgotten words. The sound made by ‘a-r-f’ is rare in modern English. It carries, at least to me, a negative connotation. Arf is another way to write out the bark of a dog. Interesting that it’d be tied with an heir in this way.
Remember that if you manage to sneak this word, and any future forgotten words, into your daily lives, be they as students, teachers, business-folk, artists or grocers, make sure you comment here. Your homage to the lost lexicon of the English language might end up featured on my humble blog.
Kacirk, Jeffrey. The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Ever Forgotten. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000. 18. Print.