This week, I’ve decided to unearth two buried words (because of their close relation to each other). I don’t plan on upping it to two a week, but I thought this would be a nice taste. Just remember that if you end up using these words in your daily lives, however obscure or forced, come on by and make a comment. If I get a laugh, or a smile, or whatever (read: if you’re the only one to respond, you probably will win) I’ll be sure to make a shout-out to you in the following week’s word (along with your story, if you wouldn’t mind my sharing).
This week’s words deal with some of the greatest things in the world: books.
Biblioklept [noun]: a book thief.
Pretty self-explanatory. I can see why it would’ve become an obsolete word. I’ve never seen it in literature, never heard it in my daily life, and I’m disappointed that I haven’t because it’s got a nice ring to it. I was walking down Church St. when the biblioklept, discernable by the depiction on his shirt of a book free of its shackles, brushed my shoulder and dropped a hardcover in my hands.
Bibliothecary [noun]: Keeper of a library; librarian.
This one, like the biblioklept, is just pleasant to hear. I’ve talked with a handful of librarians in my day, and I’ve never heard them refer to themselves as bibliothecarians. And frankly, I’m bummed. I chose the title bookwright over author (mostly to save face) because of the antiquated feel to the word and the uniqueness to it. And when I have my own library, I’ll adopt the title of Bibliothecary with pride.
For extra fun: Here’s an idea for how you can use these relatively narrow-use words. Go into a library and approach a librarian. Talk to them in a British accent and say something like: “I was told to speak to a bibliothecary in this establishment. Can you direct me to the hidden tomes.” Let me know what happens!
Kacirk, Jeffrey. The Word Museum: The Most Remarkable English Ever Forgotten. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000. 27. Print.