The Guardian

Don’t be a juggins – why some words deserve to fall out of use | Sam Leith

We shouldn’t worry when a word falls into obscurity. There’s usually a good reason, and a new one will always fill its place
‘You might as well try to lash the wind, as Samuel Johnson said.’ Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

Conservationists are all around us, forever appearing on our televisions with their pleas for this noble, endangered mountain lion or that cute, imperilled subspecies of vole. But 70-year-old Edward Allhusen is one of a slightly different stripe. Instead of trying to prevent creepy-crawlies going extinct, he is trying to save the lives of words. In a new book, Betrumped: The Surprising History of 3,000 Long-Lost, Exotic and Endangered Words, he has included a sort of highly endangered list of 600 vocabulary items, culled according to no.

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