Ten words Collins UK has proposed eliminating from the next edition of its abridged English dictionary:
- Nitid (Bright; glistening)
- Muliebrity (The condition of being a woman)
- Niddering (Cowardly)
- Exuviate (To shed a skin or similar outer covering)
- Malison (A curse)
- Skirr (A whirring or grating sound, as of the wings of birds in flight)
- Vaticinate (To foretell; prophesy)
- Mansuetude (Gentleness or mildness)
- Caducity (Perishableness; senility)
- Roborant (Tending to fortify or increase strength)
Back in September, the publishing company Collins UK released a list of 24 words they planned to eliminate from the next edition of their dictionary. They further announced that if any of those words could demonstrate a resurgence of popularity before February 2009, they would be spared, and several British celebrities and organizations have taken it upon themselves to champion certain words. Poet Laureate Andrew Motion is promoting skirr, which he says is useful to birdwatchers such as himself. Stephen Fry is talking up fubsy, meaning "short and stout," as is T-Rex from Dinosaur Comics. And then there's agrestic, which has recently come to be known, in the U.S. at least, as the name of the town in which the first three seasons of the Showtime original series Weeds took place. I wonder how many of the fans of that show know that Agrestic is a real word?
Incidentally, and for what it's worth, none of the words proposed for deletion cited in this entry were recognized by my spellchecker.