Dr. Johnson’s Dictionary, Part I

I love language. Here are some treasures from Dr. Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary of the English Language, published in London in 1755.

Absinthiated – adj. Imbittered, impregnated with wormwood.

Adder’s-Grass – n. A plant so named because serpents lurk about it.

Adder’s-Wort – n. A herb so named on account of its virtue, real of supposed, or curing the bite of serpents.

Addle – adv. Originally applied to eggs and signifying such as produce nothing, but grow rotten under the hen; thence thransferred to brains that produce nothing. (Hence, addle-pated.)

Admurmuration – n. The act of murmuring or whispering to another.

Afterclap – n. Unepected events happening after an affair is supposed to be at an end.
(Such as might necessitate a trip to the apothecary, I wonder?)

Airling – n. A young light, thoughtless, gay person.
(The precedessor of airhead?)

Amatorculist – n. A little insignificant lover; a pretender to affection.

Asshead – n. One slow of comprehension; a blockhead.
(Butthead, perhaps?)

Babblement – n. Senseless prate.

Balbicomate – v. To stammer in speaking.

Baldrick – n. A girdle.

Bedswerver – n. One that is false to the bed; one that ranges or swerves from one bed to another.

Bibacious – adj. Much addicted to drinking.

Blatteration – n. Noise; senseless roar.

Brainsick – adj. Diseased in the understanding; addleheaded; giddy; thoughtless.

Bronmtology – n. A dissertation upon thunder.

Buffleheaded – adj. A man with a large head like a buffalo; dull; stupid; foolish.

Circumgyration – n. The act of running round.

Clapperclaw – v. To tonguebeat, to scold.

Confarreation – n. The solemnization of marriage by eating bread together.

Consopiation – n. The act of laying to sleep.

Crinigerous – adj. Hairy, overgrown with hair.

Cubation – n. The act of lying down.

Cynanthropy – n. A species of madness in which men have the qualities of dogs.

Which is quite enough to digest for one day.

Published in: on June 25, 2008 at 9:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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