Each year the logophiles from Wayne State University (Detroit, Michigan), who call themselves the Word Warriors, ask fellow word lovers from around the world to submit words that deserve to come out of retirement, lest they tumble over the precipice into the dark chasm of obsolescence. Why pursue this endeavor? you ask. “English includes more words than any other language,” the editors explain, “and this glorious variety gives speakers of English an unparalleled capacity for nuance and precise expression. But sometimes this gift can be difficult to discern. Too often we limit ourselves to words that are momentarily popular [think “hashtag” or “selfie”] or broadly applicable, and so rob ourselves of English’s inherent beauty and agility. Alarmed by this tendency, the Word Warriors… propose to help rejuvenate the language we love by advocating for words of style and substance that see far too little use.” Below is the Word Warriors’ 2015 list of the top regrettably neglected words that are worth reviving.
Caterwaul: A shrill howling or wailing noise.
Concinnity: The skillful and harmonious arrangement or fitting together of the different parts of something.
Knavery: A roguish or mischievous act.
Melange: A mixture of different things.
Obambulate: To walk about.
Opsimath: A person who begins to learn or study only late in life.
Philistine: A person who is hostile or indifferent to culture and the arts, or who has no understanding of them.
Rapscallion: A mischievous person.
Subtopic: Monotonous urban sprawl of standardized buildings.
For further reading: http://wordwarriors.wayne.edu