Back in the first year of university one of the books on my required reading list for my first ever English Literature module 'Inventing The Novel', was a curious and extremely lengthy novel called Pamela; or Virtue Rewarded by a fellow named Samuel Richardson.

I basically remember nothing about the novel itself, because it was incredibly long and didn't tickle my fancy, but the one thing that sticks out to me is the sheer excellence of one word that Pamela herself is constantly being described as 'a sawcebox'. And that got me thinking, there are plenty of words and phrases that have been dropped out of the English language over the years, I believe some of them deserve another crack of the whip. So let's take a look through a few of the best words from the past that you need to reintroduce into your vocabulary:

1. Sawcebox. - The meaning of sawcebox is sort of complicated. It's either an insult or a weird kind of compliment. It refers to a sassy or cheeky young woman, either as an insult or a term of endearment. You might say something like 'You're such a sawcebox, Jan!' But what she'd say in response would probably depend on how sawcey she was feeling at that particular moment.

2. Boldface. - Again, Pamela often gets called a 'boldface' over the course of Richardson's novel. The term is pretty similar to sawcebox and they're used interchangeably quite a lot. However, a 'boldface' might tend to be a little more forward and feisty than a sawcebox. There's less of a sexual component involved in being a 'boldface' compared to being a sawcebox.


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3. Betwixt. - It's just an old way of saying 'between' but it sounds way cooler because it has an 'x' in it. Sassy. 'Is that a new tattoo betwixt your breasts, Cheryl?' said Liam.

4. Fussock. - A reasonably old word which applies to a somewhat chubby character. 'Perhaps that fourth pie is unnecessary, Dave, you don't want to end up a total fussock!'

5. Scurrilous. - A word you might use to refer to a piece of gossip that's basically guaranteed to make someone look bad. 'Jeremy McConnell revealed some rather scurrilous gossip about Stephanie Davis during a recent Twitter rant.'


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6. Starrify. - If we managed to convince people to start using the word 'starrify' again it could be the greatest thing to happen to fashion since the advent of skinny jeans. Starrify means to decorate something with stars. 'The dress was okay, but I think I'm going to have to starrify it a bit to make sure it's ready for prom season!'

7. Groke. - It's a term used to describe the look you give people who are eating when you're hoping they're going to give you some. 'You can groke Mary and Paul all you like, Sue, they're not going to share their cake with you!'

8. Quagswag. - It literally just means to shake something back and forth. 'Quagswag that money box a little and you might find some spare pennies!'


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9. Snollyguster. - A person, particularly a politician, who is guided by their own self-interest rather than their principles. Often intelligent but unwilling to use their brains for the common good. 'David Cameron is a snollyguster, he doesn't care about the country, he just wants power.'

10. Crapulence. - Kind of a complicated one. It refers to physical pain in the intestines and the head resulting from 'intemperance and debauchery' which basically means going out and getting wasted. 'I'm feeling a lot of crapulence after that wild night out!'

11. Flitterwochen. - This one comes from German where it literally translates to 'fleeting weeks', but nowadays we'd use the word 'honeymoon' instead. 'If Kim and Kris were only married for 72 hours, did they have time for a nice flitterwochen?'


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12. Fribbler/Fribbledom. - This is a really old term for a f*ckboy. A guy who claims to be really into a gal but he just won't commit to her might be accused of fribbledom. 'John Tucker must die (because he's a fribbler!)'

13. Pilgarlik. - This is exactly what it sounds like. It's an insult for someone bald, implying that they look like a 'peeled garlic'. 'I don't know, I quite Grant Mitchell off Eastenders, but he's a bit of a pilgarlik, isn't he?'

14. Trumpery. - Things that look good but are basically worthless. 'Donald Trump's opinions are a load of trumpery.'


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15. Cockalorum. - A small man who thinks overly highly of himself. 'Joey seems like he's got it all going on, but we all know he's a bit of a cockalorum, isn't he?'

16. Glomax. - A large and clumsy person. 'Aunt Janice is a total glomax but we love her anyway!'

17. Copper-clawing. - Basically it's the same meaning as 'cat-fight'. 'It was all going well on the latest episode of Loose Women until Janet Street-Porter started copper-clawing with Katie Price over a bottle of champagne!'


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18. Frobly-mobly. - This is such a pleasant phrase to say. It's sort of the same as saying 'not bad' when someone asks you how you're doing. Frobly-mobly literally means neither well nor unwell. 'I'm pretty frobly-mobly at the moment, but if you buy me doughnuts, I might feel better!'

19. Shakepoke. - The youngest child in a family. 'Kylie Jenner may be the Kardashian's shakepoke, but she makes up for it by selling knock-off make-up on the internet!'


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20. Scurryfunge. - Oh the amount of times we've had to scurryfunge our houses. It's that ridiculously rapid house tidying session you have when you see your landlord walking up the street outside. 'Justin knew he would have to scurryfunge his house before the reporter reached the door or his carefully cultivated good-boy image would be ruined all over again!'

21. Nizzle. - To be ever so slightly drunk. 'Stephanie was a bit nizzle when she arrived on set and so the producers had no choice but to fire her.'

Jack Rear

Jack is a writer at Pretty52. His hobbies include charging admission at weddings and eating glitter. Rumour has it he was thrown out of Taylor Swift's squad for showing too much belly button.

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