Strangely Familiar

It calls itself a dictionary, and, published in 1623, it seems to be the first book in English to do so. It is not the very first of its kind, but it was the most popular for a generation or so, until the 1650s. It went through eleven editions.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to write a fantasy historical fiction novel using these words? With a glossary in the back, of course. Tolkienesque?

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I think that would be as un-Tolkienesque as you could get. He explicitly avoids Latinisms in numerous places, favouring Saxon words. This is, I think, the clearest in his poetry.

It feels like some of these words deserve to be re-introduced into modern English. Can we bring some of them back? Or do modern dictionaries not even include them anymore so their use would just end up sounding silly?

In the arriving age of AI tech, when all communication will be one web woven by nonhuman intelligence, it will probably be possible to do any such thing. A little patience, and who knows? But I think the present is more likely to want to bury the past deeper than to dig it up again. However dictionaries, if they stay true, won’t help; they follow the language, not lead it. Dictionaries were the last to let those old words go; they kept them in stock long after they died in use.