1. Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us.

Archaic Words That You Like to Use

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Black Dragon, Mar 31, 2019.

  1. Black Dragon

    Black Dragon Staff Administrator

    2,908
    1,397
    163
    Do you have a favorite archaic word that you use in your writing? If so, share it in this thread, and tell us why you like using it.

    I'll begin:

    apothecary - someone who prepares and sells medications and drugs.

    It sounds much cooler than pharmacist, and has an aura of mystery to it. :)

    Your turn.
     
  2. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

    4,075
    1,256
    163
    Poltroon - A Coward or acting in a cowardly way. For some reason, it feels much nastier than just calling someone a coward.
     
    Black Dragon likes this.
  3. Bandicoot

    Bandicoot Dreamer

    18
    6
    3
    Cartograph - an illustrated map; not sure if it's archaic though. Don't see it being used much.
     
    Black Dragon likes this.
  4. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

    1,945
    940
    113
    I have a skewed idea of what is archaic and what isn't. I developed my vocabulary from books and I often have no idea I'm using archaic or difficult words until people around me don't understand them. Not bragging, I just grew up as the sole voracious reader in an almost totally non-reader family. And I never had people to recommend books to me so I'd just wander around the library until something caught my interest.
     
  5. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

    2,723
    1,825
    163
    Garderobe - lavatory in a castle

    I can't say this is my favorite, per se, since I cringe when I use it. But yeah, I've used it. It's a convenient word for adding an air of ye old times. Smelly air, maybe, but still. Other choices seem too modern—with exception of latrine, but that's for a different place/context than a castle's royal quarters. [Edit: also, privy might work in some contexts, come to think of it...]
     
    Demesnedenoir and Black Dragon like this.
  6. Futhark

    Futhark Sage

    393
    188
    43
    The old four fundamental personality types: sanguine, choleric, melancholic, and phlegmatic.
     
  7. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

    2,017
    954
    113
    You may cause international readers to scratch their heads if you use garderobe in that sense of the word. In the Netherlands and Germany, garderobe is the term used for the room in which you store your jackets and coats. It would be a bad idea to use a garderobe as a latrine here ;)

    As for which words I use, I will have to echo Mythopoet. I learned english as a second language and I can't say I've developed a strong sense for what is archaic and what is modern.
     
    FifthView and Black Dragon like this.
  8. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    5,668
    3,634
    313
    One I use frequently is phlogiston, just because of the role it plays in Altearth.

    One of my favorites, though I don't use it, is vivisection. It remains in memory because I managed to read the entirety of The Island of Dr Moreau without understanding that word. In my defense, I was fifteen at the time. Still makes me smile.
     
    Black Dragon likes this.
  9. Eldritch.
     
    Black Dragon likes this.
  10. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    5,668
    3,634
    313
    It's worth distinguishing between a word that is archaic and a word that is rarely used. There are also words in current use that have archaic meanings. The word "glamor" comes to miind. It has one connotation in common parlance, but we all learned from D&D and fantasy books another connotation.
     
    Black Dragon likes this.
  11. Riva

    Riva Dreamer

    16
    9
    3
    I don't have a trained ear for english, but when I want to do so in italian I try to imitate 13th century poets and writers. It might be worth noting that when I do it it's usually for fun though.

    Check out Dante or Petrarca or even Cecco Angioleri for some examples if you are interested.
     
  12. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

    1,834
    995
    113
    I like the word "oubliette." French for a hole to put someone to forget about them. "Merde" is also a good one and very, very old, existing in common usage from the Roman period.

    Writing urban fantasy, I actually get a lot of chances to use fairly archaic words and phrases since we have a lot of characters who were young hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago. It's a lot of fun to figure out what sort of words might have lingered in an immortal vocabulary.
     
    Black Dragon likes this.
  13. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

    2,024
    1,154
    163
    Mooncalf. There are plenty of others, but off the top of my tired head... Mooncalf. Peccant mooncalf, heh heh. An old priest calls a monk that in Eve of Snows, it was most excellent and fitting.
     
    Black Dragon and FifthView like this.
  14. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

    1,834
    995
    113
    Not archaic, just a weird turn of phrase. I'm doing a reread of our first two books in preparation for hitting Book 3 hard, and I find I use the phrase "of long practice" rather a lot. Probably need to keep that in mind going forward. :p
     
  15. Caltan

    Caltan Acolyte

    6
    5
    3
    Yonder, as in 'over yonder'.

    Genuinely think it should still be used commonly, it's a great word.
     
    Demesnedenoir likes this.
  16. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

    2,024
    1,154
    163
    Yeah, I’m big on yonder. There’s a classic BC cartoon. One caveman asks the other where some place is, and the other said “yonder”. After the other one leaves, he says: I always wondered where yonder was.
     
    Caltan likes this.
  17. TheKillerBs

    TheKillerBs Inkling

    523
    200
    43
    Seconding yonder. Or would this be thirding? I'm also rather partial to 'yesternight'. Like yesterday, only that it's night.
     
    Caltan and Demesnedenoir like this.
Loading...

Share This Page