Four Words We Lost That English Really Needs

letter keys

Words slip in and out of the English language according to the things we use and the way we think. Some words should have remained in our lexicon, but are sadly lost and, apparently, not missed:


Blatheration was a noun from 1656 to 1864. Old dictionaries define it as "chatter" or "babbling." The word probably morphed to "phone call," and now we hear blatheration everywhere there is a phone signal no matter how slight: can you hear me now? huh? I broke up with the boyfriend last night. Today, we have an overwhelming amount of e-blatheration from people determined to keep friends and friends of friends (please share) apprised of minute details of their lives. 


Jobler, meaning one who does small jobs, lasted less than a year. Its tombstone -- modest, of course -- reads 1662 to 1662. Yesterday, as now, no one wants to be known as one who does small jobs. All people who work like to think they live large; and I believe most do.


Graocracy was in the dictionary briefly in 1830 but did not live out the year. The definition is government by old women. The advocates for keeping the word in the English language were probably tarred, feathered, and hung from Liberty Bell. Fortunately, the spirit behind the word survived.


Hymnicide entered and exited the language in 1862, a display of good manners. Hymn singers are usually volunteers, and it is unkind to say they commit hymnicide while the pianist steadfastly strives to stay on the same page or even the same hymnal. We've all witnessed hymnicide, and no matter how shattered our ear drums, we do not call an abysmal worship performance by its correct name.  

Check Your Readability!

See what you can learn about your content today.

Try It Now »

Dave Child

Dave is the founder of, and has been building websites since the early 90s. He's one of those fortunate people who gets to do what he loves for a living.


Comments Premium!

Premium Subscribers get access to a whole host of specialist readability tools, including text, URL and file scoring, from as little as $5 per month!

Go Premium Today

  • Unlimited Text Readability
  • File (Word Docs, PDFs, etc) Scoring
  • Bulk Text Readability
  • Bulk URL Readability
  • Readability API

"I use's bulk processing tools to help maintain the quality and readability of my website"

Matthew Skilton, Appointment Reminder