Posted by: Jack Henry | January 11, 2018

Editor’s Corner: “Silly Old-Timey” Words

I love the information I dig up while researching topics to write about—I hope you do too. Today, I’m sharing a list of “silly, old-timey” words that I found on BuzzFeed. I think we should start using these words again. (I’m not providing the BuzzFeed link because of an inappropriate explanation for a word that I omitted. BuzzFeed is interesting, but not always work appropriate.)

My family was already at their wit’s end after I wrote about, and started using, historical swear words and words that make you sound “wicked smart.” They’re going to run away crying after I throw down some of these. I’m so excited!

All of the following information comes directly from BuzzFeed. (And they like to play with language, so not everything below is as grammatically correct as we’re used to!) BuzzFeed put the words together, and they also wrote the “How to use it” sentences. I take no credit (or blame) for their creativity (or lameness).

  1. Flapdoodle: foolish words

First known use: 1878

How to use it: Henry thinks he’s a genius, but everything he tweets is pure flapdoodle!

  1. Claptrap: pretentious nonsense

First known use: 1799

How to use it: Oh, Ethel, we all know you’re a trust fund baby—your constant complaining about how hard it is being an artist is just claptrap.

  1. Tommyrot: utter foolishness or nonsense

First known use: 1884

How to use it: Every Tinder conversation I have is full of tommyrot and goes nowhere—maybe I should just join Match instead.

  1. Fiddle-faddle: nonsense (often used as an interjection)

First known use: 1577

How to use it: Oh, fiddle-faddle, William! (throws hands in the air) How many times did I tell you that I do NOT look good in the Mayfair filter?

5. Monkeyshine: mischievous or playful activity; a prank

First known use: circa 1832

How to use it: Quite frankly, Florence, I’m growing tired of all your monkeyshines, and you need to start acting like an adult.

6. Horsefeathers: foolish or untrue words; often used as an interjection

First known use: 1927

How to use it: I can’t believe Edna canceled on me at the last minute and used the late-at-work-again excuse—she just Instagrammed a selfie with her cat. Horsefeathers, I tell ya!

7. Applesauce: nonsense

First known use: 1704

How to use it: Yeah, we broke up—I just couldn’t take all his applesauce anymore, especially after I found out he still had an active OkCupid account.

8. Codswallop: nonsense (British)

First known use: 1963

How to use it: I was deathly hungover on Friday and said I had a stomach virus, but everyone knew it was 100% codswallop— I should’ve never geotagged myself at the bar Thursday at midnight!

9. Blatherskite: a person who blathers a lot; nonsense

First known use: circa 1650

How to use it: Johnny’s a real blatherskite on Facebook but I never hear two peeps outta him IRL.

10. Bafflegab: gibberish; gobbledygook

First known use: 1952

How to use it: Cut the bafflegab already, Beatrice, and talk to me in plain English instead of cryptic texts. I have no idea what smh means. [dbb: “smh” means “shaking my head.”]

11. Stultiloquence: senseless or silly talk

First known use: circa 1913

How to use it: I went on a date with this smart and witty dude I follow on Tumblr, but our conversation was full of a bunch of stultiloquence. Maybe he was just nervous?

12. Taradiddle: a fib; pretentious nonsense

First known use: circa 1796

How to use it: Listen, Carl, I’ve had it up to here with all this taradiddle about how you’re best friends with Harry Styles. He favorited your tweet, like, eight months ago and THAT’S IT.

13. Piffle: trivial nonsense

First known use: 1890

How to use it: I am SO over Mildred’s Snapchats! They’re total piffle — I could not care less about what she has for dinner every night.

14. Humbuggery: false or deceptive behavior

First known use: 1750

How to use it: I fell for this hottie’s humbuggery on Tinder—and ended up being catfished by my best friend. Sigh.

Donna Bradley Burcher | Senior Technical Editor | Symitar®

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Symitar Documentation Services

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