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Fashions come and go. One year it's bell-bottoms that are cool, another time it might be torn jeans. What is hip for one age is passé for another. The same goes for words. Yesterday's street slang becomes respectable today, suitable for office memos and academic theses. Words once in everyday use may be labeled archaic a few hundred years later.

As I see it, there's no reason to despatch any word to the attic of time. Each word on our verbal palette -- whether new or old -- helps us bring out a nuance in conversation and in writing.

The words featured here this week are considered archaic but are still in good shape. They're old but have not yet retired from the language. They still faithfully report for duty, as shown by some of the examples from newspapers.

garboil (GAHR-boil) noun

Confusion; turmoil.

[Via French and Italian from Latin bullire (to boil).]

See more usage examples of garboil in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

-Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org)

"'That was some garboil in the woods', [Julius Winsome] announces to one increasingly confused victim."
Gerard Donovan; Dark Memories in the Forest; Irish Independent (Dublin, Ireland); Jun 16, 2007.


I am no more lonely than a single mullein or dandelion in a pasture, or a bean leaf, or sorrel, or a horse-fly, or a bumblebee. I am no more lonely than the Mill Brook, or a weathercock, or the north star, or the south wind, or an April shower, or a January thaw, or the first spider in a new house. -Henry David Thoreau, naturalist and author (1817-1862)

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