Languages are similar to living organisms, as they are adaptable, changeable and in interaction with their environment including culture, other languages, trends, wars.. etc.  Many words are added to the language throughout the years. If they are accepted by people, carried to next generations. If they are not accepted, they get lost in past. There are some other words which were not lost in the past, but lost their archaic meaning and  now mostly used in idioms. First read the titles and then try to guess the meaning of the words to add some more interest.


This word is still used in modern English. The difference is the way how it is used. It lost its main meaning throughout the centuries. In modern English , wend is used mostly with the word ” way ” for  instance ” after having rest, they’ ll wend their way to mountains “. But it was an independent word before 15 century. It had same meaning with the verb ” go “. They were both used in society.  Wend has also another effect on modern English. In old English the past tense of ” wend ” was ” went ” which is past tense of ” go ” now. And ” gaed ” was used as past tense of ” go “.


We all know 2 meanings of desert in modern English. It is needless to tell about them. But its third meaning is rarely known. ” Desert ” was used to explain anything that was  derserved.


” Eke ” is mainly used with ” out ” as a phrase which means “to make something last longer” in modern English. Long time ago people used to say eke when they wanted mean the verb “add”. They had same meaning, add and eke. In addition to this, ekename was the ancestor of  the word  ” nick name ” which is very common in 21th century. Ekename means extra, additional name in an informal way.


Sleight of hand is a phrase that was used when it came to tricky skills which were done by hands of a magician. It means the trick requiring quickness of the hands and skill, cleverness and dexterity.


It was the age of swords and such weapons, when this word was in use without being in an idiom. It is a blow, cavity, dent made by a sword or sword-like weapon in a fight. Now, it is a part of idiom, ” by dint of ” that means “by means of.”


You know those tires which are used when it snows. Well, roughshod is an archaic type of that tire. Horseshoes were attached to feet of horse with nails running out of shoe a little bit in order to keep the horse on its feet on slippery roads. That is called rough-shod.


This is a different way to pronounce the word ” from ” that was common in Northern English or Scotttish.


” Hue” is used in two different ways which come from two different origins. First one is from Old English origin, used as a term about colors. And second one comes from old French. ” Hue and cry ” means, outcry, noise, war or hunting cry of a crowd.

Kith is a word that has same meaning with homeland, native country. It is mostly used in expression with kin as ” kith and kin “. This expression actually means native land and your close relatives. But now it includes friends and other relatives also.


Lurch forms an expression with the verb ” leave “. To leave someone in lurch stands for leaving someone in trouble, in a difficult situation. When it is used without ” leave ” it stands for pitching to one side suddenly and this meaning comes from nautical terms. First meaning of the word is originally comes from a French game, lourche. And it is also used when it comes to games of skill. In this situation word stands for beating in a game by many points.


The origin of this word is in Old French, ombrage. It stood for shadow, shade. Many years ago it had just one meaning related to shadow. Nowadays umbrage is used with give or take to explain the state of offend or being offended.


Shrift was a word associated with church and religion. In archaic English, shrift stood for confession to priest, followed by penance and absolution. This act, shrift was probably prefered to keep short by espcially priest. In modern English the expression of short shrift can be related to old English version logically in this context.

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