After the invent of English language, a lot has changed about usage of words, addition of new vocabulary and many more. However, there are some English words that have become completely obsolete or have stopped being used entirely. Here are few such English words that have still a blur existence as they have been used in different idioms.


  • WEND

The word “wend” usually appears along with “way”.  For e.g we can say- wend your way through the tunnel. However, no one wends his/her way to office or bed. But in earlier times, wend was used to refer any kind of place. It was just an another word for “go”. Its past tense was “went” and the past tense of “go” was “gaed”. Until 15th century, both were used, but later “went” was considered to be a better choice.


The word “desert” from the phrase “just deserts” is not actually the sand-desert or the post dinner one. The word comes from Old French word “deserve” and was used from 13th century in English to mean “that which is deserved”. This means that when you get just deserts, you get what you deserve of your dues.

  • DINT

In Old English “Dint” referred to a powerful blow struck with a weapon or a sword. Now the word finds its existence in the idiomatic expression “by dint of X “ where X can stand for strength, smartness, charisma, hard work,etc.


Today, the word Roughshod is used in the expression “to run/ride roughshod” which means to treat someone harshly or mercilessly. It was used to describe the 17th century version of snow tires. A “ rough-shod” horse had a protruding nails attached to its shoes to get a firm grip on slippery roads.

  • HUE

The “hue” that we use commonly in context of color came from Old English word hiew which meant “appearance”. The “hue” comes from the French word “hu” or “hue” which meant to hoot. This was same as the “hue” of “hue and cry” expression that is used to express noisy clamor of a crowd.

  • KITH

The word “kith” from “kith and kin” arose from the Old English word that meant knowledge or acquaintance. Its stood for native land or country. The “kith and kin” expression basically meant your country and your family, but later incorporated the broader sense of friends and family.

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