April 7 (G)…Great (Obsolete) Words, Ghastly Words (that should be obsolete)

I’m short on time again today, as I sit down at 10:00 to write my “G” post.  Promises that I’ll get back to regularly scheduled programming next week.  In the mean time, I thought I would share some old “G” words that I love, and some that I would love to see gallop right into obsolescense.



gobemouche:   This (obsolete) word is of French origin and literally translated means, fly swallower.  So, a person who keeps their mouth open:  a silly or naive person.

gilly-gaupus:  A foolish person.  Also an awkward one.  For example:  “I am gilly-gaupus for not quitting my job right now.”

gormless:  Lacking intelligence and common sense.

gloppened:  Surprised.

gelastic:  Laughable.

gardyloo:  This is a warning that old timey folks used to holler when they tossed their dirty water and other foul liquid slop out the upper windows.  [Apparently, it was too much trouble to carry everything downstairs.]

Legend has it that King Phillipe Auguste of France got nailed by the nasty liquid from a chamber pot while walking through Paris.  He enacted a regulation for all upstairs residents to yell out the warning “gare a l’eau!”, which means “look out for the water!”, before dumping any liquids.  The Scots took the phrase as their own and anglicized it to gardyloo!

grammar folk:  Someone who is educated.

glaikery:  This is foolish and silly behavior.

groat:  Said of any person remarkably unsuccessful in his attempts or profession.   — Francis Grose’s The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue

gargalesis:  Gargalesis is heavy tickling.  It comes from the Greek gargalismos, which means tickling.

gormandise:  In honor of Thanksgiving, a word meaning to eat excessively, overindulge, glut, stuff, engorge, binge, pig out, overgorge, ingurgitate, scarf out.

gilravage:  To hold a merry meeting, with noise and riot, but without doing injury to anyone.  It seems generally, if not always, to include the idea of a wasteful use of food, and of intemperate use of strong drink.  According to the first orthography, the term may have formed from gild, a society, a fraternity, and the verb to ravage, or from French ravager; the riotous meeting of a gild or fraternity.  Could we suppose that the proper pronunciation were guleravage, it might be derived from French gueule, the mouth, the throat, also the stomach, conjoined with the verb already mentioned; to waste… to gormandize.     – John Jamieson’s Etymological Scottish Dictionary, 1808

gled’s claws:  We say of anything that has got into greedy keeping that it has “got into the gled’s claws,” where it will be kept until it be savagely devoured.   –John Mactaggart’s Scottish Gallovidian Encyclopedia, 1824

Took some searching to find what the gled was.  A gled is a common European kite, a raptorial bird, such as the hawk or falcon.  Gled has sometimes been applied as a name for the buzzard.



goody-goody:  1. a person who is self-righteously, affectedly, or cloyingly good.   2. self-righteously or cloyingly good; affecting goodness.

ginormous:  extremely large; huge.

These are the only two I can come up with right now.  It’s late, and I’m tired…as good an excuse as any.



5 thoughts on “April 7 (G)…Great (Obsolete) Words, Ghastly Words (that should be obsolete)

  1. I’m partial to “galoot” as in, “ya big galoot, yer a good guy.” It’s entirely possible I’m spelling it wrong, but it starts with a “g.” 🙂

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