Word Up! Defibrillating Dead Words

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Causeuse - [n.] -  French furniture. An upholstered settee for two persons. All images via The Dead Words

Stuffed into sentences and creased into ancient books in far-off corners of old libraries, there is a plethora of forgotten words — words like ‘panchymagogue’ and ‘aquabib.’ These words had no hope of seeing daylight, not until graphic designer and illustrator Karen To came along to rescue them!

In To’s blog, The Dead Words, obscure words are brought back to life with punchy, pretty lettering crafted after the words’ definitions. Thanks to To and the other contributing language-loving letterists, you can sharpen your smarts, delight your eye for aesthetics, and do your part to keep helpless words from stagnating.


Woolbird [n.] - a sheep

Quaeritate  [v.] - to question; to inquire

Starrify [verb]  to decorate with stars; to make into a star. 

Scandiscope [n.] - machine for cleaning chimneys

What’s your favorite “dead word”?

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4 Responses to Word Up! Defibrillating Dead Words

  1. Laura Thompson 05/24/2012 at 10:33 am #

    Yex! I get the yexes all the time.

  2. Rose Eva 05/24/2012 at 11:34 am #

    Wow, how pretty! Gotta love how they did Celeberrimous.

  3. Eliza 05/25/2012 at 6:11 am #

    I love it….being a word nerd myself, I am in my element right now. <3 it!

  4. Charlotte 05/25/2012 at 9:31 am #

    Starrify is such a pretty word! :) Gonna use that today!

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