Blatteroon, snollygoster on Wayne State’s list of words to revive

This is a book with pages. (Pexels)

DETROIT – A team at Wayne State University in Detroit has released an annual list Wednesday of little-used words it deems worthy of resurrection.

Anagapesis (loss of feelings for someone who was formerly loved), blatteroon (a senseless babbler or boaster), snollygoster (a shrewd, unprincipled person, especially a politician) and footle (to engage in fruitless activity; to mess about) are among the 10 words selected by Wayne State University’s Word Warriors.

Unlike overused words or phrases that counterparts at Lake Superior State University in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula list each year for banishment, the Word Warriors want to dust off those that have fallen into disuse.

“Each year, I’m surprised by the variety of the submissions we receive from around the world,” said Chris Williams, head of the Word Warriors program. “Our Word Warriors once again provided a batch of words that make our language richer.”

Words are submitted through the Word Warriors website, where they can be seen by others. They come throughout the year from Detroit residents and other wordsmiths around the globe, according to the school.

“Anagapesis is one of my favorites that we have,” Williams said. “It’s one word and it tells an entire story.”

Others are slugabed from 2019, which means a lazy person who stays in bed late, and mugwump from 2017, which means a person who remains aloof or independent — especially from party politics, he said.

“It’s just a fun word to say,” Williams said. “If you’re writing and add that word in, you add so much character to your writing. Language is so versatile. Sometimes it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”

This year’s list also includes:

— Brontide: Low, muffled sound like distant thunder heard in certain seismic regions, especially along seacoasts and over lakes and thought to be caused by feeble earth tremors.

— Dysania: State of finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning.

— Maleolent: Foul-smelling, odorous.

— Paralian: Someone who lives by the sea.

— Sophronize: To imbue with moral principles or self-control.

— Ultracrepidarian: Expressing opinions on matters outside the scope of one’s knowledge or expertise.


Williams reported from West Bloomfield, Michigan.