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Funny Old English Words

Updated on April 3, 2012

As language evolves the words that we use change. Sometimes this is a good things as many Old English words are hard to pronounce...


Other times we stopped using some pretty good words. There are a lot of funny Old English words that have been forgotten. Today we are going to look at some of my favourites...

1) Gardyloo: What you yelled out to warn pedestrians that you were about to empty your bed pan out the window onto the street below.

Used in a sentence: 'Gardyloo!' (splat).

2) Ugsome: Another way of saying loathsome.

Used in a sentence: That person who emptied their bed pan onto the street is an 'ugsome' individual.

3) Logodaedalus: Someone who has great skill in the use of language.

Used in a sentence: He may be a 'logodaedalus' but it still doesn't take away from the fact that he emptied his bed pan onto the street below.

4) Grouthead: Another way of saying blockhead.

Used in a sentence: Run, that 'grouthead' is emptying his bed pan again!

5) Clapperdudgeon: A beggar or someone who pretends to be diseased to illicit donation from passer-bys.

Used in a sentence: Hey, he hit that 'clapperdudgeon' when he emptied his bed pan onto the street below!

6) Dacryopoes: To excite to tears or the tears that you have when you cut into an onion.

Used in a sentence: When they ended the practise of emptying bed pans onto the street below people had a fit of 'dacryopoes.'

Now lets put all of these funny Old English words into one sentence:

I had 'dacryopoes' when I saw that 'ugsome' 'grouthead' who is also a 'logodaedalus' yell, "Gardyloo!" only to hit that 'clapperdudgeon' with what was in his bed pan.

I think that having read this article you have now gained a greater appreciation for modern day plumbing. But I hope that you will also see the necessity for bringing some of these funny Old English words back into modern usage.

I beg of you...Nay, I demand that you go forth and blog these words back into existence! Email someone right now and tell them about some ugsome article that you've just read. If someone asks you for spare change, shout, "Away with you, clapperdudgeon!" For these words are too good to just let die and must be brought back so that future generations will have the opportunity to use them.



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    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 5 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      What a great read and indeed it does make me especially appreciative of modern plumbing.

    • Civil War Bob profile image

      Civil War Bob 5 years ago from Glenside, Pennsylvania

      Voted your good hub up, funny, interesting. So, was the guy that cleaned up the bed pan mess always called John? ;)

    • BusinessTime profile image

      Sarah Kolb-Williams 6 years ago from Twin Cities

      Loved this hub! English is fascinating :)

    • Bronson_Hub profile image

      Bronson_Hub 7 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      You make my inner etymologist LOL. Very clever and it's clear that you're a talented writer. So keep the hubs coming! :)

    • triciajean profile image

      Patricia Lapidus 7 years ago from Bantam, CT

      Just now I'd love to sing, "Sumer is a cuming in" all the way through if you wouldn't find my voice ugsome. Enough snow! Sed should blow and med should grow, right?

      "Sed" means seed and "med" is "meadow."

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 7 years ago from UK

      Love it! great words . I remember visiting an old preserved cobbled street in Edinburgh where they described 'Gardyloo!' from old times- yech!

    • Mercredi profile image

      Mercredi 7 years ago

      It's raining codswallop from the welkin!

    • profile image

      luabu 7 years ago

      what did we ever do to you for you to rain such excrement down on us

      very funny hub/ya goballoon/gobshite


    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, ha ha I love it, I will start using them straight away! cheers nell

    • attemptedhumour profile image

      attemptedhumour 7 years ago from Australia

      That's a neat little hub, if you read a novel by Thomas Hardy or Charlotte Bronte the language is amasing. Ugsome will fit nicely into most things. Cheers