Mark Forsyth’s lost words

Mark Forsyth is the author of The Horologicon, which he describes as a book of theoretically useful but forgotten or obscure words arranged by the hour of the day when they might come in handy. Two of his favourites are defined below.

Wamblecropt means ‘overcome with indigestion’. Once upon a time, you might observe that your stomach was wambling a bit. If the wambles got so bad you couldn’t move, you were wamblecropt.

Sprunt is an old Scots word meaning ‘to chase girls around among the haystacks after dark’. Mark writes (and I have to agree) that he would dearly love to have lived in a time and a place where this was such an everyday activity that they needed a single-syllable word for it.

From The Guardian Books Blog, 9th October 2013

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