Neologisms. Obsolete and archaic words

A neologism (/niːˈɒlədʒɪzəm/; is the name for a relatively new or isolated term, word, or phrase that may be in the process of entering common use, but that has not yet been accepted into mainstream language.[1][2] Neologisms are often directly attributable to a specific person, publication, period, or event. Neolexia ("new word", or the act of creating a new word) is a synonym.


No longer in use; found only in very old texts. Examples: zyxt

Virtually no one would currently use the word or meaning, and very, very few would understand the word or meaning if it were used in speech or text.

Archaic words

The word stock of a language is in an increasing state of change. In every period in the development of a literary language one can find words which will show more or less apparent changes in their meaning or usage, from full vigour, through a moribund state, to death, i.e. complete disappearance of the unit from the language. We’ll distinguish 3 stages in the aging process of words: 1) the beginning of the aging process when the word becomes rarely used. Such words are called obsolescent, i.e. they are in the stage of gradually passing out of general use; 2) The second group of archaic words are those that have already gone completely out of use but are still recognized by the English speaking community. These words are called obsolete. 3) The third group, which may be called archaic proper, are words which are no longer recognized in modern English, words that were in use in Old English and which have either dropped out of the language entirely or have changed in their appearance so much that they have become unrecognizable.

There is another class of words which is erroneously classed as archaic, historic words. Words of this type never disappear from the language.

Archaic words are used in historical novels, in official and diplomatic documents, in business letters, legal language, etc. Archaic words, word-forms and word combinations are also used to create an elevated effect.

3. Ancient Germanic languages.

The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family spoken natively by a population of approximately 500 million people[nb 1] mainly in North America, Oceania, Central Europe, Western and Northern Europe.

The West Germanic branch includes the two most widely spoken Germanic languages: English, with approximately 360–400 million native speakers,[3][nb 2] and German, with over 100 million native speakers.[4] Other major West Germanic languages are Dutch with 23 million speakers,[5] Low German with approximately 5 million in Germany[6] and 1.7 million in the Netherlands,[7] and Afrikaans, an offshoot of Dutch, with over 7.2 million.[8]

The main North Germanic languages are Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Icelandic, and Faroese, which have a combined total of about 20 million speakers.[9]

The East Germanic branch included Gothic, Burgundian, and Vandalic, all of which are now extinct. The last to die off was Crimean Gothic, spoken in the late 18th century in some isolated areas of Crimea.[10]

The SIL Ethnologue lists 48 different living Germanic languages, of which 42 belong to the Western branch, and 6 to the Northern branch.[11] The total number of Germanic languages through history is unknown, as some of them-especially East Germanic languages-disappeared during or shortly after the Migration Period.

The common ancestor of all of the languages in this branch is called Proto-Germanic-also known as Common Germanic-which was spoken in approximately the middle-1st millennium BC in Iron Age Scandinavia. Proto-Germanic, along with all of its descendants, is characterized by a number of unique linguistic features, most famously the consonant change known as Grimm's law. Early varieties of Germanic enter history with the Germanic tribes moving south from Scandinavia in the 2nd century BC, to settle in the area of today's northern Germany and southern Denmark.

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