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During the month of January, we shared a ‘Word of the Day’ on facebook and instagram from an antique dictionary in the museum’s collection. Our 1906 edition of the Funk and Wagnall’s Standard Dictionary has over 2,000 pages! It is full of fabulous definitions, illustrations and literary quotes. You can browse a 1908 edition in full on part 1 / part 2.

Thank you to everyone who followed along and commented with examples of how you would use these words. Here are a few of your wonderful comments. Scroll down to find out what these words mean and to add some Edwardian flare to your vocab!

“As the coffee dripped his wife heard him maunder again. He was not an early morning riser for sure.”

— Kathleen

“With the stay at home order, I will have to obumbulate my own yard for excercise.”

— Lori

“In order to Enisle go snowmobiling”

— Haliburton County Snowmobile Association – HCSA

“May the apricity follow you today and in the days to come.”

— @theway.i.sawit

“We will be planting fruit trees and bushes (fingers crossed) this summer and would love volunteers to come yeuling with us”

— @nbynade

“here’s a good way to spice up your historical vocab in 2021” 😊

— Sara

Words of the day

Apricity, The warmth of the sun in winter 

Bosset, A protuberance on the head of the male deer, formed by the rudimentary antler

Cabal, To unite in a small party for purposes of plot or intrigue (verb). A number of persons secretly united for affecting by intrigue some private or party purpose (noun)

Computer, One who computes; particularly one who makes astronomical or other special calculations

Dodo, A large recently extinct didoid columbine bird or pigeon of Mauritius, with short functionless wings, large hooked bill, and clumsy aspect

En-isle, To place on an island; make an isle of; isolate

Foison, Abundance; plenty.

Gawf, A cheap red apple made to appear of superior quality by rubbing with a cloth 

Higgler, A pedler or huckster: said to be so named from the chaffering or higgling proclivities ascribed to this class; hence anyone who higgles

Hockey, An outdoor game in which opposing sides, with clubs curved at one end, endeavor to drive a block or ball into or past their opponents’ goal

Izzard, The letter Z: an old name, now chiefly in the phrase below.
– from A to izzard, from beginning to end; thoroughly

Jejune, Devoid of life, point, or interest; dry; as a jejune story

Keak, To cackle like a goose

Lackaday, An exclamation denoting grief, regret, or surprise

Maunder, To utter in a grumbling or incoherent manner

Nescience, The state of not knowing; lack of knowledge; ignorance

Obambulate, To walk about

Parbuckle, A purchase to aid in rolling a cask or other heavy object up an incline or in controlling its descent

Quadruplex, Fourfold; doubled twice: used specifically of a telegraph system such that four messages, two in each direction, may be simultaneously sent over one wire

Rach, A scent-hunting dog

Saltate, To dance; leap; skip

Twitter, To utter with a succession of slight bird-like sounds.

Uranography, Descriptive astronomy; especially that branch of the science which treats of the constellations and of the stars that form them

Vacillate, To change from one purpose or opinion to another and back again, as under the influence of opposing motives; fluctuate in mind; be unsteady or irresolute; waiver

Wafture 1. A wafting or waving motion; a beckoning by waving something. He is to follow the wafture of his master’s hand to the right or left. 2. Conveyance by wafting; as, the wafture of incense. 3. That which is wafted, as an odor.

Wallop, 1. To boil vigorously with much noise, rolling, and bubbling; as, the soap wallops in the caldron. 2. To move quickly with an irregular tumbling gait or manner like a seal; waddle; gallop in an awkward rolling way. 3. To be slovenly, carelessly, or negligent. 4. [Slang.] To vomit. 

Xenian, Relating to friendly intercourse and hospitality of people not of the same state or country

Yeuling, The act of walking around fruit trees and invoking a plentiful crop

Zarf, A metal cup shaped holder, of open or ornamental filigree, for a hot coffee-cup: in the Levant.

Picture Round

Here are a few of the fabulous illustrations from this 2,000 page dictionary!