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Obsolete Words

Дивіться також:
  1. Structural types of English words. Word-formation
  2. Stylistic differentiation of English words.
  3. Subneutral wordsare subdivided into colloquial words, jargon wordsand vulgar words.
  4. The Etymology of English words.
  5. To beat swords into plough-shares.

The lexical system of the English language had been developing for many centuries and reflecting the changes which constantly took place in the life of the English people. Some words dropped out of use (but they may remain somewhere at the periphery of the language system); other words remained only in special contexts such as historical documents and works of fiction.

E.g. De Brancy blew his horn three times, and the archers who stood along the wall hastened to lower the drawbridge and admit them (W. Scott).

Archer - стрелок из лука;

Drawbridge - подъемный мост около замка.

E.g. At each of these gates stood two heralds, attended by six trumpets and a strong body of men-at-arms. (W. Scott).

Herald - (ист) герольд, глашатай, вестник.

Trumpet - труба, звук которой возвещал начало турнира.

Man-at-arms - (ист) тяжеловооруженный всадник

When the thing named by the word is no longer used, i.e. the causes of the word's disappearance are extra-linguistic, the name of the thing becomes an historism.

Historisms exist as names of social institutions, social relations, objects of material culture of the past:

Mail (кольчуга), vizor (забрало), halberd (алебарда, вид оружия), scribe (писец), yeoman (иомен, в XIV - XVIII вв. зажиточный крестьянин, мелкий землевладелец).

Other examples of historisms demonstrate their belonging to different spheres of human activity of the past:

Batlet (валек, колотушка), galley (галера), frigate (фрегат), lute (лютня), lyre (лира), clavichord (клавикорды), carl (керл, крепостной, простолюдин), flint-gun (кремневое ружье), bestiary (средневековое собрание басен, сказок, аллегорий о животных).

Archaisms are words which were once in common use but now replaced by synonyms. There is no difference in the denotational component of meaning of both words, they differ only in their connotation, mainly in their stylistic and emotional colouring, imparting to the process of nomination a special ancient flavour, making it lofty and in a way out-of-the ordinary, creating a special atmosphere:

Yon (там), hearken (слушать), foe (враг), hie (спешить), morn (утро), aught (что-нибудь), glaive (меч, палаш, копье), self-blood (самоубийство), chop-house (харчевня, трактир), carry-tail (сплетник), nose-wise (самоуверенный, самовлюбленный), law-monger (подпольный адвокат).

The above-listed examples demonstrate lexical archaisms, while grammatical archaisms are grammatical forms which dropped out of use with the development of grammatical structure of English:

Hath, speaketh, doth, thou speakest, doest-verb forms in the IIId and IInd persons singular.

There are archaic forms of the past: spake, brake, personal pronouns of the IInd and IIId persons singular and plural: thou, thee, thy, thine, ye.

Stylistic effect achieved by the usage of grammatical and lexical archaisms may be illustrated by a fragment of Byron's poetry:

With thee, my bark, I'll swiftly go

Athwart the foaming brine;

Nor care what land thoubear'st me to,

So not again to mine.

Welcome, welcome, ye dark blue waves!

Another fragment:

Whilome in Albion's isle there dwelt a youth,

Who ne in virtue's ways did take delight.

But spent his days in riot and uncouth,

And vex'd with mirth with drowsy ear of night.

Ah, me! In sooth he was a shameless wight,

Sore given to revel and ungodly glee.

It should be once again mentioned that obsolete words very rarely drop out of use forever; the majority of them move to the periphery of the lexicon and their fate is unpredictable.

You can derive the aroma of the epoch from the following historisms:

cataphract - ист. кольчуга

carl - уст. керл, крепостной, виллан, простолюдин

gauntlet - латная рукавица

musket - мушкет

attainor - член большого жюри присяжных

gainage - хлебопашество

soaper - мыловар

childe - чайлд, молодой дворянин

Obsolete synonyms to modern words are called archaisms:

law-monger - подпольный адвокат

moonish - подверженный влиянию луны, ненадежный

nose-wise - самоуверенный, самовлюбленный

malt-worm - пьяница

barley-ape - пьяница

self-blood - самоубийство

spoil-paper - бумагомаратель, писака

true-penny - честный, надежный человек

carry-tale - сплетник, переносчик слухов

chop-house - харчевня, трактир

mad-brain - сумасшедший, сумасброд

light-bob - пехотинец

whore-master - груб. развратник, распутник

seamster - швец, портной

epulation - пир, пиршество

doddypoll - олух, дурень

scatterling - бродяга

brew-house - пивоварня, пивоваренный завод

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