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Published:January 6th, 2015 13:30 EST

Old School Words Worth Reviving: Caterwaul, Rapscallion, Flapdoodle

By Robert Paul Reyes

Wayne State University has released its annual list of the year`s top 10 words that deserve to be used more often in conversation and prose. These are my favorite six:


Caterwaul: A shrill howling or wailing noise.

Flapdoodle: Nonsense

Knavery: A roguish or mischievous act.

Mélange: A mixture of different things.

Philistine: A person who is hostile or indifferent to culture and the arts, or who has no understanding of them.

Rapscallion: A mischievous person.

The words that have entered our lexicon in recent years like "texting"  "selfie"   "tweep" and "hashtag" are soulless and don`t do squat to make the English language more colorful and vibrant.

Although there are a few exceptions, calling Miley Cyrus "ratchet" and a "skank" make it crystal clear that she`s not exactly a woman of fine breeding.

I`m proud to say that I often use "Philistine" and "rapscallion"  in my essays and everyday speech. I`d rather call the likes of Bill Clinton a "rapscallion"  as opposed to referring to him as a disingenuous miscreant.

I`d much rather say that Pat Robertson delivered a sermon heavy on flapdoodle, than accuse him of uttering theological nonsense.

I urge my fellow bloggers to do their part to keep the English language dynamic and energetic by making good use of these old-school words.

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