The Top Ten: Words used only with one other word...
John Rentoul is chief political commentator for The Independent on Sunday, and visiting professor at Queen Mary, University of London, where he teaches contemporary history. Previously he was chief leader writer for The Independent. He has written a biography of Tony Blair, whom he admired more at the end of his time in office than he did at the beginning.
Sunday 15 December 2013
Stewart Wood, shadow minister without portfolio, asked about obsolete words that survive only in idiomatic phrases, such as serried and batten.
I have previously insisted that the use of squib, bated, scot and knell was compulsory, provided that they were detached from their familiar partners. Here are some more…
1. Fettle. Dudgeon. Shrift. Shebang. (All nominated by Tom Freeman.)
2. Figment. (Thanks to Arieh Kovler.)
3. Swingeing (Courtesy of Ten-Acre Wines.)
4. Unsung (From Steve Van Riel.)
5. Amok (Thanks to David Crosbie. As Woody Allen once said, “If you’re tired, we can walk amok.”)
6. Hale (From Danny Kemp.)
7. Fledged (From my colleague Andy McSmith.)
8. Inclement (Via Michael Crick.)
9. Clarion (Courtesy of Peter Campbell.)
10. Dulcet. (Halcyon Joel Carter.)
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