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The Top Ten: Words used only with one other word...


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.)