January 9, 2023

Wayne State Word Warriors release 2023 list

A pile of letter tiles.Another year has passed in a trice, and it’s time once again for the Wayne State University Word Warriors to gasconade about their latest list of words to bring back to common usage. Far from a bunch of claptrap, this collection provides an opportunity for word nerds around the world to enrich their vocabulary.

Now beginning its 14th year, Wayne State’s Word Warriors program aims to resurrect long-lost — but not completely forgotten — words. Its annual list is composed of submissions from both administrators of the website as well as the public; participants worldwide have seen their favorite words brought back from the brink of obsolescence at wordwarriors.wayne.edu. New entries are posted there — as well as on Facebook — weekly.

“Once again, our Word Warriors have provided a collection of words that makes our language a bit livelier,” said Chris Williams, assistant director of editorial services for Wayne State Marketing and Communications, and head of the Word Warriors program. “To say someone ‘stravaged under the mogshade as the crepuscular glow filled the forest’ is so much more poetic than saying ‘he walked in the woods at night.’”

And now, the Word Warriors’ 2023 list of eminently useful words that should be brought back to enrich our language:

  • Bunbury
    • To create a fictitious scenario that provides an excuse for avoiding unwanted engagements.
    • He declined the invitation to the party by saying he had to help his cousin move, a bunbury he kept in his back pocket even though he hadn't spoken to the relative in decades.
  • Claptrap
    • Absurd or nonsensical talk or ideas.
    • His opinion pieces were a rambling, incoherent bit of claptrap.
  • Crepuscular
    • Of, relating to, or resembling twilight.
    • Our last night at the farm, we watched the fireflies as the crepuscular rays filtered through the trees.
  • Gasconade
    • Boast extravagantly.
    • As soon as he received his test scores, he began to gasconade about the results across his social media channels.
  • Mogshade
    • The shadow cast by trees.
    • We enjoyed our ice cream while sitting in the cool of the mogshade.
  • Overmighty
    • Domineering, imperious, condescending, assertive. Prone to take advantage of power.
    • The overmighty zoning officers dismissed the complaint with insulting condescension.
  • Podsnappery
    • An attitude toward life marked by complacency and a refusal to recognize unpleasant facts.
    • As the company collapsed around him, the CEO displayed a frustrating podsnappery, collecting his bonus with a smile.
  • Rizzle
    • To relax and digest after consuming a large meal.
    • After Thanksgiving dinner, I plopped on the couch and rizzled for several hours.
  • Stravage
    • To roam or wander aimlessly.
    • He left the subway station and spent hours stravaging around the city, gawking at the tall buildings and crowds of people.
  • Trice
    • A brief space of time.
    • The squirrel appeared on the lawn and the dog was after it in a trice.


Dave Pemberton
Phone: 586-557-6702
Email: dpemberton@wayne.edu

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