The Swerk One

Written for:  Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads – Scribble It!  “Awhape Me” (posted by Paul)

Experts at the University of York have complied a list of 30 words from the English language that have fallen out of our consciousness and conversation that might conceivably make a comeback.

What better place to put that to the test than The Imaginary Garden? Here are those very words and their meaning.

Ambodexter: One who takes bribes from both sides.
Betrump: To deceive, cheat; to elude, slip from ( I know right?)
Coney-catch: To swindle, cheat, to trick, dup, deceive
Hugger-mugger: Concealment, secrecy
Nickum: A cheating or dishonest person
Quacksalver: A person who dishonestly claims knowledge of or skill in medicine, a pedlar of false cures.
Rouker: A person who whipers or murmurs, who spreads tales or rumours
Man-millinery: Suggestive of male vanity or pomposity
Parget: To daub or plaster the face or body with powder or paint
Snout-fair:Having a fair countenance; fair-faced, comely, handsome
Slug-a-bed: One who lies long in bed through laziness
Losenger: A false flatterer, a lying rascal, a deceiver
Momist: A person who habitually finds fault. a harsh critic
Peacockize: To behave like a peacock; esp. to pose or strut ostentatiously
Percher: A person who aspires to a higher rank or status; an ambitious or self-assertive person
Rouzy-bouzy: Boisterously drunk
Ruff: To swagger, bluster, domineer. To ruff it out/ to brag or boast of a thing
Sillytonian: A silly or gullible person, esp. one considered as belonging to a notional sect of such people
Wlonk: Proud, haughty/Rich, splendid, fine, magnificent: in later use esp. as a conventional epithet in alliterative verse ( N. A fair or beautiful one)
Fumish: Inclined to fume, hot-tempered, irascible, passionate; also charectorised by or exhibiting anger or irascibility
Awhape: To amaze, stupefy with fear, confound utterly
Hugge: To shudder, shrink, shiver, or shake with fear or with cold
Merry-go-sorry: A mixture of joy and sorrow
Stomaching: Full of maalignity; given to cherish anger or resentment
Swerk: To be or become dark; in Old English often, to become gloomy, troubled or sad
Teen: To vex, irritate, annoy, anger, enrage/ To inflict suffering upon; to afflict, harass; to injure, harm
Tremblable: Causing dread or horror; dreadful
Wasteheart: Used to express grief, pity, regret, disappointment or concern: ‘alas!’ ‘woe is me!’ Also a wasteheart-a day, wasteheart of me
Dowsable: Applied generically to a sweetheart, ‘lady-love’
Ear-rent: The figurative cost to a person of listening to trivial or incessant talk

So the task ahead is clear. Pick one or two or a dozen of those words and pen a poem.

A tremblable villain, oftimes
rouzy-bouzy, ruffed his way
around a local park, fumishing,
brandishing a large cane
at children and parents
alike. He knocked over bikes,
snorted at animals, his face
pargeted in green and red,
body tattooed in blue ink,
stink coming off him like
an old fish. When not trying
to awhape his neighbors,
he slug-a-bedded
in his old house, feeling
merry-go-sorry about his past
dowsables, and rueful
of having become a betrumper
of a man who was known
in town as a nickum. No one
will mourn me, was his last

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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16 Responses to The Swerk One

  1. Goodness me. What a charecter you have conjured here. Fantastic work. Thanks for playing.


  2. I should say that you reap what you sow… still it’s often hard to see what’s behind the hard surface of a human… (except the blood and bone that is much the same as mine)


  3. Marian says:

    Ah, sad ending…


  4. Quite a tale.. yes, a sad ending


  5. MNL says:

    Sad ending but a hilarious read. We definitely need to bring back those old words because they rock a poem. I love this line: “snorted at animals, his face
    pargeted in green and red,” cracked me up.


  6. Namratha says:

    What a character!


  7. The poor bastard (and his neighbors).


  8. Gillena Cox says:

    Seem he is in the end growing some kind of conscience as he thinks
    “No one
    will mourn me, ”

    great use of the prompt words !!!

    much love…


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