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Forthright's Forsoothery

Zounds! Whosoever shall gaze hither may find a trove of long-lost words and betimes cry, "Heyday!" or "Gramercy!" No, seriously, though: This word list exemplifies "forsoothery" (sometimes also known as "gadzookery"): archaic terms, especially as used in modern literature. These 134 words were formerly used as everyday adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, interjections and other little words, but which now are only found in books, movies and other works of fiction that use them archaically, facetiously or knowingly. If you read a certain style of questionable fantasy or historical literature (as I have been known to do from time to time), you will no doubt have encountered examples of forsoothery.

Word Definition
abaft toward or at the stern of a ship; further aft
afore before
agone ago
alack expression of sorrow or regret
alee on or toward the lee
alow below
amain to a high degree; exceedingly; at full speed
an if
anent about; concerning
anon at once; immediately
aright right; correctly
aroint begone
athwart across; in opposition to; sideways; transversely
aught anything at all; something
avaunt away; hence
aye yes
beforetime formerly
belike most likely; probably
betimes in short time; speedily
betwixt between
certes in truth; certainly
clepe to name; to call
eft again; afterwards
eftsoons soon after
egad mild oath
eke in addition; also; likewise
endlong lengthwise
enow enough
ere before
erelong before long; soon
erewhile until now
eyne eyes
fain happy; inclined; pleased
fie expression of disgust or disapproval
forby past; near
fore at an earlier time or period
forsooth in truth; indeed
forthwith immediately
froward turned away; self-willed; unreasonable; perverse; adverse
gadzooks mild oath
gar mild oath
gardyloo warning cry
gramercy expression of gratitude or surprise
hark to pay close attention; to listen
heretofore until now
heyday expression of elation or wonder
hight named; called; to command or call
hist expression used to attract attention
hither to this place
howbeit although
ifsoever if ever
ilke kind or nature
inly inwardly; thoroughly
iwis surely; certainly
lackaday expression of regret or deprecation
lief soon; gladly
marry expression of surprised agreement
maugre in spite of
mayhap perhaps
meet fitting; proper
meseems it seems to me
methinks I believe; I think
nary not a one; not at all
natheless nevertheless; notwithstanding
needs of necessity; necessarily
nigh nearly; almost
nowise not at all
od mild oath
or before
parcel partly
pardie mild oath; certainly or truly
parfay by my faith; verily
peradventure perhaps; possibly; by adventure; by chance
prithee expression of wish or request
puissant powerful; mighty
quotha expression of surprise or contempt
rede to counsel or advise
ruth pity; remorse; sorrow
semovedly separately
siege seat or throne
sith since
somedeal somewhat
somewhither to some place; somewhere
sooth truth; reality; in truth
soothfast truthful; honest; faithful
soothly in truth; truly
speed prosperity; success
strait strict; rigorous; constricted
sweven vision seen in sleep; a dream
swink to toil; to labour
swith instantly; quickly
swoopstake in an indiscriminate manner
teen injury; grief
thereinto into that or it
thereon thereupon
therewith thereupon; forthwith
therewithal besides
thither to that place
thole to endure; to suffer
thro through
tother the other
twain two
twixt between
usward toward us
verily truly; certainly; confidently
wanion ill luck; misfortune
weed garment or outfit worn during mourning
wellaway expression of sorrow or lamentation; alas
whenas when
whencesoever from whatsoever place or source
whereagainst against which
whereinsoever in whatsoever respect or place
whereinto into which; into what
whereof of what
whereon on what
whereout out of which
wherethrough through which; through the agency of
whereuntil to what
wherewith with what
whichsoever every one that
whilom formerly; once; former
whither to what place
whithersoever to any place whatsoever
whitherward toward what or which place
whosoever every one who
wist to know
withal besides; therewith; nevertheless; with
wood mad; insane; wild
yare marked by quickness and agility; nimble; prepared; easily handled
yede to go
yoicks expression of surprise or excitement
yon yonder; that over there; those over there
yonside on the farther side of
zounds mild oath

I hope you have found this site to be useful. If you have any corrections, additions, or comments, please contact me. Please note that I am not able to respond to all requests. Please consult a major dictionary before e-mailing your query. All material on this page © 1996-2021 Stephen Chrisomalis. Links to this page may be made without permission.

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