Many people estimate that there are more than a million words in the English language. In fact, during a project looking at words in digitised books, researchers from Harvard University and Google in 2010, they estimated a total of 1,022,000 words and that the number would grow by several thousand each year. When you see a massive number like this, though, it’s important to remember that this includes different forms of the same word. It also includes lots of words that we could call archaic (they are not used in modern English).
In the second edition of the Oxford English dictionary, there are approximately 600,000 word forms defined. Again, this includes many old-fashioned words that are not in common use any more. The dictionary also expands every year to keep up with new words that are invented to describe the world around us, or to include new meanings for words that already exist in English. A more useful number from the Oxford English Dictionary would be the 171,476 words that are in current use. That means there are examples of each of these words being used recently.
Each day I’ll post a new, unusual, weird or obsure English word. Your challenge is to try use the word during your day in any way you’d like - speaking, writing, in text and WhatsApp messages, even on your social media accounts. Come and tell us how you used in a reply to that day’s word. Alternatively, you can create a totally new definition for the word if you’d like. Again, share that in reply to the words’ post.