No matter how clever, revolutionary, or poignant, the passage of time can render anything obsolete – even words.

Recently, researchers for the  Collins Dictionary released a list of words, such as charabanc and aerodrome, that are used so rarely that they are considered obsolete, and will no longer be included in smaller print dictionaries.

The following are among the words that the Collins lexicographers have identified. How many of these have you heard before, and do any of them deserve a second chance?

An online dictionary obviously doesn’t face the same  space dilemmas as its paper cousin, but an argument could be made that if a word is rarely used or searched for, it may not matter if it is in the dictionary or not. Are there any words that you think should be removed from the dictionary? Let us know what you think, below.


States News Service January 18, 2012 CAPE CANAVERAL AFS, Fla. — The following information was released by the Air Force Space Command:

by Patrick Murphy 45th Space Wing Public Affairs The U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Coast Guard teamed up Jan. 6 to rescue 29 Green sea turtle hatchlings and give them a little help in their migration to the open ocean.

“We knew we would have to release the turtles further out at sea rather than from the shore,” said Biologist Don George of the 45th Civil Engineer Squadron Asset Management Flight at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. “We called the Coast Guard Station for assistance since they helped in rescuing sea turtles previously. They’re always willing to help.” The turtles, hatchlings from the last of 110 active Green sea turtle nests on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, may not have made it out of the nest without intervention by the Cape Canaveral AFS biologists who administer the installation’s sea turtle conservation project.

This program, which began at Cape Canaveral AFS in 1986, includes the protection, conservation and management of endangered and threatened sea turtles and their nests. Nesting occurs on more than 13 miles of Cape Canaveral AFS beach, with more than 2,000 nests deposited by Loggerhead sea turtles, 50-100 by Green sea turtles and this year, a record number 12 nests by Leatherback sea turtles, which are rare in the United States. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission issues a permit each year that allows the installation to conduct the program. site green sea turtle

Throughout sea turtle nesting season from May to October, members of the asset management flight count and mark the nests, determine nest productivity, deploy visual screens to prevent hatchling disorientation from artificial light, document and determine cause of disorientation incidents, live trap potential predators on sea turtle eggs and hatchlings, and conduct stranding or salvage activities. The flight produces reports annually that summarize nesting results which are provided to FWC and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to assist them in making management decisions for these threatened and endangered species. greenseaturtlenow.com green sea turtle

Upon hatching, sea turtles instinctively make their way to the water. These late bloomers, however, were excavated from the nest when the biologists noticed signs of hatching activity. The nest was created in September, and the eggs took 109 days to incubate – more than 50 days longer than usual.

According to Air Force Biologist Martha Carroll of the 45th Civil Engineer Squadron Asset Management Flight, the turtles began emerging from their eggs but some needed help in breaking through the shells. The 29 live hatchlings needed to get into the water to feed, but since they were so late in emerging the water temperature was too cold for them. Placing them directly into the water from the shore could have resulted in “wash back,” due to colder water temperatures that tend to inhibit their ability to swim.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Committee recommended the turtles be released in warmer water further out to sea. With coordination complete and permission granted, the Coast Guard agreed to transport the sea turtles and their escort.

“It’s business as usual for us,” said Coast Guard Chief Boatswain’s Mate Nick Ingersoll. “This is just part of the job.” Aboard a search and rescue boat, Chief Ingersoll and the other members of the Coast Guard crew, Seaman Megan Bigelow and Fireman Dani Garcia, cruised 20 miles off shore with Ms. Carroll and the sea turtles. The water temperature at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration buoy there was around 70 degrees. Chief Ingersoll chased a flock of sea birds from the buoy with an air horn, then Ms. Carroll placed the turtles individually into the warm water.

The 29 Green sea turtles swam off to begin their search for food and the safety of the weed line, still about 30 miles further out. With the assistance of the Air Force and the Coast Guard, their chances of making it were greatly improved.


  1. keisha -  April 20, 2014 - 9:23 am

    I think the word Negrophobia should be removed, its wrong in so many ways.. We as a human race have moved on from those dark times and words like this can only bring us back rather than help us move forward.

  2. Judy -  April 1, 2014 - 5:01 pm

    No words should be removed. We already have experienced translation difficulties from ancient text because nobody knows what the word that was used in that time meant or what it’s equivalent is today.

  3. John -  March 23, 2014 - 6:09 pm

    For goodness’ sake! People are going on and on about how this is leading to a Newspeak situation like in 1984, but it’s NOT. First of all, these are a handful of words that are being taken away; do you know how many new English words we have last year? At least that many, if not more! Secondly, only in smaller dictionaries are these words being removed; does anyone still learn words as unused as these by pocket dictionary? They can learn them on an online dictionary or just by reading if they like! Thirdly, these words are already unused! These are virtually unused because of the fourth, and final, reason not to worry about this: each of these words has an identical or near-identical synonym that is used far more often in modern times, reducing the users of the original word to those who merely wish to impress people with their vocabulary.

    Here are the words people use today instead of these:

    Alienism = Psychopathology
    Bever = Snack
    Brabble = Squabble
    Charabanc = Tour bus (unless you’re talking about the early 19th-century vehicle, in which case you really ought to know what a charabanc is!)
    Deliciate = Indulge oneself
    Frigorific = Cold/Frigid (something that “causes cold or freezing” is just something that’s cold, for crying out loud!!)
    Supererogate = Overdo
    Younker = Lad

    • Ora -  April 19, 2014 - 9:00 am

      Thank you, John, for saving me the trouble of looking those words up.

  4. jerry -  March 20, 2014 - 4:48 pm

    keep delicate delete everything else on the list

  5. Mark Baker -  March 20, 2014 - 9:58 am

    Referencing “Steve – March 17, 2014 – 5:10 am” — his is the best comment (admittedly I haven’t read them all) I’ve read in regards to dropping words from the dictionary. The word “dropping” is just another way of “banning”. I’ve commented on this in the discussion of eliminating the word “whom”. Suffice it to say, this practice is akin to book-burning, but on a much smaller scale. If the publishers of small-print dictionaries are concerned with size of volumes, then create a new category of the standard volume. Discarding words from publication is akin to discarding history from history books (which is being done). This society is being systematically attacked from all sides — controlling the use of the language is just one example. Anyone that doesn’t see this, is just part of the problem.

  6. Winston -  March 19, 2014 - 12:57 am

    I reiterate the references to 1984 and Newspeak.

  7. Samuel Huneycutt -  March 18, 2014 - 6:30 pm

    @Morgan It’s deliciate not delicate

  8. YO MOM -  March 18, 2014 - 4:12 pm

    I think none of these words should be taken away I agree with everyone else.

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