Is there a rack where disused words are hung like lost umbrellas, waiting for someone to claim and recycle them?
Here’s a verb: to glimm. Sadly I am either much too young or much too old to ever utter it, but my unanswerable question is how it came to mean two totally diametrically opposed actions in the space of 120 years.
To glimm as defined by Reynolds’s News; Dublin, Sunday May 24, 1891
“Do you know what ‘glimmin’ is? It is the task performed by poverty-stricken men and boys in the streets of running to open carriage-doors for the people who are coming out of the theatres.”
To glimm as defined by Urban Dictionary; November 21, 2012
to glimm: to defriend someone from social media based on a knee jerk reaction to a small disagreement, misunderstanding, or other inane reason unknown to anyone other than the person glimming you.
“I guess she didn’t like my comment about her boyfriend? I looked on facebook and I’ve been glimmed”
Each meaning entirely fits the epoch, so I wonder what glimm’s next re-invention will be in another 120 years? I hope etymo-archaeologists will remember me then.