As a lot of this blog is about writing, I wanted to write a regular article on my favourite forgotten words. You know the type of thing, those poor lost words that sit at the back of our minds, gathering dust, having been discovered years ago in literary classics like Dickens, or Austen. They are the spices of the literary world, but I refuse to let them sit in a cupboard and be ignored until they go out of date! Let’s bring them back!

This month’s word is: FLIMFLAM


Nonsensical or insincere talk

A confidence trick

The Oxford Online Dictionary describes this word as both a noun and a verb. The noun is an informal term for talking rubbish and the verb is for its use as a confidence trick. The first time I heard this word was in The Mummy (the good one from the 90s with Rachel Weisz and Brendan Fraser, not the recent Tom Cruise remake). I loved the way Rachel Weisz said it when she was telling of Rick and went round saying it constantly about everything to the great annoyance of my mother.

But I love that it has use as both a noun and a verb. As a verb to flimflam becomes more active and deliberate. It’s a much nicer word than duped or conned – it makes it seem less severe somehow. So the next time I get an email from a Nigerian prince telling me they need to borrow my bank account I can tell him he can shove his flimflam where the sun doesn’t shine, or will that be to severe?


I hope you enjoyed this month’s forgotten word. Do you have any lost words you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments!