What are obsolete words?

Obsolete words - this is a special group of words, which due to some or other reasons are not used in modern speech. They are divided into two categories - historicisms and archaisms. Both these groups are similar, but still have several significant differences.


These include words that denote special things, posts, phenomena that ceased to exist in the modern world, but took place earlier. An example of such words is the boyar, voivode, petitioner, estate. They do not have synonyms in modern language, and their meaning can only be learned from an explanatory dictionary. Basically, such obsolete words refer to the description of life, culture, economy, hierarchy, military and political relations of old.

For example, petition is: 1) a bow with a forehead touching the ground; Or 2) a written request. The Stolnik is a courtier, who is one degree lower than a boyar, who usually served with a boyar or royal table.

Most obsolete historical words are found among the names associated with military subjects, as well as those related to economic subjects and clothing: chain mail, visor, redoubt, pischal, endow, grease, armyak, seedling, camisole.

Here are some examples of sentences containing obsolete words. "The petitioners came to the tsar and complained to the governor, and they said that they took away their estates from them, and then they distributed them, and the nobles, the boyars' officers and children complained that the voivods took their palace villages." They came to the Tsar and the Cossacks with the archers, carried petitions , They asked for bread and money salaries. "

At present, one of the numerous groups of historicisms is the one that arose during the formation of the USSR: the proletariat, the Budyonnov, the educational program, the comrade, the NEP, the stranger, the Nepman, the Makhnovist, the surplus-appropriation.


Out-of-date words of the Russian language are singled out for another extensive group - archaisms. They, in fact, are a subset of historicisms - they are also referred to as words that have become obsolete. But their main difference is that they can be replaced by synonyms, which are the usual and currently used words. Here are examples of archaisms: lanits, right hand, loins, verses, tugas, ramenas. Accordingly, their modern analogues - cheeks, right arm, waist, verses, sadness, shoulders.

There are several basic differences between archaism and its synonym. They may differ:

A) lexical meaning (stomach - life, guest - merchant);

B) grammatical form (at the ball - at the ball, perform - perform);

C) morpheme composition (fish - fisherman, friendship - friendship);

In order to properly use archaism in the sentence and avoid confusion, use an explanatory dictionary or dictionary of obsolete words.

And here are examples of proposals containing archaisms: "In Moscow there lived okolnichi, boyars, notable people, clerks, whom Bolotnikov threatened to turn into commoners or to kill, and in their place to put nameless people, still there lived industrialists and well-off merchants, yards, money , Shops of which - everything was given to the poor to share. "

In this passage archaisms are such words: commoner, yard (in the sense of economy), shop (commercial enterprise), unnamed. It is easy to see that here there are also historicisms: okolnichy, boyar.

Obsolete words perfectly convey the characteristic historicity, make the literary text colorful and vivid. But for correct and appropriate use it is always necessary to check with an explanatory dictionary so that flowery phrases do not eventually become nonsense.

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