An Interesting Word – Selcouth

Imagine you wake up one morning, open your eyes, and the first thing you see is a tiny, pink dinosaur staring you in the face. Once you get over your initial shock and fear (the dinosaur is a herbivore, so you’re safe), you climb out of bed, and, stepping from your room, you find that your whole house is filled with mouse-sized pink dinosaurs all wearing cowboy hats and dancing to the radio. If you woke up to this scenario, you would definitely be experiencing a selcouth event.

What is selcouth, you ask? Well, selcouth is an adjective that means “strange or uncommon” according to dictionary.com. It comes from the Old English word seldcūth, which, according to wordsmith.com, is the words seldan meaning “seldom” and cuth meaning “known” put together. Selcouth is considered an archaic word; however, I think it’s time to bring it back!

The famous writer Sir Walter Scott used this word in Thomas the Rhymer:

“Then forth they rushed: by Leader’s tide, A selcouth sight they see.”

Thanks for reading!

~ Kayla

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