The obscure word of the week isn’t always in the dictionary

I’ve been running this obscure word of the week column for a while – and there is no danger of it running out. I am fully armed with the entire 11-volume 1933 edition of the Oxford English Dictionary – in its 1970 ‘small print’ edition, and the entire Webster’s Third New International. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

The thing is, even were I to exhaust every obscure word in those (some time in the 96th century at the current rate, I suspect), I’d still not run out. English is a wonderful language – and not defined by what’s in the dictionary. After all, if it was, Shakespeare would be a LOT less interesting. You know – if he didn’t have a word for something, he’d just make one up. Including ‘bandit’, since you ask. Which is in dictionaries now, but of course, wasn’t back in 1594 when Shakespeare coined it for ‘Henry VI, Part 2’.

Your challenge: let’s all follow the Immortal Bard and write a sentence or two in the comments using ‘bandit’.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2020

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