Fossil word

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A fossil word is a word that isn't used anymore except in one idiom or phrase.[1][2]

Examples[change | change source]

  • ado in "without further ado"
  • fro in "to and fro"
  • helter skelter
  • hither in "come hither"
  • kith in "kith and kin"
  • riddance in "good riddance"
  • shebang in "the whole shebang"
  • wreak in "wreak havoc"
  • yore in "days of yore"

References[change | change source]

  1. fossil. Additions Series, 1993 (Second Edition, 1989 ed.). Oxford English Dictionary. A word or other linguistic form preserved only in isolated regions or in set phrases, idioms, or collocations
  2. Curme, George Oliver (1931). Syntax. D. C. Heath and Company.