Real words, or just plain balderdash?

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One of the great things about languages is that, like our bodies, they tend to regenerate themselves. Words, like cells, die and are replaced just as quickly by new ones, and lucky for etymologists and linguistic scavengers like ourselves, what's left behind makes for some fascinating detritus. With that in mind -- and without using Google -- see if you can guess which of the following were once words in common usage, and which are, as the English used to say, balderdash!

1. Phwoar. As an enthusiastic expression of desire, approval, or excitement, esp. in regard to sexual attractiveness.

2. Codswallop. Nonsense, drivel.

3. Hayburner. A gas-guzzling car.

4. Jitney. A car employed as a private bus.

5. Spifflicated. Drunk.

6. Muggins. A scoundrel.

7. Spondulix. Money.

8. Absquatulate. To disappear.

9. Agelast. A person who doesn't laugh.

10. Antapology. A response to an apology.

Answers after the jump!

Trick question! They're all real words -- both old-world British and American slang. Gotcha!

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November 8, 2006 - 7:00am
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