Vocab Builder: Lyrics

The Christmas music that so recently surrounded us put me in mind of a word list I’ve been wanting to do: unusual or older words found in lyrics. I confess that I like my music to have lyrics with meaning, lyrics that make you think, even, dare I say it, lyrics that use fifty-cent words. Today, a few words from some traditional Christmas songs and a couple from two of my favorite bands.

  • Gladsome: showing happiness. “Angels We Have Heard on High” (traditional)
  • Stanchion: a pole or post that stands upright, such as on a ship. “Old Polina” (Great Big Sea)
  • Dirigible: airship. “Sons and Daughters” (The Decemberists)
  • Wassail: a toast to someone’s health; to  drink to someone’s health. “Here We Come A-Wassailing” (traditional)
  • Upsot: poetic term for upset; to tip something over. “Jingle Bells” (traditional)

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