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We’ve all heard someone say “No one says that anymore!” when suddenly and unexpectedly confronted with an archaic word or phrase. This makes me wonder … “why is it that no one says that anymore?” How does a fun word like “agog” get thrown out like ignored leftovers, while the word “angry” is seered into our language like that bit of cooking oil that burned onto the bottom of the pot and won’t come off no matter how hard you scrub? I believe that the vocabulary of yesteryear is worthy of exploration, and so we begin with …

Yesteryear

You almost expect to find this word engraved in ancient stonework with moss growing in the cracks.

In 1870, a poet with an Italian last name (and impressive first and middle names as well) was translating a French refrain into English. He grafted together the English words yesterday and year (big surprise) and voila! The word yesteryear was born.

Definition: basically it means “last year,” or in recent past years.  

Sentence: If I had not consumed the canned meat product with the expiration date from yesteryear, I would not have this agonizing stomach ache currently.

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