I was studying Swedish on Duolingo just now, and I was reminded of the lovely Swedish word värdefull. This is, quite literally, “worthful” and means exactly that: something worth a lot, i.e., valuable. Despite us using worthless, we don’t use the natural opposite, worthful (212,000 hits on Google set against 308,000,000 for valuable). Well, I for one am going to start!
There are two kinds of word which my Anglish project is very keen on: “forgotten words” and “hidden words”. “Forgotten” words are those which are no longer used even though they still make perfect sense. Worthful is a good example. And “hidden” words are those which are implied by other words or by the grammar of the language: I thought worthful would be such a word (implied by worthless), yet it turns out that it really exists. More on these two classes later.
© 2015 Bryan A. J. Parry
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