3 DECEMBER 1948, Page 14

Forgotten Words It was a theory of Mr. Pearsall Smith,

that great and lively authority on words, that our literary language is, or should be, constantly refreshed by absorption of rural speech. Racy rural words are very numerous. A new one—to . me—is the Hampshire word lowster, meaning a scuffle or hullaballoo. Someone should make out a list of local words that our too literary authors ought to popularise. What a host of good words have been lost, in spite of the Spensers and Shakespeares, and are being lost! Unfortunately the country people themselves are forgetting their own treasures for base alternatives. I heard it said recently—and in the country—that something or other (perhaps bacon) was "absolutely non est."