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[ghost word] a word published in a dictionary or similarly authoritative reference work that is rarely used or is previously meaningless

[ghost word] a word published in a dictionary or similarly authoritative reference work that is rarely used or is previously meaningless [ghost word] a word published in a dictionary or similarly authoritative reference work that is rarely used or is previously meaningless
Source: Author unknown via themindsjournal
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A ghost word will have originated from an error, such as a misinterpretation, mispronunciation, misreading, or from typographical or linguistic confusion. Once authoritatively published, a ghost word occasionally may be copied widely and take a long time to be erased from usage (if it ever is).

Of all the work which the Society has at various times undertaken, none has ever had so much interest for us, collectively, as the New English Dictionary. Dr Murray, as you will remember, wrote on one occasion a most able article, in order to justify himself in omitting from the Dictionary the word abacot, defined by Webster as "the cap of state formerly used by English kings, wrought into the figure of two crowns". It was rightly and wisely rejected by our Editor on the ground that there is no such word, the alleged form being due to a complete mistake ... due to the blunders of printers or scribes, or to the perfervid imaginations of ignorant or blundering editors. ...

I propose, therefore, to bring under your notice a few more words of the abacot type; words which will come under our Editor's notice in course of time, and which I have little doubt that he will reject. As it is convenient to have a short name for words of this character, I shall take leave to call them "ghost-words." ... I only allow the title of ghost-words to such words, or rather forms, as have no meaning whatever.

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