Air-hole. Once popular words that no one uses anymore

Language is a funny old thing. We take it for granted most of the time, but it’s incredible to think that countless people have come to almost the same understanding of what some randomly ordered letters refer to. It’s even stranger when you start looking at things like slang words, or words that were once on the tip of every tongue that no one even remembers anymore. Some of these words need to be brought back. Others need to be forgotten…



That’s air-hole, stop giggling. It’s actually pretty depressing, too, and once you know what it is, you’ll feel more than a bit guilty if you did happen to laugh.

One thing we rarely take into consideration when we say we’d rather go back in time to live in Victorian England is the very big problem of body-disposal. The Guardian looked at just how bad it was, and it was bad. Cemeteries and churchyards were full, coffins were hacked to pieces and more bones were buried in the same plots. There’s other stuff you’d rather not know, so let’s just say reformers had their work cut out for them when they decided something had to be done.

That’s the era of air-holes. It was the name for small public gardens across London, according to archivist James Redding Ware. The catch? They were cemeteries converted into gardens, and there was rarely any effort taken to disguise what they once were. Most even still contained headstones, piled up or standing along the walls. Picnic, anyone?

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