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Auld Lang Syne

Definition: Literally means “old long since”

Pronunciation: old-lang-zyne


Lang syne is a Scottish variation of the phrase “long since”. The phrase was popularized by the written by Robert Burns, and is typically sung on New Year’s in most English-speaking regions.

Why this word?

I tried my damnedest to find words that were rare and/or obscure and were in relation to the holiday/winter season in the English-speaking world. But, the thing about English is that it’s full of loan-words and borrowed phrases to begin with; to try and pinpoint a foreign phrase or term that’s almost exclusive to usage during the cold, end-of-roman-calendar-year celebrations is a little moot. Winter holidays are celebrated all over the world, the same as the permeation of the English language. Any foreign, “Christmasy” obscure words used in English are typically not claimed by the language; rather, they remain linguistic possession of their original mother tongue.

But. I did find “auld lang syne”, and as far as strange English phrases are concerned, this ancient-sounding three-word-term fits the bill. It seems like everyone knows the tune, but no one knows the words– basically the same as trying to find the proper, confirmed etymology of this term.

How would you use this word in a sentence?

Example: “Somethin’ somethin’ BEEEE FORGOT, AAAND la la the asdgflfhdfafffUPOOONNN, all somethin’ somethin’ nnnnyeaaaahhhhmm mm, bum bum, dedadaaa, somethin’ about faces and forces, FOR OOOLLLD LAAAANG SYYYYNNNEE!”


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Written by Veronica Jacobs

Veronica Jacobs is a fiction writer, blogger, academic editor, and sci-fi enthusiast. Currently working freelance (with a background in English Literature), she spends most of her time writing.


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