One of the most thumbed books on our shelves is this:
I was reminded of this pastime by blogging friend erp*, who sent me a link to Save the Words. It is a wonderful website with an enormous collection of archaic and obscure words; you can even "adopt" a word, pledging to use it as frequently as possible in conversation and correspondence. Take a look, it is great fun. I thought I might adopt senticous, meaning prickly or thorny; it sounds far more interesting than grumpy, doesn't it? From now on I shall be signing any letters of complaint from "a senticous old woman."
*erp has asked me to credit the the Volokh Conspiracy with providing her with this link