To take a Rizzle and a Sloom


I enjoy reading books about words and language. Apart from interest in my language, in history, social movements there is a continuing quest to find out why I’m so rubbish at everything to do with words and the writing of them!:)

However these books do throw up some great little nuggets.

In the Horologicon by Mark Forsyth I came across a delightful word I had never heard before, maybe the American amongst you, may well have as it appears to be your historical word


Apparently it cropped up in late 19th century America and then one day ‘poof!!’ it vanished. The respectable medical community of the day recommended a Rizzle a day as being beneficial to health and well being.

a description written in: The American Medical Bulletin 1890.

‘… How to describe I don’t know, but it is a condition as nearly like sleep as sleep is to death. It consists of doing absolutely nothing.I close my eyes and try and stop all action to the brain. I think of nothing. It only takes a little practice to be able to absolutely stifle the brain.

‘In that delightful condition I remain at least ten minutes, sometimes twenty,. . . I would rather miss a fat fee than that ten minutes Rizzle’.

Not only the word Rizzle that’s sounds delicious but also the state of a Rizzle.

I have been indulging in Rizzling for a few years now without knowing a thing about it, but often I then slip into a Sloom.

According to The Oxford English Dictionary:    Sloom – a gentle sleep or slumber.

I do that also:)

Sleep, sloom, and slumber such gentle sounding words, maybe that is why Rizzle didn’t make it into the 21st century, not soft enough. Sloom hasn’t made it either, too old, that one emerged in the middle of the Middle English period.

It is a shame they are not common words. I like them both so I may well continue with a Rizzle each day with the occasionally Sloom.

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