Words come into popular usage, words go out. I try to keep the old ones around, because I am a hoarder. I still have palavers with my staff, and I tell my daughter it’s cold out, she should wear pantaloons. And that’s only two of the P words.
Usually we lose words and expressions when their cultural relevance fades, due to changes in circumstances. When someone drops a football, we don’t call them “butterfingers” anymore, because our home lives don’t involve a lot of handling of pans with butter-slathered hands.
Our shriveled agrarian roots have relegated expressions like “make hay while the sun shines” into legit head-scratchers for anyone under sixty.
And our long-forgotten common maritime experience washes the etymology and relevance away from phrases like, “We’re not having layoffs now, but I see them in the offing.” (The “offing,” of course, being the portion of the sea visible from shore, in which slowly approaching boats could sometimes be seen for days.)
But other times, words become irrelevant because what they describe is so ubiquitous that the words are no longer necessary.
I was once being squired around Phoenix, Arizona by a young native of the place. Gazing out the car window, I asked her why the whole town seems to be a series of strip malls. She asked me, “What is a strip mall?”
Similarly, have you noticed, you don’t often hear anyone call anyone “opinionated,” anymore.
Or, for that matter, a “boor.”