Fossil status can also occur for word senses and for phrases. An example for a word sense is 'navy' in 'merchant navy', which means 'commercial fleet' (although that sense of navy is obsolete elsewhere). An example for a phrase is 'in point' (relevant), which is retained in the larger phrases 'case in point' (also 'case on point' in the legal context) and 'in point of fact', but is rarely used outside of a legal context.
- ado, as in "without further ado" or "much ado about nothing", although the homologous form "to-do" remains attested ("make a to-do", "a big to-do", etc.)
- bandy, as in "bandy about" or "bandy-legged"
- bated, as in "wait with bated breath", although the derived term "abate" remains in nonidiom-specific use
- beck, as in "at one's beck and call", although the verb form "beckon" is still used in nonidiom-specific use
- behest, as in "at one's behest"
- bygones, as in "let bygones be bygones"
- coign, as in "coign of vantage"
- champing, as in "champing at the bit," where "champ" is an obsolete precursor to "chomp," in current use.
- deserts, as in "just deserts", although singular "desert" in the sense of "state of deserving" occurs in nonidiom-specific contexts including law and philosophy. The common usage of "dessert", meaning a sweet dish at the end of a meal, may have meant what you deserved after eating the savory part of the meal.
- dint, as in "by dint of"
- dudgeon, as in "in high dudgeon"
- eke, as in "eke out"
- fettle, as in "in fine fettle"
- fro, as in "to and fro"
- helter skelter, as in "scattered helter skelter about the office", Middle English skelten to hasten
- hither, as in "come hither", "hither and thither", and "hither and yon"
- immemorial, as in "time immemorial"
- jetsam, as in "flotsam and jetsam", except in legal contexts (especially admiralty, property, and international law)
- kith, as in "kith and kin"
- loggerheads as in "at loggerheads" or loggerhead turtle
- neap, as in "neap tide"
- offing, as in "in the offing"
- petard, as in "hoist[ed] by [one's] own petard"
- riddance, as in "good riddance"
- shebang, as in "the whole shebang", but the word can be used as a common noun in programmers' jargon.
- shrive, preserved only in inflected forms occurring only as part of fixed phrases: 'shrift' in "short shrift" and 'shrove' in "Shrove Tuesday"
- spick, as in "spick and span"
- turpitude, as in "moral turpitude"
- wedlock, as in "out of wedlock"
- wreak, as in "wreak havoc"
- wrought, as in "what hath God wrought" and wrought iron
- vim, as in "vim and vigor"
- yore, as in "of yore", usually "days of yore"
These words were formed from other languages, by elision, or by mincing of other fixed phrases.
- caboodle, as in "kit and caboodle" (a "born fossil" in that "kit and caboodle" evolved from "kit and boodle", which itself was a fixed phrase borrowed as a unit from Dutch kitte en boedel)
- druthers, as in "if I had my druthers..." (note that "druthers" is a "born fossil", having been formed by elision from "would rather" and never occurring outside the listed phrase to begin with)
- tarnation, as in "what in tarnation...?" (a "born fossil" in that it evolved only in the context of fixed phrases formed by mincing of previously fixed phrases that include the term "damnation")
- Bound morpheme
- Collocation — tendency of one word to occur near another
- Cranberry morpheme — morpheme which has no independent meaning in a lexeme
- Fossilization (linguistics)
- Siamese twins (linguistics)
- fossil. Additions Series, 1993 (Second Edition, 1989 ed.). Oxford English Dictionary.
A word or other linguistic form preserved only in isolated regions or in set phrases, idioms, or collocations
- Curme, George Oliver (1931). Syntax. D. C. Heath and Company.
- Quinion, Michael. World Wide Words
- "the definition of helter-skelter". reference.com.
- Yahoo dictionary kith and kin Archived 2011-06-06 at the Wayback Machine
- Phrase Finder at loggerheads
- Phrase Finder in the offing
- "Starting Off With a Sha-Bang". tldp.org. Retrieved 2016-12-02.
- Martin, Gary. "'Short shrift' – the meaning and origin of this phrase". phrases.org.uk.
- "druthers". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 2017-10-04.