One of my beta-readers flagged the adjective “boughten,” in Imperial Magic. Did I mean store-bought? Well, sort of. Boughten is the simplified adjective form of the past participle of “to buy.” Since so many goods were made at home, something that was often made domestically but had been purchased (in this case a soft toy doll) was “boughten.” Rot – rotten. Bought – boughten. It had the connotation of being something unusual or at least different, because someone purchased the item instead of making it. My maternal grandparents used the word, and I have read it in older works of fiction and non-fiction. But in every-day conversation? No.
Those of us who grew up with the King James Bible are familiar with the phrase “graven image,” meaning an idol thou shall not make. “Clean-shaven” is another usage in a phrase. -en forms were more common in the past (to shrive, “shriven and blessed” is another now-archaic usage).
I like old words that can fill a precise niche. I have been complimented for proper usage of “throve.” The past perfect form of “to thrive.” Most people would say “thrived,” but I needed the sense that throve provided. I don’t go so far as to use “holpen” for “helped,” but I’ve been tempted on occasion. (Hilf-half-geholfen in German became help-halp-holpen in English.) The only place most people will ever see “holpen” is in the Magnificat in the King James translation, ‘for He hath holpen His people Israel,” or in some very old Christmas and Advent songs. “Holpen are all folk on Earth/Born is God’s son so dear.” (From “Nowell Nowell Nowell”)
I admit to occasionally having the urge to “speak King James” at my students on occasion, and I might have cautioned that several were at risk of “weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth and being thrown into the outer darkness” unless studiousness resumed.
So I considered the suggestion, and kept boughten. Poppet was already archaic, as well as accurate. “Doll” did not come into common usage for a toy until the late 1800s.