I'm also getting a profound verbal education from my first re-reading of A Christmas Carol in many years. When I was younger, I just skipped over words I didn't know; looking back, I wonder now how I got any sense of a story from this book, since so many of the terms--though not new--have changed meaning so drastically that I'm looking them up as if it's the first time I ever encountered them. I think you'll see what I mean as you read your way down the list.
1. rime--a thin sheet of ice or hoarfrost over something, especially when the freezing occurred very rapidly. This, of course, was a reference to Scrooge's "cold, cold heart," as it were.
2. Union workhouse--Apparently, charitable provision for the poor in Dickensian England was regulated by what was called the New Poor Law, and that law created Poor Law Unions in parishes, under whose auspices workhouses were created to give shelter, food and jobs. The workhouse got its awful reputation because they weren't exactly encouraging people to want to stay there if they were fit enough to do any other job on Earth.
3. treadmill--Did YOU know that there were once mills powered by humans walking on, well, giant hamster wheels? Because I did not know that, nor that such mills were the origin of our term for the modern piece of exercise equipment.
4. link--See what I mean? Of course, I know what a link is; in fact, I have a couple of meanings for it that would have been utter nonsense in Dickens' time. However, to him, it was a torch. How the English language does change!
5. genius--Here we go again. Before this was a mental wunderkind, it was a guardian spirit.
These last two I had encountered many times in my life, but had never actually looked them up to discover the precise meaning. I just assumed a rough guess would suffice. Both my guesses were wrong.
6. misanthrope--I cannot BELIEVE that I never worked this one out based on simple etymology. It means someone who hates human beings. An apt description for pre-ghoul Scrooge if I ever heard one.
7. fain--This actually means to enjoy or be pleased by. I had a vague idea that it meant to be willing to do something, or to take an action out of simple necessity. Nope. Much more positive than that.
So there you have it, a feast of words from dear old Mr. Dickens. I wish you and all yours a happy Thanksgiving.