Word of the Week: Iconoclast

Iconoclast is a noun, but also can be used as an adjective, iconoclastic, or an adverb, iconoclastically. Defined as someone who attacks cherished ideas or institutions, iconoclast was first used in the mid-1600s. Iconoclast can be broken down into icon + clast. The word icon derives from the Middle Greek word eikōn (to resemble) andContinue reading “Word of the Week: Iconoclast”

Word of the Week: Hegemony

Hegemony is a noun, but can be used as an adjective, hegemonic. Defined as the dominance or leadership of one social group over others, hegemony derives from the Greek word hegemonia (political supremacy), which derives from the Greek verb hēgeisthai (leader). The definition of hegemony has changed overtime. First, hegemony referred to the control onceContinue reading “Word of the Week: Hegemony”

Word of the Week: Gaffe

Gaffe is a noun and is defined as a socially awkward or tactless act. There is no agreement on the etymology of the word gaffe; however, it is theorized that the word gaffe may have originated from French, German, Scottish, or English. Most data leans towards gaffe being borrowed from the French word gaffe (clumsyContinue reading “Word of the Week: Gaffe”

Word of the Week: Fatuous

Fatuous is an adjective, but also can be used as an adverb, fatuously or a noun, fatuousness. Defined as to be devoid of intelligence, the word fatuous has had the same meaning in English since 1663. Fatuous is derived from the Latin word fatuus (foolish). The word infatuated also derives from the Latin word fatuusContinue reading “Word of the Week: Fatuous”

Word of the Week: Ebullient

Ebullient is an adjective, but it can also be used as an adverb, ebulliently or a noun, ebullience. Ebullient is defined as joyously unrestrained or bubbling over with enthusiasm. The word ebullient is derived from the Latin verb ebullire (to bubble out), which is further broken down into the Latin word bulla (bubble). First recordedContinue reading “Word of the Week: Ebullient”

Word of the Week: Demagogue

Demagogue is a noun, but can also be used as a verb, demagogue. Defined as a leader who seeks support by appealing to popular passions, demagogue has been used since the 1650s.  Borrowed from the ancient Greek word dēmagōgós, dēmagōgós can be broken down into dêmos (people) + -agōgos (leading, impelling). Additionally, this Greek wordContinue reading “Word of the Week: Demagogue”

Word of the Week: Circumlocution

Circumlocution is a noun, but can also be used as an adjective (circumlocutory). Defined as to an indirect way of expressing something, circumlocution has been used since the 15th century. Derived from Latin words, circum- (around) and locutio (speech), the original word is defined as roundabout speech.  Euphemisms are a common example of circumlocution, inContinue reading “Word of the Week: Circumlocution”

Word of the Week: Blandish

Background Blandish is a verb, but can also be used as a noun (blandishment). Defined as to act or speak in a flattering or coaxing manner, blandish has been used since the 14th century without changing meaning.  Derived from the Latin word blandus (mild, flattering). One of the earliest uses of blandish is from theContinue reading “Word of the Week: Blandish”

Word of the Week: Abstruse

BackgroundAbstruse is an adjective, but can be used as an adverb (abstrusely) or a noun (abstruseness). Meaning difficult to comprehend, abstruse was first used in Europe in the mid-1500’s. Derived from the French word abstrus, or its source, the Latin word abstrūsus (hidden, concealed), abstruse can be broken down into abs (away) + the LatinContinue reading “Word of the Week: Abstruse”