Good morning, and happy Thanksgiving week! Wordsmith is showing their sense of humor with this week’s category of words, as well as their generous nature to expand the world’s vocabulary. Here’s the primary part of their explanation:

“If [presidential candidates] have to go negative, we hope they will use some unusual words to describe their opponents, instead of the tired old words (and tired old politics). This week we’ll feature five words that presidential hopefuls may find handy to describe their rivals for the big office.”

Buckle up – you may hear the following words during a debate or rally, if you so choose to watch/attend either. And as always, keep your political views on Facebook where everyone loves to read them. Have a wonderful week!

stridulous (STRIJ-uh-luhs)

adjective: 1. having or making a harsh grating sound
2. shrill or grating

From Latin stridere (to make a harsh sound). Earliest documented use: 1611

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“Two weeks ago, bankers testifying before a Senate committee were treated with such uncharacteristic sympathy that their lobbyists felt compelled to gloat. … There were no protesting community groups bringing bus loads of little, old men and ladies who had lost their homes in unscrupulous loan hustles; no stridulous lawmakers blasting the bankers about alleged redlining and other antidemocratic behavior.”
Jim McTague; Front Row on Washington; American Banker (New York); Mar 15, 1993.

torpid (TOR-pid)

adjective: 1. sluggish or inactive
2. apathetic
3. dormant as when hibernating

From Latin torpidus (numb), from torpere (to be stiff or numb). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ster- (stiff), which also gave us starch, stare, stork, starve, cholesterol, and torpedo. Earliest documented use: 1614

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“Gary is a torpid man who works as a translator for the CIA in the Washington area. He’s neither shaken nor stirred.”
Ron Charles; Life of a Spy Doomed to Rot in Place; Washington Post; Nov 19, 2014.

fastuous (FAS-choo-uhs)

adjective: 1. haughty; arrogant
2. pretentious

From Latin fastuosus, from fastus (arrogance). Earliest documented use: 1638

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“Here the gentry live a fastuous life and wear chic clothes.”
Edwin Jahiel; Brotherhood of Wolf Stylish, Confused Mess; News Gazette (Champaign, Illinois); Feb 14, 2002.

impertinent (im-PURT-nuhnt)

adjective: 1. presumptuous or rude
2. irrelevant

From in- (not) + pertinere (to pertain), from per- (through) + tenere (to hold). Ultimately from the Indo-European root ten- (to stretch), which also gave us tense, tenet, tendon, tent, tenor, tender, pretend, extend, tenure, tetanus, hypotenuse, tenuous, tenable, extenuate, distend, detente, countenance, and abstentious. Earliest documented use: 1380

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“Colin Firth stars as the stuttering king, while Geoffrey Rush is the impertinent Aussie who attempts to cure him.”
Satellite Choice; Daily Mail (London, UK); Jul 31, 2015

bibulous (BIB-yuh-luhs)

adjective: 1. excessively fond of drinking
2. highly absorbent

From Latin bibere (to drink). Ultimately from the Indo-European root poi- (to drink), which also gave us potion, poison, potable, beverage, and Sanskrit paatram (pot). Earliest documented use: 1676

Usage (from Wordsmith)
“Sherlockians have always been a bibulous sort; one early gathering, as Dundas reports, saw the consumption of ‘96 cocktails, 243 scotches, 98 ryes, and 2 beers.’”
Daniel Stashower; Why Sherlock Holmes Endures; The Washington Post; Jul 10, 2015.


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