Monday, August 4, 2008

The Word of the Day

I recently signed up for The Word of the Day daily emails from Dictionary.com.

One word I received is a bit curious:

pusillanimous \pyoo-suh-LAN-uh-muhs\, adjective:

Lacking in courage and resolution; contemptibly fearful; cowardly.

Evil, unspeakable evil, rose in our midst, and we as a people were too weak, too indecisive, too pusillanimous to deal with it.-- Kevin Myers, "An Irishman's Diary", Irish Times, October 20, 1999

Under the hypnosis of war hysteria, with a pusillanimous Congress rubber-stamping every whim of the White House, we passed the withholding tax.-- Vivien Kellems, Toil, Taxes and Trouble

You are now anxious to form excuses to yourself for a conduct so pusillanimous.-- Ann Radcliffe, The Italian

Pusillanimous comes from Late Latin pusillanimis, from Latin pusillus, "very small, tiny, puny" + animus, "soul, mind."

I think we all use the shorter, 5 letter version of pusillanimous more often, don’t cha???

Happy Monday.

- The Mountain Cat

12 comments:

Dana said...

Ahh, but if we use "pusillanimous" we could offend a lot of people without them even knowing they'd been offended!

Karen said...

I never knew the origin of the slang term. I learn so much at YJKOBT.

Dianne said...

Thanks! Now when children are around I can call people 'puny souls'.

leapofaith said...

Very interesting...'fraidy cat', 'pussy cat' - now I see...!

WNG said...

Puny souls! HA!!!

Well, YLSNED...

you learn something new every day...

The Mountain Cat said...

Don't cha wish your girlfriend was pusillanimous like me? Don't cha?

ROTFL!

Jay said...

I'll have to write this word down and practice it. Insulting people using fancy words is a lot more fun than using the slang.

Matt-Man said...

The shorter five letter word? Pusil? ; ) Cheers!!

Christine said...

I had to check to see if you made it up!

Bina said...

Or, as I sometimes call it "PussyBoy". That's an 8 letter word.

cat said...

Hi Mountain Cat!

Knight said...

Is that a Pussy Willow?