Friday, 16 November 2007

A.W.A.D. - Words to Describe People

And now on to this week's theme...

Sometimes when I'm waiting in a line at a supermarket or at the post office,I wonder about the people around me. The one in motorcycle gear with chainsjangling from his pocket, I wonder if he is really a scaredy-cat at home.

The stooping man at the head of the line... what he might be doing after he's done here: go back to work or return home to tend to his pet caterpillars? How about the woman who seems to be in a hurry: would she be picking up her kids from school after this or go around netting initiates for her multi-level-marketing cult? Who knows? But it's fun to guess, and to think words that would fit best if you had to choose a word for them.

This week we'll feature five words to describe people.

mystagogue
(MIS-tuh-gog) noun
One who teaches mystical doctrines or one who inititates others into a mystery cult.

[From Latin mystagogus, from Greek mystagogos, from mystes (an initiate) + agogos (leader).]

patrician
(puh-TRISH-uhn) noun
A person of high social rank, good background, etc.; an aristocrat.

[From Latin patricius (having a noble father), from pater (father).]

recalcitrant
(ri-KAL-si-truhnt) adjective
Stubbornly resistant to authority.

[From Latin recalcitrare (to kick back, to be disobedient), from re- (again) + calcitrare (to kick), from calx (heel). If you have a dog that has dug his heels in while you're trying to pull him forward, you have a case of an animal that's being recalcitrant, literally.]

platitudinarian
(plat-i-tood-n-AR-ee-uhn, -tyood-) noun
One who utters platitudes or trite remarks.

[From French plat (flat). Ultimately from the Indo-European root plat-(to spread) that is also the root of flat, to flatter, plan, plant, plantain, plateau, plaza, platinum, supplant, and transplant.]

macroscian
(muh-KROSH-i-uhn) noun
1. One casting a long shadow.
2. One who inhabits polar regions.

[From Greek macros (long) + skia (shadow).]

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