flexuous \ FLEK-shoo-uhs \ adjective – Full of bends or curves; sinuous. Origin: Flexuous is derived from the Latin word flexuōsus which meant full of turns or crooked. This is an interesting example where the suffix changes the implication of the word. Unlike the more common word flexible, which means “capable of being bent” because [...]
Archive for February, 2012
pachyderm \PAK-i-durm\ noun – A person who is not sensitive to criticism, ridicule, etc. Any of the thick-skinned, nonruminant ungulates, as the elephant, hippopotamus, and rhinoceros. An elephant. Origin: Pachyderm clearly comes from the Greek roots pachý meaning “thick” and dermatos meaning “skin.” Its metaphorical meaning of a person with thick skin is attested to [...]
depone \dih-POHN\ verb – To testify under oath; depose. Origin: In Latin, dēpōnere meant “to put aside.” In Medieval Latin it came to mean “to testify” and came directly into English.
pied \pahyd\ adjective – Having patches of two or more colors, as various birds and other animals. Wearing pied clothing. Origin: Pied, like the pastry pie, is related to the Latin word for magpie, pīca. Magpies have black and white coats, so that type of patched coat came to be called “pied.”