This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Word To Use At Some Point: mordacious.

You see the letters mor- at the beginning of a word and you begin to fear some fell disease or death, as in morgue, moribund, morbid, mortal and mortsafe (the last was, picturesquely, an iron cage placed over a new grave to discourage body snatchers).

At least mordacious isn't as bad as that. Mordacious means biting, usually in a sarcastic sort of a way. 

Sarcasm is said to be the lowest form of wit - which it is, unless you've ever spent time with four-year-olds, clowns, or accountants - but, hey, it's sometimes very funny and usually better than nothing.

And if it's intended to be hurtful, well, raising an eyebrow and saying isn't that somewhat mordacious? is a terrific way of pulling the rug from under the idiot's feet.

Word To Store Up To Use At Some Point: mordacious. This word isn't anything to do with the Latin mors, death, or the Latin morbus, illness, but the Latin mordax, from mord─ôre, to bite.

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