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Feb 7, 2011
This week's theme
Words to describe people

This week's words
dyspeptic
caitiff
tetchy
valetudinarian
reticent

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Oscar Wilde once said, "It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious." This week we'll offer five words you can safely use to describe your co-workers, associates, and others. Try these elegantly veiled insults without fear of offending. Just make sure your targets are not already AWAD subscribers!

dyspeptic

PRONUNCIATION:
(dis-PEP-tik)

MEANING:
adjective: 1. Relating to or suffering from dyspepsia (indigestion). 2. Having a bad temper; gloomy; irritable.
noun: One suffering from dyspepsia.

ETYMOLOGY:
Via Latin from Greek dys- (bad) + peptos (digested). Ultimately from the Indo-European root pekw- (to cook or ripen), which is also the source of cook, cuisine, kitchen, kiln, biscuit, apricot (an early-ripening peach, literally speaking), pumpkin, and Hindi pakka (ripened, cooked). Earliest documented use: 1694.

USAGE:
"It's the 1300s, and plague and pestilence have left those still alive in sour, dyspeptic moods."
Steven Rea; Sir Knight Nicolas in a 1300s' Slog; Philadelphia Inquirer; Jan 8, 2011.

See more usage examples of dyspeptic in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do. There is no fun in doing nothing when you have nothing to do. Wasting time is merely an occupation then, and a most exhausting one. Idleness, like kisses, to be sweet must be stolen. -Jerome K. Jerome, humorist and playwright (1859-1927)

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