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Nov 5, 2012
This week's theme
Words to describe people

This week's words
emulous
vegete
nonesuch
pervicacious
cautelous

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

In olden times, people were named according to what they did: Potter, Smith, Miller, and so on. Sometimes they were named for their qualities: Goodman, Wise, etc. Some of the well-known historical personalities have earned nicknames like that: Charles the Great, Eric the Red, Ivan the Terrible.

But why leave that to the past? You could name your friends, family, and co-workers in that manner even today. This week we'll look at five uncommon adjectives to describe people to help you get started.

emulous

PRONUNCIATION:
(EM-yuh-luhs)

MEANING:
adjective:
1. Eager to imitate, equal, or to surpass another.
2. Jealous or envious.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin aemulus. Ultimately from the Indo-European root aim- (copy), which also gave us emulate, imitate, image, and imagine. Earliest documented use: 1398.

USAGE:
"This show feels assembled by an emulous shopaholic who looked around at the tourist-drawing hits of the last decade and said: 'I want some of that. And that. Ooh, and can I have that, too?'"
Ben Brantley; Sisterhood vs. Boss; The New York Times; May 1, 2009.

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

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
We all have to rise in the end, not just one or two who were smart enough, had will enough for their own salvation, but all the halt, the maimed, and the blind of us which is most of us. -Maureen Duffy, poet, playwright, and novelist (b. 1933)

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