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A.Word.A.Day--indolent

Pronunciation RealAudio

indolent (IN-duh-lehnt) adjective

1. Lazy, lethargic, averse to exertion.

2. Painless or causing little pain; slow to develop or heal. Used in medicine, e.g. indolent ulcer.

[From Late Latin indolent-, stem of indolens, from Latin in- (not) + dolens, present participle of dolere (to suffer, feel pain). Other words that derive from the same root (dolere) : condole, dole, dolor.]

"He also disclosed that under the arrangement, indolent chairmen would be sacked, while hardworking ones would be commended and encouraged by government." David Owei, Bayelsa Threatens to Relocate Council Headquarters From Hostile Communities, The Guardian (Lagos, Nigeria), Jul 30, 2001.

"The settlement of that province had lately been begun, but, instead of being made with hardy, industrious husbandmen, accustomed to labor, the only people fit for such an enterprise, it was with families of broken shop-keepers and other insolvent debtors, many of indolent and idle habits, taken out of the jails, who, being set down in the woods, unqualified for clearing land, and unable to endure the hardships of a new settlement, perished in numbers, leaving many helpless children unprovided for." Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography Of Benjamin Franklin, 1793.

Kangaroo words, that's what this week's words are named. Why do we call them Kangaroo words? Not because they originated in Australia. Rather these are marsupial words that carry smaller versions of themselves (of the same or similar meaning) within their spellings. So "respite" has "rest", "splotch" has "spot", "instructor" has "tutor", and "curtail" has "cut". Sometimes a kangaroo word has two joeys: "feasted" has a pair, "fed" and "ate". Finally, two qualifications: the joey word has to have its letters in order within the parent kangaroo word, but if all the letters are adjacent, e.g. enjoy/joy, it doesn't qualify.

This week's AWAD features more kangaroo words. How many of the joeys can you identify? (Hint: the joey of today's word makes an appearance in the second usage example.)

-Anu

X-Bonus

God, to me, it seems, is a verb, not a noun, proper or improper. -R. Buckminster Fuller, engineer, designer, and architect (1895-1983)

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