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A.Word.A.Day--missish

Pronunciation RealAudio

missish (MIS-ish) adjective

Prudish.

[From miss + -ish.]

"Every line is end-stopped, and we are aware of the clunk of the rhyme, nowhere more than in 'troublesome' rhymed with 'come' and describing with missish understatement the behaviour of two of the strongest forces in the world, 'the winds and seas'." Germaine Greer; Blame it on Housman; The Guardian (London, UK); Mar 1, 2003.

"'Well, I am a widow, and no one questions my sense of propriety.' The duchess cocked her head, her black eyes flashing, looking for all the world like an inquisitive bird. 'I cannot believe you are so put off by wagging tongues. Gracious, I have never known you to be so missish!'" Elizabeth Powell; A Reckless Bargain; Signet; 2002.

This week's theme: words that aren't what they appear to be.

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The perfection of art is to conceal art. -Quintilian (Marcus Fabius Quintilianus), rhetorician (c. 35-100)

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