MEANING: adjective: Bad-tempered; spiteful.

ETYMOLOGY: From spleen, from French esplen, from Latin splen, from Greek splen. Earliest documented use: 1398.

NOTES: In earlier times it was believed that four humors controlled human behavior and an imbalance resulted in disease. According to this thinking an excess of black bile secreted by the spleen resulted in melancholy or ill humor. Also, the spleen was considered to be the seat of emotions. To vent one's spleen was to vent one's anger.


The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them. -George Orwell, writer (25 Jun 1903-1950)

SPLENETHIC - unyielding grouchiness; the moral underpinning of current US politics

SELENETIC - moon-like

SPHENETIC - wedge-shaped