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Nov 15, 2021
This week’s theme
Words with opposite or contradictory meanings

This week’s words
farouche
dinky
shifty
endsville
presently

farouche
L’ami Farouche
Art: Évariste Carpentier (1845-1922)

Previous week’s theme
Counterpart words
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Communication. That’s what language is for. But you might have second thoughts after seeing this week’s words. Does anyone even know what a word means, you might say.

That’s because each word featured this week can’t seem to make up its mind. Each word has two meanings that are opposite or contradictory. How’re we going to get anything done?!

Despair not. All is not lost. Language is all about context. Most of the time, context will tell you where a word stands, what it means. Sometimes, it’s the case of British vs American senses. For example, in the UK to table something is to bring it forward for discussion while in the US it’s to put it away or postpone it.

That said, can you construct a sentence for any of the words featured this week that can make the word work in both of its opposite senses?

Share below or email us at words@wordsmith.org. As always, include your location (city, state).

farouche

PRONUNCIATION:
(fuh-ROOSH)

MEANING:
adjective:
1. Wild; fierce.
2. Shy; unsociable.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Old French faroche, from forasche, from Latin forasticus (living outside), from foras (outdoors). Earliest documented use: 1765.

USAGE:
“I badly needed a guide to get me to the Khyber Pass, and I decided that what I required was the most farouche-looking guy ... and the toughest modern automobile.”
Christopher Hitchens; Love, Poverty, and War; Nation Books; 2004.

“At an event organised by the Writers’ Centre in Norwich the other week, one of the volunteers ... observed that when she was young, writers were semi-mythical creatures, farouche, barely ever seen in the flesh.”
Will Self; The Novelist Offers His Tips for Reading Your Work Aloud; The Daily Telegraph (London, UK); May 25, 2013.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
He who, when called upon to speak a disagreeable truth, tells it boldly and has done, is both bolder and milder than he who nibbles in a low voice and never ceases nibbling. -Johann Kaspar Lavater, poet, writer, philosopher (15 Nov 1741-1801)

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