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Dr. Goodword
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Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:41 am

• obsequious •

Pronunciation: ahb-see-kwee-ês • [url=obsequious.mp3]Hear it![/url]

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Fawning, servile, sycophantic, devoted to fulfilling the wishes of another or others.

Notes: The most widespread noun accompanying today's word is obsequiousness. If this word is too long for you, you may use the much shorter but rarer obsequy [ahb-sê-kwee], which can also mean "a funeral" in the plural: to attend the obsequies of someone. We also have at our disposal obsequiosity, which exudes a hint of facetiousness.

In Play: Almost any type of servile behavior qualifies as obsequy: "That obsequious Ben Dover comes in early every day and sits in the boss's chair before the boss himself arrives to warm the seat for him." But nefarious motives are not always behind obsequiousness: "There is nothing like an obsequious little puppy to relax you after being barked at all day at work."

Word History: Did you ever wonder why obsequious people follow us around? Today we find out. This Good Word comes from Latin obsequiosus "obsequious, compliant" from obsequium "compliance", a noun based on the verb obsequi "to comply". This verb comprises the prefix ob- "to, against" + sequi "to follow". Sequi underlies the sequitur in the phrase non sequitur "illogical, not following". It also underlies many other words implying following such as sequence, consequent, and subsequent. The same root gave Latin its socius "sharing; associate, ally", which we enjoy in our borrowed words society and social. (Today's Good Word comes to us from a very unobsequious social ally in the Alpha Agora, Gail Rallens.)
• The Good Dr. Goodword

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Postby misterdoe » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:19 am

Surprised there were no commments to this one. It has been suggested that Arsenio Hall's first show (in his own name) was canceled because he was becoming too obsequious.

I didn't realize this had already been posted; I came to the site to suggest it. I was listening to Everybody Plays the Fool, by the Main Ingredient, and this word popped into my head regarding the lead singer, Cuba Gooding Sr. Love the group, but I hate to hear this guy talk, because it's usually when he's on a Time-Life infomercial selling something music-related...

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