Use this forum to suggest Good Words for Professor Beard.
M. Henri Day
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Postby M. Henri Day » Tue Mar 22, 2005 7:19 am

As an alternative to «dissident», «nonconformist», «dissenter», «activist», etc, why not try the above word, a participial form of Latin «recusare» («to refuse/object» ? Not, of course, that we know anybody like that....


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Postby gailr » Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:39 pm

WordNet Dictionary says:
1. [n] someone who refuses to conform to established standards of conduct
2. [adj] refusing to submit to authority; "the recusant electors...cooperated in electing a new Senate"- Mary W.Williams
3. [adj] (of Catholics formerly) refusing to attend services of the Church of England

Synonyms: disobedient, dissentient, nonconformist, unorthodox
Antonyms: conformist

Webster's 1913 dictionary says:
1. \Re*cu"sant\ (-zat; 277), a.[L. recusans, -antis, p. pr. of recure to refuse, to oject to; pref. re- re + causa a cause, pretext: cf. F. r['e]cusant. See {Cause}, and cf. {Ruse}.]
Obstinate in refusal; specifically, in English history, refusing to acknowledge the supremacy of the king in the church, or to conform to the established rites of the church; as, a recusant lord.

It stated him to have placed his son in the household of the Countess of Derby, a recusant papist. --Sir W. Scott.

2. \Re*cu"sant\, n.
1. One who is obstinate in refusal; one standing out stubbornly against general practice or opinion.

The last rebellious recusants among the European family of nations. --De Quincey.

2. (Eng. Hist.) A person who refuses to acknowledge the supremacy of the king in matters of religion; as, a Roman Catholic recusant, who acknowledges the supremacy of the pope. --Brande & C.

3. One who refuses communion with the Church of England; a nonconformist.

All that are recusants of holy rites. --Holyday.

I had only heard this word in the context of "the judge recused himself from the case", and so thought it was legalese for "excused". So, refusal is immoral in the case of recusant, but moral in the case of recused?


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