Use this forum to discuss past Good Words.
User avatar
Dr. Goodword
Site Admin
Posts: 4558
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:28 am
Location: Lewisburg, PA


Postby Dr. Goodword » Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:23 am

• insouciant •

Pronunciation: in-su-see-ênt • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: Nonchalant, breezy and shallow, carefree, blithe.

Notes: Insouciant folks are not necessarily apathetic. Apathetic implies a deeper, more profound indifference, a lack of emotional response or connectivity. Insouciance (the noun) is a carefree breeziness that does not preclude some interest in political or social issues. We may, of course, approach these issues insouciantly (the adverb).

In Play: Today's Good Word indicates a serious lack of seriousness: "Her coworkers think that Ida Claire is a bit insouciant to work in a nuclear reactor." Remember, the line between carefree and careless is a very soft one, indeed: "The last we saw of Hermione Prize she was insouciantly lighting a cigarette as she filled her tank at the gas station."

Word History: Today's word is the Old French prefix in- "not" + souciant "troubling", the present participle of soucier "to trouble". This French verb came all the way from Latin sollicitare "to disturb, agitate, vex". This verb comes from sollicitus "agitated, upset", an adjective that once was a compound made up of solus "entire" + citus "stirred up", the past participle of ciere "to agitate, stir". We see the root of solus in many words borrowed from Latin, such as solid, solder, and solitary. The root of ciere turned up in Greek kinein "to move" and kinesis "movement", as in telekinesis "moving objects by mental power". (We are happy to announce that insouciance did not prevent Susan Kappel from suggesting today's Good Word.)
• The Good Dr. Goodword

User avatar
Grand Panjandrum
Posts: 5333
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:31 am
Location: Finger Lakes, NY

Postby Slava » Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:40 pm

Yet another delayed reaction to a post I read years ago: Hermione Prize! I do like plays on words like this and the many others in our Good Doctor's medical kit.

I wonder, though, was Hermione blown away?
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.

Return to “Good Word Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests