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Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 12:37 am
by Dr. Goodword
• flagitious •

Pronunciation: flê-ji-shês

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: 1. Brutal, vicious, atrocious, inclined toward heinous crimes. 2. Nasty, mean, irresponsibly wicked.

Notes: Remember, {g} tends to be pronounces soft before front vowels (vowels pronounced in the front of the mouth), {i} and {e}, so this {g} will be pronounced {j}. Before back vowels, {g} is generally pronounced hard: gorge, gurgle, garish. The adverb is flagitiously and the noun flagitiousness. (Flagitiosity reared its ugly head a time or two but didn't stick, thank heavens.)

In Play: Today's good bad word is difficult to joke about; its reference is very, very serious: "The flagitious regime of Saddam Hussein cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Iranians." However, as the second definition indicates, this meaning is softening a bit in use: "He was so flagitious as to criticize her hair when she had just left the beauty parlor."

Word History: If this word conjures up images of Indiana Jones cracking a whip above his head, it is because the Latin word for whip shares an origin with today's word. Today's word came from the Latin adjective flagitiosus "shameful, disgraceful". This adjective rose up from flagitium "a shameful act, a protest", itself from flagitare "to importune, to demand vehemently". The point of origin is PIE *bhleg- "strike, hit", which also underlies Latin flagrum "whip". The same root provided Icelandic with blása and English with blow "act of hitting". (It would be, indeed, bordering on the flagitious not to thank our Agoran of the Day, named appropriately enough, M. Henri Day, for suggesting today's word.)

Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 3:15 am
by KatyBr
Excellant word,


Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 8:10 pm
by tcward
And so Cruella de Vil (from Disney's 101 Dalmations) might be described as deliciously flagitious...


Posted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 10:21 pm
by KatyBr
ah, well she might not have been the first one to come to my mind, but I can see your point. lol You are a father of very young kids.

Posted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 5:43 pm
by M. Henri Day
KatyBr wrote:ah, well she might not have been the first one to come to my mind ...
Is it too late to enter a plea of Not Guilty ?...