Printable Version
Pronunciation: -rê-lês Hear it!

Part of Speech: Adjective

Meaning: 1. Talkative, loquacious, given to wordy speech. 2. Long, rambling, wordy speech or writing.

Notes: Today's Good Word is easily misspelled, so keep a sharp eye out for it. Remember to double the R and use a U for the middle vowel. The state of being garrulous is garrulousness, and garrulous talkers talk garrulously.

In Play: People who are good at talking are garrulous: "Riesa Bull is so garrulous, she could talk a politician into taking truth serum." People who are boring or irritating because they talk too much are also garrulous: "Myna Bird and her assistant are so garrulous, we seldom accomplish anything during office conferences."

Word History: Today's word is Latin garrulus "talkative" with an O inserted into the ending. The Latin word comes from the verb garrire "to chatter, prattle, babble" from the Proto-Indo-European base gar- "to cry or cry out". The same root came to Old English as cearu or caru "sorrow, grief", which today is care in the sense of a concern or worry. Chary "cautious, wary" is another descendant of the PIE root; it originally meant "causing sorrow or grief". Since the Germans call themselves Deutsch, we are naturally curious as to the outside source of the word German. The famous German linguist, Jakob Grimm who, with his brother Wilhelm collected folk tales on the side, thought that the ger- in German may have come from Irish gairm "battle-cry". Gairm is another descendant of PIE gar-. (Today we thank our rather garrulous Italian friend, Gianni Tamburini, for suggesting this Good Word in the Alpha Agora.)

Dr. Goodword,

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