In a word: truculent

September 17, 2012|By John E. McIntyre | The Baltimore Sun

Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a moderately obscure but evocative word with which you may not be acquainted, another brick to add to the wall of your working vocabulary. This week's word:

TRUCULENT

People writing about politics or language usage may attempt to start out clamly and reasonably, but they tend very quickly to become quick to argue or fight, to become aggressively defiant, harsh, rude, scathing, bellicose. In a word, truculent.

We get the word (pronounced TRUK-yoo-lent) from the persistently bellicose Romans. The Latin adjective truculentus derives from trux, "fierce."


Example: George Moore wrote, "Within the oftenttimes bombastic and truculent appearance that I present to the world, trembles a heart shy as a wren in the hedgerow or a mouse along the wainscoting."

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