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September 07, 2013

Word of the Day

  • malapert
  • audio pronunciation
  • \mal-uh-PERT\
  • DEFINITION

adjective

: impudently bold : saucy
  • EXAMPLES

"Fair ladies, brave knights, churls, varlets, squires, scurvy knaves, men-at-arms, malapert rogues—all were merry." — From P. G. Wodehouse's 1914 short story collection The Man Upstairs and Other Stories

"Of note, was her necklace, which was made up of pearls that started at about 7mm and graduated up to a 25mm monster in the middle. It was so extreme, it almost looked fake. I simply could not resist the malapert query,' those aren't real, are they?'" — From a post by Shelly Palmer at shellypalmer.com, August 11, 2005

  • DID YOU KNOW?

"Malapert" debuted in English in the 14th century, was a favorite of Shakespeare, and is still used sporadically today. The prefix "mal-," meaning "bad" or "badly" and deriving from the Latin "malus," is found in many English words, including "malevolent" and "malefactor." The second half of "malapert" comes from the Middle English "apert," meaning "open" or "frank." "Apert" further derives from the Latin word"apertus" ("open"), which gave us our noun "aperture" (meaning "an opening"). Putting the two halves together gives us a word that describes someone or something that is open or honest in a bad way—that is, a way that is bold or rude. The noun "malapert" also exists, and means "a bold or impudent person."

Word Family Quiz: What relative of "malapert" is a synonym of "spite"? The answer is …

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