Word of the Day : August 8, 2013


adjective OR-gyuh-lus


: proud, haughty

Did You Know?

"In Troy, there lies the scene. From Isles of Greece / The princes orgulous, their high blood chaf'd, / Have to the port of Athens sent their ships." Thus Shakespeare began the Trojan War tale Troilus and Cressida, employing "orgulous," a colorful word first adopted in the 13th century from Anglo-French "orguillus." After the Bard's day, "orgulous" dropped from sight for 200 years; there is no record of its use until it was rejuvenated by the pens of Robert Southey and Sir Walter Scott in the early 1800s. Twentieth-century authors (including James Joyce and W.H. Auden) continued its renaissance, and it remains an elegant (if infrequent) choice for today's writers.


My golfing buddies and I are not orgulous members of some elitist country club; we appreciate a good course, but for us, it's about the sport, not the cachet.

"The wainscoted parlor is the nuns' chapel, and the pantry is full of their canning; in autumn the broken stalks of corn wither in their kitchen garden. 'Use it up, wear it out,' says the proverb of their creed (and not that of splendid and orgulous Protestants), 'make it do, do without': and they possess themselves in edge-worn and threadbare truth." -From John Crowley's short story "Novelty," from the 2009 collection Novelties & Souvenirs

Test Your Memory

What is the meaning of "éminence grise," our Word of the Day from July 11? The answer is …


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