A New Year in words

Published 10:13 am Thursday, December 31, 2009

With the new year just around the corner, I’ve still yet to finalize my New Year’s resolutions.

At the top of my list is to let things that bother me roll off my shoulders. We’ll see how that goes.

Each year when family and friends ask me what my New Year’s resolution is, I sigh internally.

I often wonder the point of these empty decrees we make each year. Does anyone ever see theirs through? I know I’m being a little cynical and, perhaps, there are those of us who do keep to those promised New Year’s resolutions.

But if you’re like me, let the following words help kick off your New Year with a resolution to learn new vocabulary.

cajole (kuh-JOHL) is a transitive verb meaning to persuade with flattery, repeated appeals, or soothing words; to coax.

iota (eye-OH-tuh) is a noun with two definitions; 1. The ninth letter of the Greek alphabet, corresponding to the English “i.”

2. A very small quantity or degree; a jot; a bit.

dolorous (DOH-luh-ruhs) is an adjective meaning marked by, causing, or expressing grief or sorrow.

capricious (kuh-PRISH-us; -PREE-shus) is an adjective meaning apt to change suddenly; whimsical; changeable.

paroxysm (PAIR-uhk-siz-uhm) is a noun with two definitions;1. (Medicine) A sudden attack, intensification, or recurrence of a disease. 2. Any sudden and violent emotion or action; an outburst; a fit.

affable (AF-uh-buhl) is an adjective with two meanings; 1. Easy to speak to; receiving others kindly and conversing with them in a free and friendly manner. 2. Gracious; benign.

bonhomie (bah-nuh-MEE) is a noun meaning a good nature; pleasant and easy manner.

forfend (for-FEND) is a transitive verb meaning (Archaic) to prohibit; to forbid; to ward off; to prevent; to avert. 2. To defend; to protect; to preserve.

martinet (mar-t’n-ET) is a noun with two meanings;1. A strict disciplinarian. 2. One who lays stress on a rigid adherence to the details of forms and methods.

skulduggery (skul-DUG-uh-ree) is a noun defined as devious, dishonest, or unscrupulous behavior or activity; also: an instance thereof.

maunder (MON-duhr) is a intransitive verb with a couple meanings; 1. To talk incoherently; to speak in a rambling manner. 2. To wander aimlessly or confusedly.

germane (juhr-MAYN) is an adjective meaning appropriate or fitting; relevant.

surreptitious (suhr-uhp-TISH-uhs; suh-rep-) is an adjective meaning done, made, or gotten by stealth or acting with or marked by stealth.

irenic (eye-REN-ik; -REE-nik) is an adjective meaning tending to promote peace; conciliatory.

Amanda VanDerBroek is a Staff Writer for the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. For comments and column suggestions email: amanda.vanderbroek@r-cnews.com or call (252) 332-7209.