Word of the Day – pusillanimous

Used in a speech last night I was listening to. I doubt half the audience even knew what it meant.


pu·sil·lan·i·mous (pys-ln-ms)

[Middle English pusillanimus, from Late Latin pusillanimis : Latin pusillusweak, diminutive of pullusyoung of an animal; see pau-1 in Indo-European roots +animusreason, mind; see an- in Indo-European roots.]

pusil·lani·mous·ly adv.


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  • thor42

    It’s one of those words used by really pompous people to show that they are “better than the masses”.
    It’s very easy to imagine Michael “rich prick” Cullen using words like this.

  • Kimbo

    I find your proclivity towards the common vernacular, at the expense of erudite and elevating expression to be unedifying, enervating, and redolent of a sub-cultural juvenescence.

    Nevertheless, as Ernest Hemingway so eloquently and lucidly observed, no doubt while reposed at a Havana bar: –

    “Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words? He thinks I don’t know the ten-dollar words. I know them all right. But there are older and simpler and better words, and those are the ones I use.”

  • diabolos

    I think i was diagnosed with it once – after a night on the town

  • MrAuz1989

    Sir Robert Muldoon learned this word off Sir Leslie Knox-Munro. He was so taken with the word he used it in the debating chamber to describe the Labour party’s attitude. The Labour members clearly thought the word was uncomplimentary but didn’t know what it meant so were unsure as to how uncomplimentary it was. Accordingly no one called him on it. So at the time it was not deemed to be “unparliamentry” and could be used at will.

  • diabolos

    In my opinion Sir Robert was a great politician – and i think that the Think Big projects were wrongly pilloried and then sold off like so many unwanted ornaments at knockdown prices when Lange and Douglas took control. One was a stomach-stapled double standard – and the other was a neoliberal shark masquerading as a new economics crusader. Lange would have loved blogs and tweeting and social media. (now im sitting in the seat of the mocker…) – but thats how they appear to me anyway and the terms i use adequately describe who they were for me.

    They were all scared of Muldoon – it wasnt till he was dead that many like Bolger and so forth summoned the cojones to criticise him.

    Say what you like – R D Muldoon had a bit about him.