Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Word of the Day 8/18/2010

Insouciance (noun): lighthearted unconcern : nonchalance

Example Sentence: The teenager’s careless insouciance about her schoolwork does not bode well for her grades.

Did you know?: Don't worry -- be insouciant. Perhaps your mind will rest easier if we explain that English speakers learned "insouciance" from the French in the 1700s (and the adjective "insouciant" has been part of our language since the 1800s). The French word comes from a combination of the negative prefix "in-" and "soucier," meaning "to trouble or disturb." "Soucier" in turn traces to "sollicitus," the Latin word for "anxious." If it seems to you that "sollicitus" looks a lot like some other English words you've seen, you're right. That root also gave us "solicit" (which now means "to entreat" but which was once used to mean "to fill with concern or anxiety"), "solicitude" (meaning "uneasiness of mind"), and "solicitous" ("showing or expressing concern").

Merriam-Webster Word of the Day

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