How to Insult Your Enemies - 2012 History of the English Language

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How to Insult Your
Enemies
some useful but not-so-common words
These words are disapproving so use them
CAREFULLY
martinet
strict
 demands conformity to rules however
arbitrary and tyrannical
 ask for unquestioning obedience
 slave driver
 examples:

1. The secretary calls his boss a martinet
because he asks for extreme strict
conformity to his rules.
2. The worker refers to the foreman as a
martinet.

Jean Martinet,
the Inspector General of Infantry
during the reign of King Louis XIV
 strict drill master
 imposed a system of drill, discipline, and
maneuvers
 from this time the French Army’s
reputation for discipline dated
 unpopular in his troops

Originally
a person who leads others in military drill

Later
a military officer who is concerned with
strict discipline, and a rigid inflexible,
merciless disciplinarian

Now
◦ used in a derogatory (disapproving) sense
◦ shows resentment of the user
sycophant
toady to rich and influential people
 out-yes the Hollywood yes man
 hypocrite
 servile attentions, unceasing adulation
 bootlicker
 example:

He is such a sycophant that he always
cultivate friends that can do him good -financially.
apple-shiner
 Greek name “fig-shower”
sykon (fig) +phanein (to show)
σῦκοφάντης (sycophant)
※phanein
dia (through) + phanein
diaphanous (transparent)


a lad that inform the officers when
1. the figs (無花果) in the sacred groves are
being taken, or
2. fig-dealers are dodging the tariff

A sycophant…
1. a sort of “stool pigeon” (抓耙子)
2. ingratiate themselves with (flatter)
influential citizens of the community
dilettante
superficially pursuit fine arts
 paints, writes, composes, plays an
instrument,
 not to achieve professional
competence, nor to make money
 for personal amusement
 dabbler
 example:

He is a bit of a dilettante as far as wine is
concerned.

Italian borrowing
“a lover of music or painting”
Latin origin
dilettare (to delight)
 dilettantish (adj.)

superficial, unprofessional
Review Time
s
__________
a toady to people of wealth or power
m
 __________
a strict disciplinarian
d
 __________
a dabbler in art

Thank You
Reference

eNotes: http://www.enotes.com/jean-martinetreference/jean-martinet

OED: http://oed.com

http://gtotd.blogspot.tw/2009_06_01_archive.html
http://www.billcasselman.com/unpub3/fig.htm


Lewis, Norman. Word Power Made Easy.
New York: Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1979
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