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May 15, 2020

Word of the Day: Splenetic

1 CQ

Word of the Day : August 3, 2017

splenetic \splih-NET-ik\ adjective


: marked by bad temper, malevolence, or spite


Drew emailed the article to Kara, warning her to avoid the splenetic comments at the bottom of the page.

"On the basis of his excoriating blog—which exposes 'lies, pretensions and stupidity in the world of food'—I had been expecting a bilious, splenetic man with wild eyes, his skin covered in tattoos. Instead, I'm sat across from a mild-mannered nerdy type with a tidy beard and black-framed spectacles."
— Tim Lewis, The Guardian, 18 June 2017

Did You Know?

In early Western physiology, a person's physical qualities and mental disposition were believed to be determined by the proportion of four bodily humors: blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile. The last of these was believed to be secreted by the spleen, causing feelings of disposition ranging from intense sadness (melancholia) to irascibility. This now-discredited association explains how the use of splenetic (deriving from the Late Latin spleneticus and the Latin splen, meaning "spleen") came to mean both "bad-tempered" and "given to melancholy" as well as "of or relating to the spleen." In later years, the "melancholy" sense fell out of use, but the sense pertaining to ill humor or malevolence remains with us today.

Aired August 3, 2017

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