|Discussion--The word "cantankerous" comes from the Middle English word
conteckour, meaning troublemaker. A cantankerous person is one who is always upset about something
and looking for a fight. One of the most cantankerous fictional characters in the history of Literature
is Ebeneezer Scrooge from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Most are familiar with the sour old man's famous expression
towards Christmas: "Bah, Humbug!" In contrast to the cantankerous Scrooge was Tiny Tim, a young man in the
story that wished well unto everyone.
We all have the potential to become cantankerous at times, whether due to a lack of sleep,
an illness, or whatever may cause us to slip into a bad mood. We have to be careful, however, not
to let this adjective become an everyday element of our personalities. No one likes a Scrooge!