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January 16, 2020 Tweet Word of the Week Like Word of the Week on Facebook
Word of the Week--"Pusillanimous"
Definition--Pusillanimous- adj. lacking courage; cowardly; faint-hearted.

Discussion-- What was the name of that lion from The Wizard of Oz? Let's see...there was Tin Man, Dorothy, Toto, Scarecrow and...the Pusillanimous Lion? No, that's not it. Oh yes, it was the Cowardly Lion! How silly of me!

Pusillanimous is not a widely used term in everyday conversation. We would all be confused if the timid lion from The Wizard of Oz truly was called Pusillanimous Lion. But essentially it would mean the same thing.

The comparison that I have made between the Cowardly Lion and the Pusillanimous Lion creates an interesting irony. Pusillanimous is formed by combining the diminutive of the Latin word pullus, which means young animal, with animus, which means spirit, or courage. However, the history of the word dates back to the 15th century. Perhaps The Wizard of Oz is older than we think!

Etymology--Pusillanimous- from Latin pusillus (little) + animus (spirit, courage).

   Foreign Translations
Dutch:  zwak, bedeesd
French:  ipusillanime
German:  verzagt
Italian: pusillanime
Spanish: pusilánime

Jane Ellis      Tweet Word of the Week Like Word of the Week on Facebook

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