The Toad's Words

Excursus #5

By now, most of you know what The Toad's Words is and how to use it. No one is quite sure how it really got started but I think it had something to do with a fenestration of opportunity. Anyway, I like feedback. If you have any, please send it. I am always in the market for new words

Adroit, adjective

Marked by shrewdness in coping with danger or difficulty. Resourceful, clever, cunning, ingenious. It can also mean dexterous in the use of one's hands. Then, of course, there is the more common antonym "maladroit" meaning to lack adroitness.

The word comes from the French phrase droit which means "to the right." This is one little example of how English has subtle biases against left handed people. Words like 'dexterous' and 'adroit' come from words meaning 'right,' while words like "sinister," "gauche," and "gawky" come from words or phrases relating to 'left.' So if you want to be politically correct then you should not use any of the above words for fear of offending someone.

Because he grew up on the streets of the Bronx, Sid was particularly adroit at picking pockets.

Peccable, adjective

Prone to sin.

The noun would be peccability. We usually use peccable in the form 'impeccable' which means not capable of sinning or free from fault or blame. However, it is nice to use the root once in a while. This comes from the Latin peccare, to sin, which is also the origin of "peccadillo."

Sid's adroit skills learned as a child made him peccable and even though all of the authorities knew it, they were maladroit at catching him.

Abscond, verb

To depart secretly and usually quickly and to hide oneself, often from punishment. To escape, flee, bolt, take flight, skip town.

Sid usually felt so bad after picking a pocket or two that he would abscond with the wallet to his special hiding place in the park.

Laity, noun

The mass of people distinct from a particular profession. The people of a religious faith as distinct from the clergy.

As, a lay preacher would have to come from the laity. Also, I guess a lay quean would have to come from the laity, as well.

No matter how adroit Sid was at picking pockets, he could never seem to make it from the laity to the Magician's Union.

Magnanimous, adjective

Showing a courageous spirit, usually in feelings or generosity. Free from petty feelings. Forgiving, unselfish, merciful, charitable.

This comes from the Latin magnus meaning 'great' and animus meaning 'soul.'

The Magnificent Mangnani was particularly magnanimous in inviting Sid to visit the Magic Castle after Sid had absconded with his watch and wallet so adroitly.

Disclaimer: The author, his advisors, family, and other members of the laity in no way take responsibility for personal peccability, or necessity to abscond as a result of the magnanimous usage of The Toad's Words.

Revised: August 27, 2000

Copyright by Michael L. VanBlaricum, 04 September 2000.

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