Archive for February 13th, 2011

February 13, 2011

Funny word, cantankerous

Not the greatest example but a good excuse to put a Star Trek pic up, pic: wordotheday10.blogspot.com

Cantankerous is one of those words – at least for me – that don’t betray what they mean from the way they sound.  Cantankerous could be anything

from a way a weapon or piece of equipment is used in warfare (it has tank in it after all), to the taste of exotic seafood.  It is neither, not even close.

Cantankerous is an adjective which means bad-tempered, argumentative, uncooperative, stubborn, cranky, irritable.  The origin is – again –

somewhat disputed, the prevailing theory being that the word is a blend of contentious (argumentative, belligerent) and rancorous (bitter, resentful) – which makes for a pretty awful state of mind.

Examples come to mind a lot when thinking about unpleasant people, like that neighbor across the street from your childhood home who complained about just about everything you did to your parents or that nasty landlord with the millions of rules about things like how many pictures you could hang before in the apartment to avoid undue damage to the walls.

All in all, you totally want to avoid ever being called cantankerous.