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Wonderful Words: Laconic

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Here’s another interesting word origin story that traces back to the Mediterranean.  I’ve borrowed this from another fun “word” book I picked up – Random House Webster’s Pocket Power Vocabulary, which is a tiny book about the size of a pack of index cards and includes more than a hundred tests to improve your word mastery.

In Sparta, the capital of the ancient Greek region of Laconia, the children were trained in endurance, cunning, modesty, and self-restraint.  From the terse style of speech and writing of the Laconians we derive the English word “laconic.”  Today the word retains this meaning, expressing much in few words.

Why yes, of course I have a few analogies from our WordMasters archives!  No one ever accused me of being laconic.  See if you can solve these:

SPEAKER : LACONIC :: DONOR : _______________________

  1. PARSIMONIOUS
  2. GARRULOUS
  3. PIVOTAL
  4. PUGNACIOUS
  5. ORATORICAL

GARRULOUS : LACONIC :: DIAPHONOUS : ___________________________

  1. GREGARIOUS
  2. APPREHENSIVE
  3. SHEER
  4. OPAQUE
  5. COMPLIANT





 

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