Word of the Day: Odious
Odious (adjective) OH-dee-us
Volunteers gathered on Saturday morning to scrub away the odious graffiti spray-painted on the school.
“I can’t help being reminded of the progress we’ve made as a nation, as well as the odious past of slavery, the many men and women who have lost their lives in wars….” — Candi Castleberry Singleton, quoted in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 5 Sept. 2016
Did You Know?
Odious has been with us since the days of Middle English. We borrowed it from Anglo-French, which in turn had taken it from Latin odiosus. The Latin adjective came from the noun odium, meaning “hatred.” Odium is also an ancestor of the English verb annoy (another word that came to Middle English via Anglo-French). And, at the beginning of the 17th century, odium entered English in its unaltered form, giving us a noun meaning “hatred” or “disgrace” (as in “ideas that have incurred much odium”).
Odious is not an unknown word for me, yet it is one that does not enter very much in my vocabulary. As I sit here, thinking about the term, I wonder why. I suppose it has a lot to do with my parents, my upbringing, and my philosophy on life. I don’t hate nor do I find most things repugnant. I wrote about my parents and how they raised me many months ago. In short, I wonder if, like myself, they were radicals. They raised me to be compassionate and considerate of everyone. They never instilled in me the nationalistic, sexist, or racist attitudes that I see around me. As a result, I feel fortunate.
Getting back to the word odious, I will strive to remember it. In researching the term, I discovered other uses for the word. The image I found for this post reflects upon another usage. In thinking about it further, I suddenly realize that there is a growing offensive attitude growing in my Mona Bendarova books. I briefly introduced it in book 2, and in book 3, the views of the community reflect a growing level of repugnancy among the population. Book 4 will expand upon the schism, almost like the today’s political environment.
What do you think? Share if like. I look forward to reading your comments.
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