« English in India | Main | Effin deemed offensive by Facebook »

December 01, 2011

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Marc Leavitt

Susan:
Tergiversate falls under the category of words we like to use when we're fifteen and we want to impress our elders. I think I firt came across it in the short stories of Edgar Allen Poe. He also liked to use ratiocinate - another word no one uses.

Virtual Linguist

Thanks, Marc.

Licia

The etymology is quite interesting, from Latin, it means "to turn one's back". In Italian the verb "tergiversare" is widely understood and used, in spoken Italian mainly as a negative imperative ("non tergiversare!"), but it has a different meaning, mainly "prevaricate" but also "behave in an evasive way".

Virtual Linguist

Thanks, Licia. Yes, that is interesting.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner