Lynne Kiesling

Today’s word from A Word A Day is reprobate, a great word:

reprobate (REP-ruh-bayt) adjective



A wicked person.

verb tr.

To disapprove or condemn.

[From Middle English, from Late Latin reprobatus, from reprobare (to
disapprove), from re- + probare (to test, approve), from probus

AWAD is also good for the quotes that come at the end of every entry. Today’s is a good one from everyone’s favorite wag (OK, my favorite wag) H.L. Mencken:

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule. -H.L. Mencken, writer, editor, and critic (1880-1956)

Here’s what AWAD said in 1997 about a word I used last week to describe Putin’s re-nationalization of Yukos:


adj. 1. Moving or tending backward.

2. Inverted or reversed.

3. Reverting to an earlier or inferior condition.

4. Astron. Having a direction of motion opposite to that of the earth on its axis or of the planets around the sun.

5. Archaic. Opposed; contrary.

-intr.v. 1. To move or seem to move backward. 2. To decline; degenerate.

[ME [Lat. retrogradus : retro-, back + gradus, step]

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