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Doryphore

One who draws attention to minor errors made by others, particularly in a pestering way.

Origin

This lovely adjective was presented in 1952 by Sir Harold Nicolson, an English diplomat, author and politician. So he wrote: ” Often have I tried to supplement my vocabulary by inventing words, such as ‘couth’, or ‘doriphore’, or ‘hypoulic’, feeling that it is the duty as well as the pastime of a professional writer to make two words bloom where only one bloomed before”.

The above is a quote from the original piece, as written by Nicolson. It presents doryphore to be spelled through an ‘i’, but the OED marked it to be “y”; why? Good question! Feel free to share your answer if you happen to have one!

Doryphore comes from French, in which it literally represents the Colorado beetle. Yes, this beetle is a pest, but the exact path Nicolson took from the actual beetle to the word’s meaning is yet an obscure path.

Why this word?

This is a great word; it is very much present at the OED, but Microsoft Word still marks it to be wrong. Moreover, this word serves an actual need; doryphores are everywhere and if we can supplement an entire sentence in describing a person, with one single word- well that’s great!

How to use doryphore?

In the same way you’d use any other adjective.

“Did you see how obsessed David got about the wrong turn I took??”

“Yea, but he’s a doryphore, we all know it”.

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Written by Victoria Sheinkin

Victoria Sheinkin is a writer, content editor, translator and chief editor for UnusedWords.com. Speaking three and a half languages, she holds two BAs from the Tel Aviv university- Communication and jounalism, English literature and linguistics.

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