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Verecund

Definition: Modest, bashful, or shy.

Pronunciation: Veh-reh-kund

Origin:

The word verecund originates from the Latin word verecundus meaning modest, shamefaced, or diffident.  Verecundus derives from the Latin verb vereri, meaning to fear.  It is further linked to the Proto-Indo-European root word wer, meaning man.

Why this word?

I was very shy as a child and grew fairly tired of having people comment on it or offering my parents suggestions for how to fix me.  Looking back, it would be nice to tell that little girl that there is nothing wrong with being shy and to embrace her verecund nature.

How to use the word verecund?

“His verecund nature prevented him from attending the party with the girl of his dreams.”

“She was able to overcome her verecund tendencies and make the presentation in front of a room of people.”

“The verecundity of his performance at tonight’s speech gave us no hope for his performance in the coming debate.

“While adorable and outgoing around people, the kitten showed her potential intelligence with her verecundity around the dog.”

“At home with her family and friends the toddler was loud and outgoing, but when introduced to strangers her verecund tendencies made an appearance.”

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Written by Kate Fulton

Kate Fulton has a bachelor’s degree in classics and psychology from the University of Massachusetts and is working on a library science degree from Simmons College. She has always been fascinated by words- their usage, spelling, and etymology. Kate may be one of the few people who enjoyed the verbal section of the SAT. Yes, she is a word geek. Currently she bores her husband and young daughter with her love of vocabulary.

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