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n. a ruler with total control; a tyrant, autocrat.
Dude, my five-pound Yorky, seeshimself as king of our house, a real despotwith all of us under his paw. Amy’s cat, Meatloaf, never yields to doggydespotism, of course.
: n. a brown-noser; one who flatters others; a toady.
- Kids dislike sycophants because
- their brown-nosing is so hypocritical. Powerful people must enjoy that servile
- flattery or we wouldn’t have so many sycophants.
- n. one who is overly, almost sinfully, hungry for something, usually
- food n. glut v. to glut.
- Amy’s a glutton for roles on stage. “I’ll play any part,” she says.
- Recently, wrapped in thick padding, she portrayed Gluttony itself in a Christian morality play about the seven deadly
n. someone who lives for pleasure or happiness
In class we discussed the Greeks’ doctrine of hedonism, which held that happiness or pleasure was the sole good in life. We contrasted the hedonist’s pleasure-seeking goals with the Puritan’s spiritual, work-oriented life, and ended up voting for a blend of the two—the old Greek “golden mean.”
- n. one who pretends to a life or beliefs that he doesn’t honestly have;
- a phony or fake.
- The guys I know don’t admire a hypocrite or hypocrisy of any kind. It’s so phony. Think about Arthur Ashe, who
- was always honest and straightforward, never phony. “Not a hypocritical bone in him,” my friend Jason maintains.
n. one who differs from accepted belief or theory
- “Would you guys hang me as a heretic if I suggested eliminating the
- Social Corner?” I asked the newspaper. They agreed to cut the column and admitted
- that occasionally heretics have good
- ideas. (But often the mere suspicion of heresy is fatal. Witches were burned as
- heretics by fanatics, remember?)
n. a quack or fraud; a cheat, impostor
- My dad’s office is just
- recovering from being cheated by a master charlatan
- who posed as a management consultant.
- The real skill of charlatans is lying
n. one who stubbornly holds to his own opinions
- I hope age doesn’t turn me into
- a narrow-minded bigot like some I
- know. I hate prejudice, and bigoted people
- are usually very opinionated.
n. a greedy, grasping person. (L. miser = miserable)
- One of my friends is really a miser, in contrast to the rest of us, who
- are mainly generous guys. We tease him about being a miserly Scrooge type, but his stinginess is less amusing as time
- goes by.
n. a rebel; one who rises up in revolt.
- As an editor I need to study
- newspapers, so I’m always aware of insurgent
- forces in other countries. My sympathies are with insurgents whenever they’re revolting against a cruel political
- regime, as in Haiti.
n. a fanatic; someone devoted beyond reason to a cause or belief.
- As the self-appointed defender
- of the family, Dude is our personal zealot.
- Daily he patrols our property, barking zealously-fanatically-whenever
- a stranger threatens to cross over into his territory.
n. one who doubts or waits to pass judgment.
- Thomas Huxley, the famous English biologist, knew that
- a good scientist was a skeptic. He
- said, “Skepticism is the highest of
- duties, blind faith the one unpardonable sin.” A skeptic is the opposite of a zealot of fanatic