Welcome back to (drumroll please)....
This week's word is Irascible.
i·ras·ci·ble (iˈrasəbəl), adjective
1. Having or showing a tendency to be easily angered.
Synonyms: irritable, quick-tempered, short-tempered, hot-tempered, testy, touchy, tetchy, edgy, crabby, petulant, waspish, dyspeptic, snappish
As the angry client stalked away, the staff uttered a collective sigh of relief. "That was a very irascible gentleman," said Mrs. M. (She then exclaimed, "Ooh - good word! I think I'll make it the Word of the Week).
A conversation with my boss.
Why I like this word:
1. It has a raspy, peppery sound that perfectly fits its meaning. (So do many of its synonyms.)
2. It looks interesting in print. (This is very subjective and difficult to explain. Some letter combinations look better than others, to my eye - and "irascible" is visually fascinating.)
3. Consider the alternatives:
Irritable - a scratchy word, making her who says it sound irritable
Hot-tempered - too thumpity
Touchy - too much like "touchy-feely"
Tetchy - an itchy word
Edgy - rather a positive term these days, applied more to art than to temperament
Waspish - a stinging word that implies a venomous intent
Snappish - sounds too much like a fish or a turtle
Irascible is at once both softer and sharper than these. It's peppery but not poisonous. It is also, for reasons unknown to me, a word most often applied to males.
I see Irascible as a red-faced chap with a bristly mustache and steam coming out of his ears. He's impatient and demanding, often rude, and rarely lets you get a word in edgewise. But he can be strangely susceptible to acts of kindness. When apoplexy strikes (as it invariably will, given his high blood-pressure), send him a get-well card. You may find that under all the bluster he hides a tender heart.
A little kindness ... would do wonders with [him] -- Lewis Carroll
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1Irascible.
~ ~ ~
How do you deal with irascible people?
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~