Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Meaning: obedient, compliant, obsequious. 

Usefulness: 1 (It's a word that seems to lend itself to insult: I can imagine calling someone morigerous in a hissed aside, with utmost insouciance, or while yelling and banging on the table. Morigerating and morigerousness - both in the OED - are lovely to say, but seem to come out with a snarl.)

Logofascination: 1 (Morigerate, the verb form, has a citation from 1623 and then one from 1936. How does a 17th century term amuse itself for 314 years? Etymologically, loosely related to morals.)

In the wild: Nope, found it while looking for compliant words yesterday.

Degrees: 2

Connections: morigerous - Morals

Which is used in: G&P, Second Book (Pantagruel), VIII: How Pantagruel, being at Paris, received letters from his father Gargantua, and the copy of them. Gargantua urges Pantagruel to study:
Yet so it is that, in the age I am now of, I have been constrained to learn the Greek tongue--which I contemned not like Cato, but had not the leisure in my younger years to attend the study of it--and take much delight in the reading of Plutarch's Morals, the pleasant Dialogues of Plato, the Monuments of Pausanias, and the Antiquities of Athenaeus, in waiting on the hour wherein God my Creator shall call me and command me to depart from this earth and transitory pilgrimage.
In an insight into the reality and rapidity of the Renaissance, Gargantua speaks of the development of printing, and of the amount of classical knowledge recovered since his own youth:
I see robbers, hangmen, freebooters, tapsters, ostlers, and such like, of the very rubbish of the people, more learned now than the doctors and preachers were in my time. What shall I say? The very women and children have aspired to this praise and celestial manner of good learning.
I mean really, if the women and children are learning it...

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