Monday, November 24, 2014

Amazing Word: Recusant

Each week, I’m going to present an amazing word. A word that has a double meaning either directly or perhaps through origin, where is has evolved into a new meaning, or carries a wonderful Onomatopoeic effect.

This week my amazing word is:

RECUSANT







Deriving from the Latin word recusare, recusant means refusing to submit to authority. Originally, it meant "refusing to attend the services of the Church of England.” It later came to mean resistance to authority of any form.

It was around the same time, in Britain, the Holy Days and Fasting Days Act of 1551 stated that every citizen must attend a Christian church service on Christmas Day. Interestingly, this act has never been repealed and so a large number of British people break the law every Christmas day.

Example: Riley’s recusant disposition came to a fore every evening when she argued the need to go to bed before her parents.

Example: Amber, while not recusant to attending the funeral, neither felt enthusiastic about the prospect.


In the second example, recusant’s original meaning helps subtly hint at the location of the funeral and the Christian mass.