Say One Thing And Mean Another

The word I want to share with you today is one that is rather confusing.  At least it is to me.  I recognize the root of the word.  And that is what throws me off track.

The word is restive.  Restive and rest both come from the same Latin root restāre.  But, somehow in their travel through time, they have become so distance that they actually mean quite the opposite!

Restive [res tiv] is an adjective that means fidgety, restless, uneasy, edgy, in suspense, jittery.

When I think of the word ‘rest,’ I think of something that rejuvenates.  Something that is tranquil or peaceful.  Restive is anything BUT restful!

I have seen restive connected to the restless leg syndrome.  I don’t have that syndrome, but I sure get the jitters in my legs and it is very difficult for me to sit still.  Restive certainly describes THAT situation.

If you are awaiting a decision or answer from your boss, your parents, or a marriage proposal, you could be restive — uneasy or edgy —  until you get your answer.

If you are reading a suspense novel or watching a thriller movie, you could be restive (uneasy, in suspense) as you await what is going to happen next.

The next time that I get the jitters, I’ll tell myself to be restful and not restive!  (Think that will help?  Probably not . . .)

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