Today’s words describe different types of behavior – types that most people would want to avoid.
Remember back in November when I posted the word ostentatious? Here is another word with a similar definition. Fastuous (fas-choo-uhs) is an adjective that means haughty, arrogant, or pretentious. Sometimes people become fastuous when they think they have more money than their neighbors. Sometimes people act fastuous because they have a college degree, a bigger house than their neighbors, or drive a fancy car, or have a boat. Sometimes people are fastuous just because! It’s a pride thing. People tend to be fastuous when they are prideful.
The next word is corybantic. Corybantic (kor-ee-ban-tik) is an adjective that means wild, frenzied, uncontrolled. Sometimes 2 year-old children are corybantic when they aren’t allowed to do something. Sometimes teenagers get corybantic when they can’t do something that they really, really want to do. (“But, Mom, EVERYBODY else gets to do it!!!”)
Corybantic has an interesting history. In mythology, priests who worshiped the goddess, Cybele, were called corybants. Their worship involved very noisy, very wild, very extravagant dancing. Sometimes the priests were considered wild half-demons. Because of their wild dancing, corybantic is now associated with wild, frenzied, uncontrolled behavior. If you have a pesky little brother who at times gets out of hand, you could call him corybantic – but then be prepared to get punched if he knows what you are saying!!
Maybe you know someone who is not the wild type, but who is more timid or cautious. If you do, that person is chary. Chary (chair-ee) an adjective, means very cautious or shy. It describes someone who is timid, cautious, careful, or wary. A person could be chary with his financial investments – careful and cautious so he won’t lose any money. Someone could be chary when meeting new people – shy and timid. A chary person is quite the opposite of someone who is corybantic. A chary person would not dance on the tabletops until dawn while a corybantic person most likely would!
So there you have it. Fastuous which means haughty or arrogant. Corybantic which means wild and frenzied. And, chary which means cautious, timid, careful.
Do any of these words describe you? 🙂