Truculent and Scurrilous?

Our youngest son played lots of video games in his teen-aged years. As a mother, I was always concerned about the violence in some of the games and worried that the violence could adversely affect him.

Then my son learned the word truculent. So, when I would gently discipline him (he is a gentle soul and didn’t need much discipline), he would sweetly say that I was the violent one. I was being truculent. Not him.

Last week as we were traveling for our son’s wedding, I had many hours in the airport and on the plane. I read Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini. That book used the word truculent a plethora of times! So, I thought I would share it here with you. (Captain Bolod is an easy, fun read about a man who turns pirate. I recommend that you read it.)

Truculent (truhk-yuh-luhnt) is an adjective that means disposed to or exhibiting violence or destructiveness. It also means fierce, belligerent, brutally harsh, cruel, and savagely brutal. So, my son was claiming that I exhibited violence by my gentle discipline. I was being brutal, harsh and cruel. (Does a scowl on the face rank as being brutal? I think not…)

A person could express truculent, fierce criticism of someone’s poor standard of work. Or have a truculent speech against the government. A person could be truculent when abuse happens. Quite the opposite of being irenic. (The definition for irenic was given in the second podcast for Wordsmithie.)

Sometimes, those with truculent speech are also scurrilous. Scurrilous (skur-uh-luhs) is an adjective that means given to the use of vulgar, coarse, or obscenely abusive language. It is someone who has a foul-mouth. Pirates definitely are scurrilous – with the exception of Captain Blood. He is a gentleman. (Oh, please DO read the book!)

Hopefully, as you continue reading this blog and listening to my podcast, you will improve your vocabulary so that you do not use scurrilous language!

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