This morning my walking partner decided to bring her dog along for a walk. This was the second time in a year that the dog had been on a leash and on a walk with us. So, it goes without my saying much that the dog wasn’t even a smidgen trained. It was a recalcitrant dog — and no, that is not the breed of dog!
Recalcitrant (ri-kal-si-truhnt) is an adjective that means resisting authority or control. Not obedient or compliant. Hard to deal with or manage. This dog definitely resisted control. Obedience and compliance were not in its vocabulary. At the end of 3 miles, my friend felt that her right arm had been pulled out of its socket and was eleven feet longer than her left arm.
Children can be recalcitrant when asked to do their chores. They are resistant and rebellious about the whole job thing. Recalcitrant perfectly describes a toddler because every parent knows that toddlers are stubbornly disobedient.
Sometimes I feel my hair is recalcitrant when I’m having a bad hair day because my hair has a mind of its own, is not obedient, and resists all my feeble attempts at styling it.
At the end of the Civil War, the southerners were recalcitrant because they didn’t want to be under the authority and control of the northern states. During the 60s, there were many civil rights demonstrations because the Blacks were resistant of the controls that white people had over them.
Recalcitrant can also refer to some medical conditions such as cancer. In this type of a situation, recalcitrant means not responsive to treatment. Sometimes warts or mononucleosis are recalcitrant because they are both difficult to get rid of.
Back to walking the dog. Maybe for the sake of my friend’s arm, the dog needs more training before it comes along next time. . .