Before we get to today’s word, we need to examine a wee bit o’ history. Since I’m not really a lover of history, it will be brief. Extremely brief.
Philip II, king of Macedonia, wanted to expand Macedon so he fought many battles to gain more land. Demosthenes gave a series of speeches urging Greeks to unite and fight against him.
There, that history lesson wasn’t so bad, now was it?
From these speeches, we get today’s word: philippic.
Philippic [[fi-lip-ik] is a noun that means a verbal denunciation characterized by harsh, often insulting language. A verbal tirade. In effect, Demosthenes was extremely verbal and extremely critical of King Philip. Very outspoken. Anybody and everybody in those times knew that Demosthenes felt King Philip was scum between his toes. Or less.
In today’s world of politics in the United States, you will hear many philippic speeches made about the health care issue, about illegal aliens, and about the trillion dollar deficit. These speeches and comments are very harsh. Very bitter. Emotions run high. Hateful things are said and people are defamed.
Sometimes young children make philippic comments against siblings when they are mad at each other. People who are let go from their jobs often go home and make philippic comments to their spouse about their boss. Students who fail college exams mutter philippic words about their professors.
Yesterday as I rode the bus home from work, the driver honked at a bicyclist just before the bus made a stop. This upset the cyclist and he came to the bus door and spat many philippic words at the driver.
So, if someone bursts out in a tirade, or gives someone a tongue lashing, or berates or condemns someone, their speech is philippic.
I hope that nobody spews philippic comments your way today.