Saturday, December 03, 2011

Angry Words


Kris and I were discussing words that show up frequently in headlines, but more sparsely in real-life conversations. She observed that ire fits that category.

Ire ranges from simple anger all the way to rage. It owes its existence to the Latin ira, anger. The Oxford English Dictionary labels it as chiefly poetic and rhetorical. Some recent headlines:

  • Israeli ads for expats prompt ire from US Jews
  • Catholic Mass changes raise praise, ire of parishioners
  • Delay in polar bear decision draws ire of Senate

Other words indebted to ira include irate (angry), iracund (full of wrath), irascent (leading to anger), irascible (prone to anger), and irascid (rare variant of irascible). But contrary to what your eye tells you, there is no ire in Ireland.

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