Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Standing Affront

Sally asked about the word affront. It means to insult someone right to his or her face, to offer overt and clear provocation. It tracks back to a Latin phrase, ad frontem, which means “to the face.” Confront, to stand defiantly in one’s face, shares the same Latin root. Outfront used to be a synonym for confront, but it hasn’t been used in over 100 years as far as I know.

§ § §

Also this week, Ron Jolly asked if there was a connection between state and status. The answer is yes. Both are based on the Latin verb stare, to stand. We even speak of a person’s standing in the community, which is a form of status. Other words and combining forms sharing the root are estate, prostate, statue, stature, static (as opposed to dynamic), station, statistic ,-stat, -static, -statical, and stato-.

The following is a sample of –stat- words not based on the Latin stare: angustate, aristate, cristate, crustate, degustate, ecstatic, funestation, gestate, gustation, hastate, intestate, reforestation, and vastation.

Available from McFarland & Co.: Word Parts Dictionary, 2nd edition

Check out Mike's program-based books here:

Listen to Mike’s program in real time every Tuesday morning, 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. EST, by going to and clicking on Listen Now.

There is a collection of podcasts. Go to and click on Podcasts. Scroll down The Ron Jolly Show to find the Words to the Wise audio button.

Visit The Senior Corner at

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home

Dona Sheehan's prints