Charlene wrote to say
that she had encountered the word adamant in a historical novel that she is
currently reading. “I thought that it referred to a person secure in her
belief,” she wrote, “but in the book it seems to mean a precious stone of some
kind. Can you shed some light on this?”
Charlene is correct. In
our day, adamant means unwavering and unshakeable in belief. The adamant person
cannot be persuaded to change his or her mind. In fact, there is a whiff of
inflexibility and downright stubbornness involved.
The Latin word from
which it is derived originally meant a very hard substance. Sometimes it
referred to steel, and sometimes to a diamond. Its Greek predecessor meant
unbreakable. In time, the word was used metaphorically to signify something not
easily destroyed or overcome.
Interestingly, a number
of animals turn up in informal synonyms for adamant, including bull-headed,
dogged, mulish, and pig-headed.
Check out Mike's program-based books here:
Listen to Mike’s program
in real time every Tuesday morning, 9:10 - 10:00 a.m. EST, by going to
wtcmradio.com and clicking on Listen Now. You’ll also find about a month’s worth of podcasts there under The
Ron Jolly Show.