Monday, November 20, 2017


Wally from Elk Rapids asked about a word that he hopes he never has to say out loud: tergiversation.

It comes from the Latin tergum, the back, and vertere, to turn. Literally, the word means to turn one’s back on something. While a person can turn his or her back on something attractive but evil, the word has taken on negative connotations. Thus, synonyms would be to desert, to be a renegade, to abandon one’s duties, and to apostatize.

Here is an example: “Rudoph Guiliani had himself changed positions over the years, having been prolife and then pro-choice, and he knew the pain and punishment of tergiversation. But after all, he was elected mayor, and like so many others, concluded that to oppose abortion is politically more dangerous than to tolerate it.” [William F. Buckley, “Temporizing on the Abortion Issue,” Buffalo News, 08/03/1994.]

Listen to Mike’s program in real time every Tuesday morning, 9:10 - 10:00 a.m. EST, by going to and clicking on Listen Now. You’ll also find about two year’s worth of podcasts there under The Ron Jolly Show.


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