Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Word Up Wednesday: Hubris

This week's Word Up is a very ugly word: hubris. It sounds gross: heavy, bloated, and full of stinky smells. It is close to the word haggis, which is gross no matter how Scottish you are, or hummus, which is yummy, but also weird sounding. I mean anytime you pair an H with a B you've got trouble. It's like pairing orange with pink. It's a no-go.

But let's get to the meaning, which isn't any better, frankly. It means extreme haughtiness or arrogance. According to Wikipedia, hubris often indicates being out of touch with reality and overestimating one's own competence or capabilities, especially for people in positions of power.

Oh, my. Maybe I'm just mean* but I totally thought of at least five people who are hubrisy. Note that hubrisy isn't the correct way to use the word, but the word is so ugly in sound, sight, and meaning that it deserves some cutening up, doesn't it? Totes.

Check it:

Better, huh! Nothing a little Cutiepop font can't fix!

P.S. I think you use the word hubris like this: "an act of hubris" or "hubristic." Or just "raging arsehole."

* Shutup! I am not!

16 comments:

Simon C. Larter said...

Hubris is one of those things nemeses are prone to. (Not me, of course. I'm nigh flawless.) Watch out for that, m'dear. You know what they say: hubris goeth before a massively crushing defeat at the hands of your nemesis.

Amalia T. said...

Aw, I really like the word Hubris! It isn't half as ugly as BLINK. blech. But I also use it quite a bit, since Hubris was such a big deal to the ancient Greeks, so maybe I just don't think about it that much.

Lt. Cccyxx said...

Hubris: a word many Americans first became familiar with in the context of the Iraq War. And a word I always seem to want to pronounce as "hyoobree" as though it is French.

Christine H said...

I'm not going to rise to that bait, though it is very tempting, Lt.

I never really knew what the word meant before, so thank you for expanding my vocabulary, Sierra!

Lt. Cccyxx said...

I didn't mean it as bait. I meant *literally* that many Americans were introduced to that word in that context. See for example:

http://www.amazon.com/Hubris-Inside-Story-Scandal-Selling/dp/0307346811

http://www.amazon.com/Icarus-Syndrome-History-American-Hubris/dp/0061456462

http://www.amazon.com/Imperial-Hubris-West-Losing-Terror/dp/1574888498/

Sierra Godfrey said...

Actually, Nem, you're the first thing I thought of when I saw the word.

Amalia, not blink! It has such a satisfying K sound to it though!

Lt and Christine H -- *ducking*

Amalia T. said...

Ew, no. I hate the K at the end of Blink. I just hate the word blink. It's such a hard word for such a small, silent action.

Amber Tidd Murphy said...

hubris... the fatal flaw of so many of Shakespeare's characters. It was all we talked about my senior year in Smart-kids-English-class.

So, the word always takes me there.

Sierra Godfrey said...

Amalia -- I propose a new word to describe a blink: how about "ip."

Amber -- I can't remember what we talked about in my smarty pants English class senior year. Oh yes, wait. I read only the first 60 pages of Great Expectations and then wrote an essay about the whole book based on that. #veryverysad I got a B+. #evensadderforttheteacher.

But then I read it years later and LOVED it.

I was a terrible student. That is why I wasted my twenties not writing.

Tina Lynn said...

I'm pretty sure when you look this word up online there's a picture of me. *blink, blink*

Lola Sharp said...

Awww, cute hubris looks sweet and...hubris-y, indeed.

I constantly overestimate my own capabilities. I think I might be full of stinky smells, too. *sniffs self* Uh-oh. *scurries away*

Fun post!

Mia said...

*ip ip* Hubris sounds to roundy round to be a trait nemeses have, although I can see how it might smell icky

I have an award for you today, m'dear. Over on my bloggins *throws sparkles* *grins*

Julie Dao said...

I first learned this word when we were reading The Odyssey in high school! Love it!

Jackee said...

What a cool feature and what a cool blog! So glad I found it.

I can think of a few hubristic people myself, but I'll forbear on my meanness. For today. :o)

Sierra Godfrey said...

Tina, :)

Lola and Mia - hubris does smell and it IS round, isn't it?

Julie, yeahhhh.....The Odyssey is still sitting on my bookshelf in my "someday read it" pile...

Thanks for commenting Jackee! YOU'RE cool and very very nice, I can tell that already.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Hubris. Something you can politely say fills most politicians. And you're right it does sound classier than saying raging arsehole! Roland

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