SHANE’S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS: By Deaf’s request, obsequious and disingenuous.


I’m not sure why they can’t speak with each other across the hall, but maybe the bunker doesn’t have WiFi.

Today’s adjectives are classics from days of yore, as featured during vocabulary time in our high school English classes.


[uh b-see-kwee-uh s]


1. characterized by or showing servile complaisance or deference; fawning: an obsequious bow.
2. servilely compliant or deferential:obsequious servants.
3. obedient; dutiful.

Origin of obsequious

1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin obsequiōsus, equivalent to obsequi(um) compliance ( obsequ(ī) to comply with ( ob- ob- + sequī to follow) + -ium -ium ) + -ōsus -ous

Here’s a purely topical sample sentence.

As long as ProMedia continues to funnel ad money from Team Gahan to the News and Tribune, we can expect the newspaper to continue treating our mayor with obsequious deference.

You’d think Deaf would know this one. After all, it’s in his mission statement as mayor.


[dis-in-jen-yoo-uh s]


1. lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity; falsely or hypocritically ingenuous; insincere: Her excuse was rather disingenuous.

Origin of disingenuous

First recorded in 1645-55; dis- + ingenuous

It’s odd how seldom we use the word ingenuous, which means candid and sincere. Most commonly, we don’t see “ingenuous” without dis-a Latin prefix meaning “apart,” “asunder,” “away,” “utterly,” or having a privative, negative, or reversing force.

Our sample sentence:

For Gahan to thank the Horseshoe Foundation for its QRS parks tithe without acknowledging that the sewer utility, of which Gahan pays himself to be chairman, already had purchased the property was plainly disingenuous.

And it was disingenuous, even if the obsequious newspaper failed to connect these dots.