17 January 2009


Termagant: This word leapt out of a page in Joseph Mitchell's book Up in the Old Hotel. He used it to describe an unrepentant, drunken woman who, as the story reveals, turns out to be a person of some character.

Termagant Ter"ma*gant, a.
Tumultuous; turbulent; boisterous; furious; quarrelsome;
scolding. -- Ter"ma*gant*ly, adv.
[1913 Webster]

A termagant, imperious, prodigal, profligate wench.
[1913 Webster]

-- From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48

Termagant Ter"ma*gant, n. [OE. Trivigant, Termagant, Termagant
(in sense 1), OF. Tervagan; cf. It. Trivigante.]
1. An imaginary being supposed by the Christians to be a
Moslem deity or false god. He is represented in the
ancient moralities, farces, and puppet shows as extremely
vociferous and tumultous. [Obs.] --Chaucer. "And
oftentimes by Termagant and Mahound [Mahomet] swore."
[1913 Webster]

The lesser part on Christ believed well,
On Termagant the more, and on Mahound. --Fairfax.
[1913 Webster]

2. A boisterous, brawling, turbulent person; -- formerly
applied to both sexes, now only to women.
[1913 Webster]

This terrible termagant, this Nero, this Pharaoh.
--Bale (1543).
[1913 Webster]

The slave of an imperious and reckless termagant.
[1913 Webster]

-- From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48

n : a scolding nagging bad-tempered woman [syn: shrew]

-- From WordNet (r) 2.0

80 Moby Thesaurus words for "termagant":
Jezebel, Mafioso, Xanthippe, Young Turk, amazon, battle-ax, beast,
beldam, berserk, berserker, bitch, bitch-kitty, boisterous, bomber,
brute, cat, common scold, demon, devil, disorderly, dragon, fiend,
fire-eater, firebrand, fishwife, fury, goon, gorilla, grimalkin,
gunsel, hag, hardnose, harpy, hell-raiser, hellcat, hellhag,
hellhound, hellion, holy terror, hood, hoodlum, hothead, hotspur,
incendiary, killer, limitable, mad dog, madcap, monster, mugger,
ogress, rapist, raucous, revolutionary, rowdy, rowdyish,
rumbustious, savage, scold, she-devil, she-wolf, shrew, siren,
spitfire, terror, terrorist, tiger, tigress, tough, tough guy,
tumultuous, ugly customer, unruly, violent, virago, vixen,
wild beast, wildcat, witch, wolf

-- From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0

No comments:

Post a Comment