James Joyce in 1888 at age six. Possibly in Br...
James Joyce in 1888 at age six. Possibly in Bray, a seaside resort south of Dublin. The Joyces lived there from 1887 to 1892. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


: orgulous \OR-gyuh-lus\ adjective

: proud, haughty


My golfing buddies and I are not orgulous members of some elitist country club; we appreciate a good course, but for us, it’s about the sport, not the cachet.

“The wainscoted parlor is the nuns’ chapel, and the pantry is full of their canning; in autumn the broken stalks of corn wither in their kitchen garden. ‘Use it up, wear it out,’ says the proverb of their creed (and not that of splendid and orgulous Protestants), ‘make it do, do without’: and they possess themselves in edge-worn and threadbare truth.” —From John Crowley’s short story “Novelty,” from the 2009 collection Novelties & Souvenirs

Did you know?

“In Troy, there lies the scene. From Isles of Greece / The princes orgulous, their high blood chaf’d, / Have to the port of Athens sent their ships.” Thus Shakespeare began the Trojan War tale Troilus and Cressida, employing “orgulous,” a colorful word first adopted in the 13th century from Anglo-French “orguillus.” After the Bard’s day, “orgulous” dropped from sight for 200 years; there is no record of its use until it was rejuvenated by the pens of Robert Southey and Sir Walter Scott in the early 1800’s. Twentieth-century authors (including James Joyce and W.H. Auden) continued its renaissance, and it remains an elegant (if infrequent) choice for today’s writers.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s