Supercilious – goodness, even the word seems a bit haughty in it’s spelling and pronunciation, now doesn’t it?! This is one of those words that just tickles me with how serious it seems to take itself and yet at the same time it’s almost mocking.
I’ve come across supercilious many times, especially in favorite books and in descriptions of various characters. It’s just so fitting for those particularly superior thinking and feeling individuals, though I dare say that Mr. Darcy (thank you Pride and Prejudice!), while giving the impression of a supercilious attitude, was able to come around and be shown as quite the opposite, while Lady Catherine De Bourgh is supercilious through and through.
This is quite the quote-full, but it’s so delightful an example of supercilious being used to perfection (not to mention that Blanche Ingram is such a haughty, ugly character that I love to hate!)…
“Blanche Ingram, after having repelled, by supercilious taciturnity, some efforts of Mrs Dent and Mrs Eshton to draw her into conversation, had first murmured over some sentimental tunes and airs on the piano, and then, having fetched a novel from the library, had flung herself in haughty listlessness on a sofa and prepared to beguile, by the spell of fiction, the tedious hours of absence.” ~ Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Supercilious is just so wonderful to use as a description and I have to say that narrowing my examples down was difficult, since a supercilious character is of great use in literature! As for knowing actual people of a supercilious nature, well, they do exist and I’m sure we’ve all had to deal with them at one time or another – just think of them as a “super-silly-ass” and have a giggle (not to mention it’s a helpful way to remember the word, tee-hee!)!
May your day be free from supercilious people!
Namaste ~ Ella
*Check out the Word Nerd Index for other superb words!
** If there’s a word you’d like to see added to the Word Nerd roster, please feel free to drop me a line or suggest it in the comments – I love feedback and recommendations!