impecunious gambling Georgiana Cavendish Thomas Rowlandson detail via lawhimsy
Word Nerd

Word Nerd: Impecunious

Word Nerd Header Apr 2016 via LaWhimsyimpecunious-definition-word-nerd-via-lawhimsyImpecunious is a word meaning poor or destitute, but in a habitual or consistent way. When I first came across impecunious (I heard it on Poldark, which is surprising simply because between the sweeping landscapes and Aidan Turner I’m surprised I heard anything, tee-hee!) all I could think about (after the episode was long over, ahem) were all of the characters that it could describe. From Skimpole in Bleak House to Lucy Steele in Sense and Sensibility, to Becky Sharp in Vanity Fair, to Poldark, these characters were impecunious. History is also chock full of the impecunious – think Marie Antoinette and Josephine for two such examples. Impecuniousness is not a crime, nor does it make for a bad character, however, impecuniosity can provide grounds for highlighting a person’s disposition. If they are diligent and kind-hearted, their being impecunious can be the result of bad luck and too much generosity. If they are lazy and leeching then their impecuniousness is merely an excuse for their parasitical, self-absorbed needs. 

impecunious gambling Georgiana Cavendish Thomas Rowlandson detail via lawhimsyGambling can easily lead to an impecunious state.

I really like the word impecunious and I keep finding new ways to almost abuse utilizing it. What do you think of it (also, anyone else watching Poldark)?

Namaste ~ Ella

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*Image is a detail from the 1791 Thomas Rowlandson drawing of the Duchess of Devonshire and her sister the Viscountess Duncannon at a gambling table.