Pusillanimous means lacking courage and resolution and marked by contemptible timidity. Pusillanimous derives from the Latin pusillus (very small) and animus (spirit). Pusillanimous first started being used in the 16th century but gained prominence in the 1970’s.
Pusillanimous is an incredibly awesome word and while it is not where the derogatory definition of pussy derives from, it most definitely should be! I mean, a pussy is a weak, timid person and that has never seemed to describe any female’s incredible genital which are fantastically strong, adaptive, and divine (and yes, being a female myself I am rather biased). While pusillanimous is pronounced with a puce, rather than a puss, the definition still fits the bill perfectly – oh, and just for further fun the Latin pusillus (very small) is related to the Latin pusus (boy)…food for thought much? Of course, that said, every single person is fully capable of being pusillanimous.
Pusillanimously hiding in the shadows…
So, yeah, my little rant above shows that I am against the backwards use of pussy to describe anything that pusillanimous should be describing. I mean, come on, let us not continue to give misogyny such control when equality is so much better. Use your words to describe what you actually mean and when describing anyone who is lacking courage or resolution, is cowardly, faint-hearted, or timid call them pusillanimous and be done with it!
Namaste ~ Ella
** If there’s a word you’d like to see added to the Word Nerd roster, please feel free to contact me or suggest it in the comments – I enjoy feedback and recommendations!