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Thread: Word of the Day

  1. #181
    Good morning, Campers! Jay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Czech Republic
    need help with one nice-sounding word, came across this one today in a story and while I think I kinda know what it means, the definitions nor the context really make too much sense... anybody, put this into English for me, pwetty pwease?

    atavistic /ˌęt.əˈvɪs.tɪk/ adj.

    cambridge dictionary:
    (of behaviour) happening because of a very old natural and basic habit from the distant past (= a long time ago), not because of a conscious decision or present need or usefulness

    oxford dictionary:
    relating to or characterized by reversion to something ancient or ancestral: atavistic fears and instincts

    does the cambridge definition mean something like traditional? but more... primal? that would make it... what exactly?
    I have a plan: attack!

  2. #182
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    I see it used as a synonym for a throw-back. It’s usually derisive. Hunter S. Thompson liked to use it when describing the Nixon administration. He seemed to think Nixon and his people hadn’t fully evolved as human beings. They were maybe only a generation or two from walking with their hands above their heads.

    That’s speaking in the behavioral sense. It’s used in a biological sense to describe things like an appendix, or something in the body that used to have a purpose but now doesn't seem to. Tail bone might be another example.
    Some people call me Maurice
    'Cos I speak of the pompatus of love

  3. #183
    Good morning, Campers! Jay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Czech Republic
    That makes much more sense, thanks, Sancho
    I have a plan: attack!

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