Word of the Day

Sunday, May 23, 2010

phlegmatic

\fleg-MAT-ik\ , adjective;
1.
Not easily excited to action or display of emotion; apathetic; sluggish.
2.
Self-possessed, calm, or composed.
3.
Of the nature of or abounding in the humor phlegm.
Quotes:
"They have no business no money blablablabla," he typed to me one afternoon, feigning phlegmatic unconcern with the financial woes of an advertiser he'd been negotiating with-his only one. Like much of his generation, Ternovskiy has an online persona far more developed than his real one.
-- Julie Ioffe, "Roulette Russian" New Yorker
It is true, as we perceive, that phlegmatic subjects are less liable to the itch than those of a bilious temperament, because this people sympathizes with the climate it inhabits and is more sluggish in a cold body than another which is heated by the temperature of its region, ferments, moves about and cannot remain in place.
-- Cyrano de Bergerac, Richard Aldington, Voyages to the Moon and the Sun
Origin:
Phlegmatic finds its origin in medical theories of the humors, the phlegmatic temperment. The Greek root phlegmatikós, "pertaining to phlegm," is the source.
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