Word of the Day

Saturday, February 18, 2012

pachyderm

\PAK-i-durm\ , noun;
1.
A person who is not sensitive to criticism, ridicule, etc.
2.
Any of the thick-skinned, nonruminant ungulates, as the elephant, hippopotamus, and rhinoceros.
3.
An elephant.
Quotes:
He writhed as he saw himself finally a toughened pachyderm in Eliza's world—sprucing up confidently, throwing his shoulders back proudly, making people “think he was somebody” as he cordially acknowledged an introduction by producing a card setting forth the joys of life in Altamont and Dixieland...
-- Thomas Wolfe, Look Homeword, Angel
To judge by his work, our writer is unquestionably a stubborn man, said the Serb, he's stubborn as a mule, as a pachyderm...
-- Roberto Bolaño, 2666, Volume 1
Origin:
Pachyderm clearly comes from the Greek roots pachý meaning "thick" and dermatos meaning "skin." Its metaphorical meaning of a person with thick skin is attested to in the 1860s.
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