Saturday, February 16, 2008

Virago

Today's dictionary.com word of the day. A strong woman in western civilization is automatically stamped with the latter definition. Patriarchal backlash, and unfair as hell. Just ask Hillary.

virago \vuh-RAH-go; vuh-RAY-go\, noun:
1. A woman of extraordinary stature, strength, and courage.

2. A woman regarded as loud, scolding, ill-tempered, quarrelsome, or overbearing.

The intrepid heroines range from Unn the Deep Minded, the Viking virago who colonized Iceland, to Sue Hendrikson, a school dropout who became one of the great experts on amber, fossils and shipwrecks.-- Ann Prichard, "Coffee-table: Africa, cathedrals, animals, 'Sue'", USA Today, November 28, 2001

This virago, this madwoman, finally got to me, and I was subjected to the most rude, the most shocking violence I can remember.-- José Limón, An Unfinished Memoir

Virago comes from Latin virago, "a man-like woman, a female warrior, a heroine" from vir, "a man."

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