Words. Words. Words. Children love words. Children especially love words they’ve never heard before, and these are the ones that generally pique their interest the most. Today’s 2 Adjectives are words that children will definitely catch the attention of your children, both in meaning and pronunciation:
1. lackadaisical – lacking liveliness or interest; resembling one who is close to crying. What to love about this word? First, lackadaisical is fun to say! Say it aloud a few times… (keep in mind that the word lackadaisical is often mispronounced LAX-a-daisical.) lackadaisical is derived from the word alack, meaning lacking, wanting, missing, and the phrases alack the day or alack-a-day, meaning woe to the day. lackadaisical generally refers to the behavior, manners and utterances of people. Examples: a) The songwriter composed nothing but lonely, lackadaisical lyrics; b) The elderly man sat by himself on the bus each morning in his lackadaisical manner, counting the people who got on and off. Use the word lackadaisical with your children… hopefully not about them! Remind your children to think lack when using lackadaisical… lacking liveliness/interest. Encourage your children to use lackadaisical in their speaking and writing. Using such descriptive and BIG words gives children confidence to experiment with language.
2. leonine – of or characteristic of a lion; resembling a lion; lion-like. What to love about this word? Think LION… strength, power, courage, nobility, king-of-the-beasts. leonine (pronounced lee-a-nine) is a wonderfully descriptive word to discuss and use with your children. The word lion derives from the words leo, leon, leone, which settled into lion. Again, when thinking leonine, think LION. The visual, the mental image, is so clear. Kings, generals, soldiers have been described as leonine. Ordinary people, acting courageously in the face of grave danger, have been described as leonine. Mothers and fathers protecting their children have been described as leonine. Example: The stranger was a tiny man, but his leonine courage in jumping into the river to save the stranger made him seem like a giant. Check your local news stories today with your children. Look for leonine people and leonine actions. Lock leonine into the vocabulary of your children.
lackadaisical. leonine. These 2 Adjectives are not exactly opposites, but they are opposite enough to bring home some good points about language, words, and how to use them in fun ways. Heck, if you’re not feeling lackadaisical today about WORDS, you can have some fun with your children in combining both lackadaisical and leonine in one sentence. Hmmmmm. Let me think. Ordinarily rather lackadaisical about studying vocabulary on a Saturday morning, the boy’s leonine nature kicked in when when a lion, grasping a dictionary, burst through his front door.
Remember that LITERACY is all about WORDS – Written, Spoken, Felt. Feel words today with your children!