Friday's quiz is called "Good Works." As First Lady Barbara Bush won widespread admiration for her unpretentiousness, her friendliness and her crusade for literacy. The following words have been used in describing or writing about Mrs. Bush.
1. candid (adj.) - A: quick. B: alert. C: frank. D: protect- ive. C: Frank; open and sincere; impartial; natural and unposed; as, a tactful but candid woman. Latin candidus (pure, clear).
2. curt (adj.) - A: clear. B: polite. C: prompt. D: abrupt. D: Abrupt, especially in the sense of being rude; brief; as, to give a curt reply. Latin curtus (shortened).
3. self-effacing (adj.) - A: witty. B: unselfish. C: weak. D: humble. D: Humble; modest; keeping oneself in the background. French effacer (to rub out).
4. feisty (adj.) - A: spirited. B: impulsive. C: vicious. D: sturdy. A: Spirited; spunky; touchy; as, If provoked, she can become feisty. From U.S. dialectal feist (a small, bad-tempered dog).
5. besiege (v.) - A: to restrict. B: crowd in upon. C: pre- pare to defend. D: abandon. B: To crowd in upon; persist; lay siege to; as, She never felt besieged by circumstances. Middle English besegen.
6. quintessential (adj.) - A: urgent. B: exciting. C: ideal. D: especially sensitive. C: Ideal; pertaining to the essence of something; as, She is the quintessential grandmother. Latin quinta essentia (the fifth essence, "ether," ancients believed filled celestial space. The first four: earth, air, fire, water).
7. discomfit (v.) - A: to injure. B: limit. C: smooth. D: upset. D: To upset; embarrass; frustrate; as, The interview did not seem to discomfit her. Latin dis- (away) and conficere (to prepare).
8. hone (v.) - A: to sharpen. B: whittle. C: lament. D: make a continuous sound. A: To sharpen, as a knife; make more effective; as, Mrs. Bush was able to hone her public-speaking skills. Old English han (stone).
9. proprietary (adj.) - A: self-centered. B: respectable. C: owned. D: retiring. C: Owned; having ownership; as, Hers is not a proprietary nature. Latin proprietas.
10. osmosis (n.) - A: fullness. B: absorption. C: instabil- ity. D: fertile spot in a desert. B: Gradual, effortless absorption; as, to pick up ideas by osmosis. Principal meaning: liquid flowing through a porous membrane. Greek osmos (impulse).
11. recoil (v.) - A: to wind tightly. B: shrink back. C: call to mind. D: strike about wildly. B: To shrink back in dislike or fear; as, to recoil from such extravagant preparations. Also, the kick from a fired gun. Latin re- (back) and culus (buttocks).
12. belie (v.) - A: to stretch out. B: attempt to justify. C: give a false impression. D: lie in wait for. C: To give a false impression of; as, "Her Secret Service code name - Tranquillity - belies the fact that she has several hot buttons." Old English beleogan.
13. disarming (adj.) - A: peaceful. B: shrewd. C: thoughtful. D: removing suspicions. D: Removing suspicions or hostility, as by charm; winning; as, to have a disarming honesty. French desarmer (to take away arms).
14. misconstrue (v.) - A: to complicate. B: insult. C: mis- interpret. D: lie. C: To misinterpret; misunderstand; as, Remarks of public figures are sometimes misconstrued. Middle English mis- (wrongly) and construen (interpret).
15. telegenic (adj.) - A: attractive on television. B: scientifically oriented. C: foretelling a future event. D: inherent. A: Attractive on television; as, Barbara Bush is refreshingly telegenic. Greek tele- (at a distance) and English -genic (produced or caused by).
16. tony (adj.) - A: fashionable. B: gaudy. C: mimicking. D: sentimental. A: Fashionable; stylish; high-class. Slang, from English tone (style, elegance).
17. nascent (adj.) - A: beginning to exist. B: with a nasal accent. C: concerning the end. D: prolific. A: Emerging; beginning to exist; starting to develop; as, a nascent political concept. Latin nasci (to be born).
18. surrogate (adj.) - pertaining to A: an old-fashioned carriage. B: temporary law. C: a substitute. D: an archi- tectural structure. C: Pertaining to a substitute or deputy; as, "They were surrounded by their surrogate family." Latin surrogare (to substitute).
19. traipse (v.) - A: to wander about. B: catch. C: search for. D: draw up a plan. A: To wander about; trudge; as, Mrs. Bush dutifully traipsed around the world with her husband. Origin uncertain.
20. diffuse (v.) - A: to change. B: confuse. C: reduce tension. D: scatter. D: To scatter; spread out; as, She does not want to diffuse her interests. Latin diffundere.
Barbara Bush is the Mother of our current great President.