Coupon Accepted Successfully!


Paragraph 6


The peacock feather kept in nine-year-old Ranjit’s notebook fell down. Rani, the classmate he was secretly in love with, picked it up and put it in her own notebook.

“Give it to me!” he said nervously.

“It’s mine now,” she was defiant.

“You have to give it to me, understand?” Was it his agitation that made him so aggressive?

“Oh, I have to, have I?” she scoffed. “In that case, I shan’t. Do what you want to.”

That challenge watered him down; his cheeks started blushing and he turned away in a hurry to hide his diffidence. What did she mean, ‘do what you want to?’ Did she know? Hey bhagwaan, did she know? Was she giving him a hint? He ran to his best friend, Sooraj, and told him all that had happened.

“Do not worry,” his confidant replied like a wise, old man, “she will soon agree to marry you. Wait and watch.”


Ranjit waited for Rani to affiance herself to him and after two days, watched his peacock feather fall accidently out of Sooraj’s notebook. He was shocked! The infidelity of his would-be wife and the perfidy of his best friend broke his little heart.

The other fidere words are infidel and affidavit.



Latin credere to believe

In Latin language credere's meaning is to believe.


Bewafa ai sanam, tu gaya tera gam, ab nikaale hai dum.

The ghazal singer sang this ghazal which was about a lover’s complaint to his recreant sweetheart, who had not had the courage to defy her parents and had meekly married somebody else.


Sitting in the audience, Kripa remembered her own recreant sweetheart. It had happened five years ago but the pain was still fresh.

She was a credulous girl who had just entered her college. When Navin, who stayed as a tenant in her house and was seven-year older, told her that he loved her and could not live without her, she believed him. She believed all the promises that he made to her and ran away with him. A week later, when they were waiting for a train, he excused himself saying that he was going to the toilet. He never came back. She was left stranded at the platform, with no money and nowhere to go. He had taken the bag containing all her cash and jewellery with him. She was so embittered by that experience that she became incredulous of all men.

“You were thinking about him again, weren’t you?” Kripa’s colleague and best friend Abha asked her after the concert.

“Un-hun,” Kripa replied half-heartedly.

“Kripa, how long will you keep punishing yourself for one wrong choice? Not all men are like him, you know. There are credible men in this world.”

The other words from this root are:



Latin amor love


Amor was the Roman god of love. He was depicted as a nude winged boy with a bow and a quiver of arrows. People hit by Amor’s arrows fell in love with the first person they saw after being wounded.

Amor-1: amorousamatory, enamored

Amor-2: inamorata, paramouramateur

Amor was known by another, definitely more famous, name—Cupid! The Greeks knew the same god as Eros. That is where we get the words cupidity and erotic from.


When one is in love, well, kuchh kuchh hota hai! In the movie by that name, when his professor asks Rahul to define love, he says, ‘Pyaar dosti hai. Love is friendship.’ That statement makes his best friend Anjali think that he probably loves her and she realizes, for the first time, her own deep love for him.

Apparently, Romans shared Rahul’s belief. Their words for friendship, listed below, came from amor.

Amityamiableamicable and inimical


Latin odium hatred

 In Latin language odium's meaning is hatred.



Shafi was restless! She felt like a caged bird which desperately banged its head against the walls of its cage, thinking that its odium was mighty enough to break the cage, and feared that like that bird, she too would die banging her head and not a single dent would have been made into the walls. She was trapped! And, trapped for life! Oh no! No! Even the thought of that odious prospect made her start banging her head again. How badly she wanted to escape!

Shafi was 16 when she had been married, much, much against her wishes, by her uncle (she used to call him her surrogate father till then) to a 40-year-old man in exchange of a favour. That odious ‘husband’ of hers had come doddering to her on the wedding night and without so much as a word of greeting had imposed his drunken body upon her. Ugh! Her face contorted in odium each time she remembered that- and wasn’t each night of her marriage the same?- night and the nauseating smell of alcohol on the beast’s body. How had she managed to survive it all? Bearing his noisome body in the night, polishing his noisome shoes in the morning and getting kicked by them in the evening, cleaning his clothes and getting hers torn and doing just that, day after day after frustrating day. The marriage had killed her! She felt old and gray already, had forgotten how to smile—she who used to be so lively—and had to drag herself, had to force herself to wake up to another day; ennui seemed to have settled in her bones. She would not be able to last another year; before long she would hang herself from the fan.

No, she suddenly decided, rather than killing herself, she would abort the child. That drunkard did not know about it yet. He never would. She would never come back.

She took all the money she found in the house and left that odious place without so much as looking back for a last look.


Latin arma tools, arms

In Latin language arma's meaning is tools, arms.
Army is from this root! The other words are:

Arma-1: armadaarmament
Arma-2: armisticearmor




Latin batre to beat

The word ‘beat’ itself is a cousin of batre. And, what do you beat people with? A ‘bat’, again from the same root. When those people object to being beaten and try to
retaliate, what is the situation that results called? A ‘battle’. A battle is also called a ‘combat’. Then, we have ‘debate’ which means ‘to beat down, to fight’ (L. de-, down). Thankfully, at least this fight remains verbal. ‘Rebate’ means ‘to beat back’ the stated cost, that is, to offer a partial refund or discount.

The other words from this root are: Abatebate




Latin bellum war

In Latin language bellum's meaning is war.

A ‘rebel’ is the guy who is at war with the government or the boss or the parents. And, a bellicose brother is the troublesome younger fellow who seems to be at war with you. He shouts “Shut up!”, “Get lost!” or “Don’t you dare!” each time you try to say something to him. If some day, you do manage to retain your equanimity and not shout back, and the whole day passes peacefully, he picks up a fight over some small issue at the dinner table. His day doesn’t seem complete till he has fought with you, and given or received some bruises. And yes, the greatest joy of his life is to see you getting scolded from your parents. How he revels each time that happens!


A belligerent nation too likes fights; it does not listen to anybody and instead of resolving matters through discussions, tries to cow down the other party. Aggression is the only route to hegemony that such a nation seems to know.


Defiant: (adj) refusing to follow orders. (v): defy. (n): defiance.

Scoff: (v) ridicule

Diffident: (adj) lacking confidence, nervous, shy.

Origin: L dis-, apart + fides, faith => ‘the faith is shattered apart’ => ‘having no faith’ => ‘mistrusting’

: (n) a trusted friend with whom one shares secrets.

Origin: L con-, with + fides, faith => ‘one to whom you tell things with the faith that he will not misuse the information.’

: (v) to promise to be faithful, like the bride and groom do during the marriage ceremony.

Origin: L ad-, to + fidere, to trust => ‘to promise to keep the trust’

: (n) unfaithfulness; cheating on one’s sexual partner.

Origin: opposite of fidelity.

: (n) back-stabbing; a deliberate action done against someone who has total faith and trust in the doer of the action.

Origin: L per-, through + fides, faith => ‘through faith’ => ‘harm through faith’

: (n) unbeliever

  • A person who does not believe in a particular religion is called an infidel by the people of that religion. The Muslims use the word kaafir for infidels.

Affidavit: (n) a written statement made under oath before an authorized officer.

Origin: L ad, to + fides, faith => ‘he has sworn that he can be trusted.’

Recreant: (adj) not loyal; cowardly

Origin: L re-, back + credere, to believe => ‘to take back one’s belief when faced with difficulties’ => ‘not being loyal to your belief till your last

fighting breath’ => ‘an act of cowardice’

: (adj) submissive

Credulous: (adj) one who believes anything too easily, with no doubts or suspicion ever coming to his mind.

Origin: L credere, to believe

  • The child was waiting for his mother outside the gate of his school. A heavy man in jeans and a t-shirt came to him, smiled, bent down to his height and told him that his mother had met with an accident and had asked him to get her son from the school to him. The credulous child started crying. “Uncle, is mama dead?” “No beta, mama is all right. I will take you to mama, do you want to go to mama?” The child nodded. The kidnapper took him away.
  • Strand: (v) to leave in a helpless position.
  • Incredulous: (adj) not believing.

Origin: opposite of credulous

: (adj) believable

Origin: L credere, to believe

“Today’s newspaper says that there is a strong wave in favour of Sewa Dal in this election. It’s going to win, I tell you,” one old man sitting under the peepal tree in the village square said. “Ha!” said another. “Neither the journalists nor the elections in this country are credible. Newspapers say what they have been paid to say and elections are always rigged. There is no wave-shave in favour of Sewa Dal. Its leaders are doling out free liquor and money to the poor in exchange for their voter cards. That is why they will win.”

Credence: (n) belief that something or someone is trustworthy.

Origin: L credere, to believe

  • The groom was just about to place the jaimaala around the bride’s neck when a woman entered the hall, crying “Nahin, yeh shaadi nahin ho sakti!” Everyone was stunned when she declared that the groom had already married her. The marriage photographs that she produced gave credence to her story. “Yes!” everybody gasped. “Those pictures are of the groom, indeed!”
  • The girl’s angry brothers immediately started beating the groom. Her parents were still in shock. That boy, his innocent looks, his simple words…they had had no doubt that he was credible, that they could entrust their daughter to him.

Credo: (n) a formula that you believe in.

Origin: L credo, I believe

  • My credo is: Work hard, party harder.
  • He lives by the credo “Do not accept anything without questioning.”

Miscreant: (n) a villain type of a person, an evil doer.

Origin: L mis-, not + credere, to believe => ‘one who does not believe in your religion’ => ‘a person who hasn’t yet found the true god’ => ‘an

evil person’

  • Two miscreants snatched a gold-chain and a mobile phone from a woman in broad daylight.
  • An unidentified miscreant set a bus on fire.

Depict: (v) to show something through a picture or a painting; to paint a picture through words.

Origin: L de-, down + pingere, to paint => ‘to paint something down’. Please note how the part–pict of ‘depict/comes from pingere. What does

this tell you? That the words ‘painting’ and ‘picture’ have the same root!

Quiver: (n) a case for holding arrews. There is another quiver which means: (v) to tremble; (n) a slight shake a tremor.

  • The old lady pierced her with her sharp gaze and never quivered an eyelash.
  • Quivering fingers indicate either extreme weakness or cold.
  • Her pale lips quivered as she listened to how her husband had jeopardized his life to save an old man from armed robbers outside a bank. Tears ran down her cheeks and she moved forward and tightly hugged him and kissed him and thanked God for saving him. The word quaver too means the same as the second meaning of quiver.

Amorous: (adj) full of love, especially sexual love.

Origin: L amor, love

  • Her colleagues accused her of having an amorous relationship with the boss. “Don’t we understand why you are the one who gets all the promotions and goes to all the out-station trips with the boss,” they insinuated. She was shocked and enraged by the innuendos.
  • A few examples of amorous songs from Bollywood are: mere dil mein aaj kya hai kaho toh main bataa doon,bhool gaya sab kuchhjaadu hai nasha hai, bheege honth tere, zara zara touch me touch me, beedi jalai le jigar se piya.
  • The poet wrote about both the mundane everyday matters as well as amorous experiences, and with great style.

Mundane: (adj) boring, routine.

: (adj) related to love, especially sexual love.

Origin: L amor, love

  • The song bhool gaya sab kuchh from the film Julie is full of amatory embraces.
  • In the song bindiya chamkegi, choodi khankegi, the heroine tries to attract the hero by singing and dancing provocatively on the terrace where he is trying to study. Initially, he tries to concentrate on his book but then does get into an amatory mood.

Enamored: (adj) (usually followed by ‘of ’ or ‘by’) in love with, charmed by

Origin: L en-, in + amor, love

  • The rich businessman became excessively enamored of the film actress, so much so that he divorced his wife of 20 years without as much as a second thought, so that he could convince the actress of his love for her.

Inamorata: (n) female lover.

Origin: L in-, in + amor, love => ‘to fall in love.’ The male who falls ‘in amour’ is called an inamorato.

  • Rudra was deputed to America for six months but he kept the flame of his love burning bright by writing passionate love e-mails to his inamorata every day.
  • Her inamorato was fifteen years younger to her.

Paramour: (n) the lover of a married person; any lover

Origin: L per-, thorough + amor, love => ‘one who loves thoroughly, passionately’

  • The wife hired a detective to keep track of her husband’s movements. She was sure he had a paramour hidden somewhere.
  • A woman and her paramour were stabbed to death allegedly by the former’s husband.
Amateur: (n) a person who does an activity just because he loves doing it and not to make it his profession or to earn money out of it.

Origin: L amator, lover

  • “There was a moment when I changed from an amateur to a professional. I assumed the burden of a profession, which is to write even when you don’t want to, don’t much like what you’re writing, and aren’t writing particularly well.”—Agatha Christie
  • Internet has proved to be a boon for amateurs. You may be an amateur photographer or painter or cartoonist or poet or writer or philosopher. All you need today is a website or a blog and you can showcase your work to the whole world.
  • There are two types of sports—professional and amateur. Amateur sports are those that require the players to participate without remuneration. Professional players, on the other hand, get match fees for playing.

Cupidity: (n) extreme greed.

Origin: L cupere, to desire

  • The girl was shocked at the cupidity of her in-laws. She shook her husband in frustration. “My parents have already mortgaged their house to meet all your demands. Now, from where will they buy you a car?” “I don’t know that,” he replied callously. “Either bring a car or don’t come back to my house. How happy they must be feeling now, after foisting their daughter on us. It is we, I, who will have to carry your burden for the next fifty years. That car is the least your parents can do for me.”
  • Cupidity debases.” The Quran

Callous: (adj) unfeeling, hard-hearted.

Foist: (v) to give by force to someone who does not want to take it.

Debase: (v) degrade either in quality or in morals, character, etc.

Erotic: (adj) related with or full of sexual love; amatory.

Origin: Gk Eros, god of love

  • The king spent all his time in erotic pleasures. He had 16 wives and 150 concubines.
  • The Kamasutra is an erotic book.
  • The genre of literature and art dealing with sexual love is called Erotica.

Profess: (v) to claim, to declare openly, to practice a profession; (n): professor, profession.

  • Article 25 of the constitution gives one the right to practice and profess one’s religion.
  • Bhatti professed great knowledge on the subject of automobiles. He would thoughtfully inspect broken down vehicles and his expert verdict usually was: “iske carburetor mein kachra hai“.

Amity: (n) friendship

Origin: L amor, love -> amicus, friendly

  • The children forgave and forgot all injuries and clasped hands in amity.
  • Indo-Pak amity can truly happen only after the Kashmir issue is resolved.

Amiable: (adj) friendly, good-natured; (adv): amiably: ‘in a friendly, good-natured manner.’

Origin: L amicus, friendly

  • “How are you?” Sheila asked Swati. Swati laughed amiably. “Well, my boat is sailing on amiable seas. What about you?”
  • He had not a handsome face, but it was better than handsome—it was extremely amiable and cheerful. So amiable were his temper
  • and manners that I introduced him to everyone in the party, and everywhere he was a favourite.

Amicable: (adj) showing friendliness or goodwill, that which brings peace and is acceptable to both parties.

Origin: L amicus, friendly

  • The Hindus of the city were adamant on demolishing the local mosque and building a temple on its site. They claimed that 400 years ago, the mosque had been built by razing a temple and now they wanted to retaliate. The Muslims of course declared that they would die before letting the mosque be touched. The situation was tense. Many well-meaning intermediaries tried to consult the leaders of both communities and reach an amicable solution. They proposed that the temple be constructed right next to the mosque.
  • “Please let us not go to the court,” the businessman said sweetly to the angry client who had come to his office to threaten him with legal action. “It will waste the time and money of both of us. I am sure we can reach an amicable settlement. I apologise for not being able to deliver the goods on time. Please tell me how I can redress your losses.”

Redress: (v) set right, compensate.

: (adj) unfriendly, hostile, harmful.

Origin: L in-, not + amicus, friendly => ‘unfriendly.’ Inimical is the adjective form of ‘enemy.’

  • It is safe to drink boiled water because high temperature is inimical to bacteria.
  • You are not allowed to think in answering this question. Ready? Name a country inimical to India. Did you say ‘Pakistan’? 95% of the respondents to a survey gave the same answer. The rest answered US, China or Talibaan (yes, some people thought Talibaan was a country).

Odium: (n) intense hatred for something; the fact of being hated.

Origin: L odium, hatred.

: (adj) hate-worthy

Origin: Adjective form of odium.

: (v) to walk shakily.

: (adj) disgusting; harmful for health

Origin: L annoy + some => ‘that which annoys (either the mind or the body)’

Note that noisome has nothing to do with noise. It is most often used to describe unpleasant smells.

: (n) boredom

Origin: L mihi in odio est, I hate -> inodiare, to make hateful -> Fr ennuyer, hatred, boredom. The French ennuyer also led to the English word


: (n) fleet of warships.

Origin: L arma, tools of warfare

  • A seven-ship armada carrying 10,000 sailors and marines set sail from the San Diego naval station in the US for duty in Iraq.
  • US, Russia, France, UK, India and China are the only nations which have nuclear submarines in their armada.

Armament: (n) military equipment; in plural, armaments means ‘overall military strength.’

Armistice: (n) a temporary stopping of fighting by the agreement of both parties.

Origin: L arma, military tools + -stitium, a stopping => ‘to stop using the tools (for some time)’

: (n) a metal covering to protect the body against weapons.

  • The princess was rescued by a knight in shining armor.

Abate: (v) to lessen in intensity.

Origin: L a- + batre, to beat => ‘to beat back’

  • The rain-storm abated, the lightning ceased, the thunder rolled among the distant hills, and the sun began to glisten on the wet leaves and the falling rain.
  • It’s shameful that corruption continues unabated in all government offices.
  • qqUnabated: (adj) with no decrease at all.

Bate: (v) to lessen the intensity of.

Origin: an alternate form of abate

  • Almost the only current usage of ‘bate’ is in the phrase ‘bated breath’, as in “He waited for the results with bated breath.” This phrase

was coined by Shakespeare.

: (adj) eager to fight.

  • Sampat became bellicose after drinking alcohol. He walked out in the courtyard and started shouting to his sleeping neighbours to come out and face him and fight with him if they had the courage. His wife pleaded with him to go inside. He pushed her aside and continued with his hollering. When no one stirred in the next house even after he had shouted obscenities at them, he turned to his own wife. “You have ruined my life,” he said. Then, he went inside to his mother, who was assuring her crying grandchildren that everything was fine. “Mother, I will never forgive you. You ruined my life by marrying me,” he pointed at his wife in disgust, “to this woman.” It was with great effort that his mother and wife controlled their anger.

Revelry: (n) noisy partying and fun-making; (v): revel

Origin: L re-, back + bellum => ‘to fight back’ => ‘to rebel’ => ‘to not follow the do’s and don’ts imposed by the society’ => ‘to go about doing

what you like loudly, not caring whether anybody likes it or not’

Belligerent: (adj) eager to fight and attack the other party; (n) one who is fighting a war.

  • Many people become belligerent when they are in tension. “Madam, are you ok?” A jogger asked a woman who was crying alone in the park. “Who are you to ask?She glared at him. “Get lost from here.
  • The Kauravs were the defeated party among the belligerents in the Mahabharta.

Cow: (v) to try to suppress someone by giving threats or using violence.

Hegemony: (n) dominance in influence; leadership.

  • The Southern states regard English as the alternative to a Hindi hegemony.


Test Your Skills Now!
Take a Quiz now
Reviewer Name