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Latin salire to jump

Just look at the wonderful images behind the words result and insult. ‘Result ’ is what ‘jumps back’ at you when you do something! And, to ‘insult ’ somebody is to ‘jump upon’ him (the prefix in- here means ‘on, at’) and so the word has the connotation of attacking somebody.


Two women were talking in a park.

Suman: “Kanta didi, did you see Surya yesterday? He was so delighted that he was actually doing somersaults here in the park!”

Kanta: “Yes, I saw him. Chanda too was standing nearby, laughing. I think he proposed and she accepted.”

Suman: “Hmm, so we will have a marriage in the colony soon? Good! But, this Chanda, she is a remarkably resilient woman, I must say. I’ve heard that her engagement broke just a year ago? And that, two months later, she had already hitched another man, who also left her after seven months. Mrs. Mehta told me that. Now, within three months of his exit, she has said yes to this Surya! On the other hand are some people I know, who could not recover from heartbreak even after years.”

Kanta: “Arrey Sumi, you are so innocent. Heart has nothing to do with it, dear. You are new here, you do not know. That Chanda and her mother are artful women. I wouldn’t be surprised if Chanda is justfeigning her love to Surya so that she can marry his money. If there ever were any scheming women, this mother and daughter are them.”

Suman: Oh really? Is that so? Poor Surya…he was so exultant yesterday! They are just fooling him then?”

Kanta: I am almost sure. He would not have exulted so much if he knew the things that I do.”

Kanta lowered her voice. Suman inched closer to her.

Kanta: The only salient feature of this Chanda’s life has been her affairs. That is all that girl could think of. She was with my Neetu in school. As early as in class seventh, she would tell her mother that she was going to library, and then would go to some park and read cheap, salacious novels on rent. She tried to corrupt my Neetu too, but thank god, my daughter was sensible and told me. I immediately forbade her from befriending such girls. She thanks me to this date for that timely intercession. Anyway, from those salacious novels, madam Chanda proceeded onto, well, a lot more. You were amazed at just three lovers in a year? Ask us! In her school and college, her affairs used to be as short as the clothes she wore! Every day, a new boy would come to drop her home, and sometimes—many times—a whole carful of boys. We were sick and tired, I tell you. What would the young children in the colony learn from such a debauched lifestyle? But no, what did this girl care?”

Just then, Mrs Sehgal waved her hand from afar. The two women waved back with smiles. Noticing her coming towards them, Kanta muttered to Suman, “I cannot stand this vixen for a moment! Her husband started going to another woman because of her bad temper. But instead of working on her problem, she has become even more irritable. I hope she leaves soon.”

Mrs. Sehgal sat beside them and exchanged pleasantries. The three women talked on desultorily. They asked about each other’s children, when were their exams coming? It was such a torture for the poor kids to study in such heat.

The erratic power supply made matters worse. And, just like the electricity, the maids too played truant and did not come for days at end, and still, felt not the slightest shame in demanding an increase in the wages each month. As if money grew on trees. Everything was getting so expensive! The government seemed to be just sleeping. By the way, Mr Mehta had walked in his sleep till as far as the colony’s gate two nights before. If the guard had not been alert, god knows where he may have wandered off to...


“Leave! Leave! Leave!” Suman shouted silently at Mrs Sehgal at each word of the above conversation. The stupid woman had interrupted Kanta didi just when the talk had become spicy and now, was not even leaving. Finally, unable to bear Mrs. Sehgal and the dull conversation any more, Suman sallied, “My own Mintu would be wondering where his mummy has wandered off to. Mintu’s papa is also about to come home. So, I guess I will leave.” She got up and looked meaningfully at Kanta didi, conveying that they would resume their Chanda-chat soon. Both Kanta didi and Mrs Sehgal smiled a warm farewell to her.

Mrs. Sehgal: (watching Suman go) “She looks so innocent!”

Kanta: “Hah! She only looks innocent. You should have heard her talk. For the past one hour, she’s been doing nothing but assailing anybody and everybody of our colony. I just kept listening to her calumnies. And, Mrs. Sehgal, I was shocked! Umm…shall I tell you something? This Suman was especially vicious about Chanda; she kept asking me more about her and from her talk, I surmised that she has been asking others too. I cannot even tell you what all she was saying about Chanda, our dear Chanda, can you imagine that? The intentions of somebody who can make up such salacious stories about somebody as innocent and unassailable as Chanda, are definitely not good. I think that this Suman fancies Surya herself and is jealous of Chanda’s good fortune. God knows what such women may do out of jealousy! Has a husband, has a child, but no, she will still eye somebody else’s fiancé! You are Chanda’s chachi. I think you should pass the matter through her ears once. She is like our daughter after all, isn’t she?”


Somersault: (n) a complete forward or backward revolution of the body hinged on one’s head, with the knees bent close to the chest.

Origin: L super, over + saltus, leap


Resilient: (adj) capable of bouncing back after having been comressed or after suffering a misfortune.

Origin: L re-, back + salire, to jump


Exultant: (adj) jumping up in joy.

Origin: L ex-, out + salire, to jump


Salient: (adj) the most noticeable, the most noteworthy.

Origin: L salire, to jump => ‘that which jumps into your notice’


Salacious: (adj) lustful, indecent.

Origin: L salire, to jump => ‘a male animal fond of leaping on a female’


Debauched: (adj) corrupted; excessively lost in pleasures of the senses.


Vixen: (n) a female fox; a quarrelsome or evil woman.


Irritable: (adj) getting irritated at little things.


Desultory: (adj) jumping from one thing to another; random; lacking order.

Origin: L de- + salire, to leap => ‘to leap from one thing to another.’ A horserider who rid two or three horses at once, leaping from one to the other was called a desultor.


Sally: (v) to make a qwitty remark, to rush out suddenly.

Origin: L salire, to leap


Assail: (v) to attack.

Origin: L ad- , towards + salire, to jump

  • The minister received three bullets shot from close quarters by unidentified assailants who accosted him on two motorcycles as he took his morning walk around his bungalow.
    Related word: assault. It has the same etymology and same meaning.
  • A 40-year-old Indian man living in Australia was assaulted and racially abused by a gang of white men who had entered his yard after damaging the back fence of his house.

Opprobrium: (n) slander


Surmise: (v) guess, conclude from insufficient data.


Unassailable: (adj) one who cannot be attacked.


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