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potvaliant (POT-val-iant) adjective, also pot-valiant

Showing courage under the influence of drink. Such courage is also known as Dutch courage.

[From pot (a drinking vessel) + valiant (courageous).]

"Russian generals and Russia's unstable, potvaliant president are turning Chechen children into bleeding carcasses, food for stray dogs." Jeff Jacoby; Chechnya: the Fruits of US Silence; Boston Globe; Jan 19, 1995.

"One night when I was potvaliant, I wagered everything on the turn." Newport Daily News (Rhode Island); Aug 27, 1957.

Oscar Wilde once said, "It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious." This week we offer five words you can safely use to describe your co-workers, associates, and others. Try these elegantly veiled insults without fear of offending. Just make sure your targets are not already AWAD subscribers. -Anu Garg garg AT wordsmith.org


Each man takes care that his neighbor shall not cheat him. But a day comes when he begins to care that he does not cheat his neighbor. Then all goes well -- he has changed his market-cart into a chariot of the sun. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher (1803-1882)

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