Wacky Word Wednesday

Wacky Word Wednesday – Officious

Being thoughtful and considerate to others by offering unrequested help is an admirable characteristic but people who have an excessive eagerness to offer unwanted advice can be seen as intrusive and annoying. Today, let’s poke our noses into today’s Wacky Word Wednesday to meet the busybodies and those who have come uninvited.

quo topOfficious[uh-FISH-us]-adj.

Volunteering one’s services where they are neither asked for nor needed.

quo botOfficious

Officious emerged in the late 15th century and is derived from Latin officiosus, “obliging, dutiful, full of courtesy.” The original meaning of officious is “eager to serve, help or perform a duty,” however the word began to develop a pejorative sense in the early 17th century, describing someone who is meddlesome—fond of interfering in other people’s business.

In the literary world, one example of an officious character is Marplot, a fictional character from The Busie Body, a play written by English poet Susanna Centlivre. Marplot is described as a busybody who intrudes upon the romantic affairs of his friends and, despite having good intentions, frustrates them instead. If there’s anything the play can teach us, it’s that we should learn how to care for our friends without being overly intrusive.

Here are a few examples of how to use today’s wacky word in a sentence:

  • Staff members view the new consultant as an officious individual offering unwanted feedback, but she is simply doing her job. (Merriam-Webster)
  • “Why don’t you mind your own business, ma’am?” roared Bounderby. “How dare you go and poke your officious nose into my family affairs?” (Charles Dickens, Hard Times)
  • The officious salesperson refused to leave us alone, so we finally left without buying anything. (English for Students)

Being proactive and taking the initiative to help others are wonderful traits. But, if you look too closely into the affairs of others, you might agitate and drive them away. That’s all for today’s edition of Wacky Word Wednesday. See you next week as we examine another peculiar word.

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

If you’re interested in learning more about CSOFT’s globalization and localization solutions, don’t forget to subscribe to our RSS feed for automatic updates.

Share this content:
Related:  Batrachomyomachy - Wacky Word Wednesday

CSOFT International is a translation, localization, and globalization services provider that helps international businesses reach out to customers around the world.