A few weeks ago, I asked you to tell me the meaning of the Word of the Week, tergiversation—a word with two related meanings. Here was your hint:
"It's not uncommon for politicians to talk around a topic, making an art of tergiversation in answer to a question, especially on controversial subjects." Also: "Senator Arlen Specter has been accused of selling out to the highest-voting bidder after his tergiversation of the Republican Party."
Fellini69 took a stab at the meaning and got one half of the answer correct, winning a free hour of speech coaching. Here was her response:
"With the first example I thought, being intentionally vague, talking around something. The second example threw me and I thought perhaps it meant saying what one assumes others prefer to hear. So I looked it up on Merriam. I was partially correct :) As far etymology goes, the depth of my answer ends with assuming the roots are related to conversation."
Being "intentionally vague" is indeed one example of tergiversation. Its etymology comes from the French tergiverser, a verb meaning "to delay or hesitate" (according to Merriam-Webster.com).
Who can guess the secondary meaning of tergiversation? There is still one more week before the contest runs out on Monday, July 6, and one more open winner's spot. Remember, there's no such thing as cheating: It's perfectly legitimate to look the info. up, provided you share your source with us. So, don't tergiversate! Play the game and win today!
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