Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Pusillanimous -- like Agnew's pussyfooters


pusillanimous (pyoo-suh-LAN-uh-muhs) adjective [From Latin pusillus (weak, very small), diminutive of pullus (young of an animal) + animus (spirit, mind).]
Lacking courage; timid.

"Although the admonitory title and scarlet cover of Erik Durschmied's Beware the Dragon is designed to chill the blood of pusillanimous Europeans and Americans already anxious about the rise of China, the book itself is a war correspondent's take on the past, not the future."
-- Victor Mallet; The Rebalance of Power; The Financial Times (London, UK);
Apr 5 2008.

And who can forget former Vice President Spiro T. Agnew's references to critics of Nixon's Vietnam policy as "pusillanimous pussyfooters" [written by Pat Buchanan] and "nattering nabobs of negativism" [written by William Safire].

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