Don’t Do to Me Whatever That Means

From the stagnant backwaters of my brain, objurgate bubbles up unsolicited. Is it even a word? Where have I ever heard or set eyes on it?


My smidgin of Latin alerts me to what the word has in common with obverse, obfuscate, obnoxious: a knobby, adversative prefix.

Google knows objurgate means “rebuke severely; scold.” It’s classed as “Rare.” The usage example establishes that it’s transitive: the old man objurgated his son.

What does the example tell us? The objurgator is male and old. The object of objurgation is his son, who must be grown, or nearly so, unless his aging father impregnated a trophy wife. Those marriages are dicey, because only a codger with great wealth lands a twenty-something bride, and after bearing him a brat she inevitably has second thoughts about the pre-nup agreement she signed in the salad days of the romance when the tycoon’s advances were ardent and flattering.

Who knows what the old man’s feelings are towards this child whom he has objurgated? His three grown kids from an earlier marriage, two sons and a daughter, have no more than a tepid relationship with their half-sibling. They are active in running the old man’s empire and have a vested interest in being his exclusive heirs as currently specified in the will.

We can’t know the outcome of this tricky situation, and we leave the example to work itself out, wishing the objurgatee and his disillusioned, bored momma the best that can be hoped for.

(c) 2022 JMN — EthicalDative. All rights reserved

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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2 Responses to Don’t Do to Me Whatever That Means

  1. I like the riff – how a word can conjure up all sorts of ideas!

    Liked by 2 people

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