Monday, August 29, 2011

Are YOU Laconic?!

From: :

la·con·ic (l-knk)


Using or marked by the use of few words; terse or concise.


[Latin Lacnicus, Spartan, from Greek Laknikos, from Lakn, a Spartan (from the reputation of the Spartans for brevity of speech).]


la·coni·cal·ly adv.

Word History: The study of the classics allows one to understand the history of the term laconic, which comes to us via Latin from Greek Laknikos. The English word is first recorded in 1583 with the sense "of or relating to Laconia or its inhabitants." Laknikos is derived from Lakn, "a Laconian, a person from Lacedaemon," the name for the region of Greece of which Sparta was the capital. The Spartans, noted for being warlike and disciplined, were also known for the brevity of their speech, and it is this quality that English writers still denote by the use of the adjective laconic, which is first found in this sense in 1589.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Why did I post this? Again, my son's AP English class has me thinking ... who knows ... maybe I'll learn something from his homework this year. Tonight, he asked me to help him think of characters from literature that speak laconically.

I googled it.

Huckleberry Finn? I don't think I agree with Google.

What laconic characters can you come up with?


  1. I love finding out about the origins of words. I also like breaking words down into composite parts, because so many English words have logical meanings once you know where their parts come from. But then, I am a geek.

  2. I am definitely not laconic! I'm verbose! =)
    As for laconic characters... that's a tough one!

  3. None come to mind. Ohhh...The Old Man and the Sea???? Just had that flash....not sure though!

  4. Interesting. Can't think of any laconic characters, but writers yes. Hemingway comes immediately to mind.

  5. Hi, Margo, fellow Campaigner here. Like Shelby, I am the opposite of laconic. On the other hand, a few of my characters are rather laconic.

    Love when I learn a new word.

    See you out there....

  6. The character Butler from the Artemis Fowl series, Mr. Marko from the Avery Cates Series (not teen friendly if you mind cussing), um... Still a bit early to try and think up laconic characters but if you need something from the classics I'm sure after more tea I could think something up. I like looking for laconic characters since I'm rather verbose myself.

  7. WOW! You people are S.M.A.R.T.! :)

    Thanks for all of your great responses!

  8. Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. He doesn't do a lot of talking and when he does it's to the point.

    By the way, I LOVE the picture=)

  9. The stereotypical Western character is usually laconic, in fact most of the horse people that I have met tend to be laconic. In fiction you might note McRae from Lonesome Dove, played in the mini series by Tommy Lee Jones, who often plays laconic characters.