You Don't Say John E. McIntyre writes about language, usage, journalism & arbitrarily chosen subjects.

In a word: logy

Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a relatively obscure but evocative word with which you may not be familiar, another brick to add to the wall of your vocabulary. This week's word:


Not quite an unfamiliar word, but one you may reserve for use after Thanksgiving dinner or on similar occasions.

From the Dutch log, “heavy,” “unwieldy,” “cumbersome,” similar to the German luggich, “lazy” or “sleepy,” it means sluggish, lethargic, listless, or torpid, as after eating too much.

It should not be confused with –logy the suffix from the Greek logos, “word,” “reason,” “doctrine,” that we find in theology and other terms of knowledge.

Example: From a 1995 letter to the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle: “It was with the sluggish, logy feeling of an electrically stunned cow that I read Newt Gingrich’s pronouncement that the current federal budget crisis ‘ended up with us sending down a tougher continuing resolution’ because Gingrich and Dole felt slighted at having limited contact with Clinton during the flights to and from Israel for Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral.”

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