In a video that I watched this morning about the sculptor Roxy Payne, a curator described him as taciturn, an adjective that Spanish shares as taciturno. The word in both languages (with the English version taken from French taciturne) goes back to and means the same as Latin taciturnusnot talkative, of few words, quiet, still, silent, noiseless.’ Taciturnus in turn had come from the simpler tacitus, the past participle of the verb tacere, whose meanings included ‘to be silent, not to speak, to say nothing, to hold one’s peace, to be still.’ We’ve borrowed tacitus as well, and one sense of tácito/tacit is the original one of ‘silent, not speaking.’ More commonly, though, the word now has the extended sense ‘implied but not actually said.’

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kcjewel
    Jun 25, 2011 @ 20:32:45

    I’m pleased you enjoyed “getting to know” Roxy. I must admit that the first time I watched the video I had to look up the word taciturn because it was not familiar to me. There was another one I needed to research as well… loquacious. I am now going to read more of your blog… it appears to be very interesting! Thanks for visiting my blog. Peace…


  2. Steve Schwartzman
    Jun 25, 2011 @ 23:15:07

    I thought about loquacious too. Maybe I’ll discuss it in a future post.


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©2011–2018 Steven Schwartzman

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