Oh, boy! What would a list of 56 Adjectives be without a couple of WORDS that begin with the letter O? Well, to begin with, kind of ordinary. So… let’s get to it:
1. obstinate – difficult to manage or subdue; unwilling to listen or yield. What to love about this word? obstinate has lots of wonderful synonym friends (stubborn, tough, headstrong, inflexible, willful, unyielding, rigid, bullheaded), but the word obstinate just sounds so much badder than the rest. It is such a defiant word. Explain to your children that obstinate is rarely used in a flattering way. obstinate defines persons and behavior that’s difficult to deal with. obstinate, though, can also describe animals and things, and this makes obstinate a good adjective to use in speaking and writing. Examples: a) The obstinate donkey blocked the country road for hours. b) An obstinate headache kept the music teacher from her lessons. c) The man’s once form-fitting gloves had grown stiff and obstinate with age. obstinate. Use it. Don’t be it!
2. ornery – mean and stubborn or disagreeable. What to love about this word? Let’s take obstinate and turn it up a notch… ornery. Kids love words that describe bad things, and ornery is a wonderfully bad descriptive word. Why use the word mean when we have ornery? Explain to your children that ornery is uncomplimentary. Without being too ornery yourself, you may want to discuss an ornery person/persons you may know or have had contact with. (I hesitate to even write this, but as a child I knew the most ornery children’s room librarian in my small town library. I always wondered why that librarian chose a profession where gentle kindness and patience would have meant more to children and literacy.) Discuss possible things to do that may help an ornery person become more kind and sociable. Tell your children that animals and things can also be described as ornery. Examples: a) The ornery goose snapped at the geese who went near her bread crumbs. b) The ornery land refused, year after year, to yield a field of wheat. ornery. Use it. Don’t become it!
obstinate. ornery. 2 adjectives that pack a lot of punch. Don’t be stubborn about using these wonderful “o” words! Remember that LITERACY is all about WORDS – Written, Spoken, Felt.