“He’s So Supercilious”: Compliment or Dis?

Normally, when you think of the adjective “super,” you think in terms of . . . superlatives (see my point?).

Examples include the Super Bowl; the Superdome (home of the New Orleans Saints football team); “Super size me!” (McDonalds old slogan — used to be the food; now, all too often, it’s the customers); “Superintendant” (= top dog); and even Mary Poppins’ “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” (presumably, even better than merely “califragilisticexpialidocious” 🙂 ).


But, it’s not always the case that “super” means bigger and better.

In fact, it might be more accurate to think of the word simply as an amplifier.

So, “superannuated” means obsolete or out-of-date.

Meanwhile, “supercilious” means arrogant or haughty.

See also, “NY Times Gaffe: “Energize” and its Phantonyms“; “Time to Pivot Away From the Word “Pivot”“; and ““You’re . . . You’re . . . Such an Almond!” (Huh??).”

Plus: What’s the Past Tense of Sight See?”; “Landmark ” or Watermark?”; “Dried vs. MORE Dried Apricots“; “Wild and Crazy” (vs. Conventional) Fruit“; “What’s the Opposite of “Untold Riches?“; and “Disapprobation,” But Not “Disopprobium” (Huh?!?).”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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