September 15, 2013
flippant (adjective)
\FLIP-unt\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: treating lightly something serious or worthy of respect
How do you use it?
Brenda's flippant response told me she didn't take my concern seriously.
Are you a word wiz?

"Flippant" used to have another meaning. Which of the following do you think it was?

Seriously, answer C is the right choice today. When "flippant" first came into English around the end of the 1500s, it meant "glib" or "talkative." ("Glib" means speaking or spoken with careless ease and often with little regard for truth.) In time, a slightly different meaning developed that suggested the irreverent treatment of a serious or important matter. Word scholars aren't sure where "flippant" comes from, but they think it's probably from the verb "flip," meaning "to toss so as to cause to turn over in the air."
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