Stubbornly disobedient; willfully obstinate; rebellious. This word is sometimes used in a legal context to describe lawyers, witnesses, plaintiffs, and defendants who refuse to follow a judge’s orders.

“The judge claimed the lawyer’s repeated violations of the rules and the Court’s orders were intentional, deliberate, blunt, willful, and contumacious.”

 I think it’s interesting that this example uses both willful and contumacious. Is that redundancy, or just another nail in the coffin? (Or is it simply rebellious? Huh? Huh?)

This word was brought to my attention by my editor at work. She is a grand-high-poohbah of wordnerdliness and knows all the best ones.

This particular use of contumacious was in direct reference to our continual hassles over formatting headers and footers in MSoft word (any and all versions). We used to call them “dancing footers,” cause that’s what they did. Danced all over the darn page, flickering in and out to their own little jig while we sputtered and swore and tried everything to make them stop. Hours spent on this.

They still do that, but now they are even more evil. Now they are contumacious footers.


One thought on “Contumacious—adj.

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