[Ads-l] coward

Dan Goncharoff thegonch at GMAIL.COM
Tue Dec 17 19:48:53 EST 2019


I have always thought this sense of coward means someone who kills or
commits violence without giving the victim a chance to fight back.

https://www.nytimes.com/1986/09/06/world/hijacking-in-karachi-reagan-brands-hijacking-of-jet-a-cowardly-act.html

On Tue, Dec 17, 2019, 7:28 PM Gadi Niram <gadi at maniagrid.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Dec 17, 2019 at 7:16 PM Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> >
> > I first became aware of another sense when the 9/11 hijackers were
> > described that very day as "cowards," even though they clearly were not
> > afraid of danger.  Since then other terrorists and killers have been
> > routinely described as "cowards" - meaning "a vicious person who acts
> > treacherously."
> >
>
> My first memory of this sense was back in 1995, when Bill Clinton said of
> the Oklahoma City bombing
> that "[i]t was an act of cowardice and it was evil."  I've thought about
> this use of "cowards"/"cowardice"
> a bit over the years, and I've come to understand it as meaning "a person
> who acts violently, rejecting
> the more difficult and honorable path of doing good."
>
> ] <http://www.americandialect.org>gadi at maniagrid.com
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>

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