Posted by: victanguera | March 7, 2012

Word Wednesday #3

Last week, a writing partner had a post about unlovable characters and used Jayne from Firefly as an example. In searching for my favourite Jayne quote (She is startin’ to damage my calm), I ran across the following quote:

Zoë: You sanguine about the kinda reception we’re apt to receive on an Alliance ship, Captain?
Mal: Absolutely. What’s “sanguine” mean?
Zoë: Sanguine. Hopeful. Plus, point of interest, it also means “bloody”.
Mal: Well, that pretty much covers all the options, don’t it?
Ah sanguine. I love that word. It is both an adjective and a noun (who knew). I love that the word can mean cheerful, hopeful and confident and bloodthirsty all at the same time. Hum, that sort of sums up Jayne, don’t you think?

1san·guine adj \ˈsaŋ-gwən\

Definition of SANGUINE

2 a: consisting of or relating to blood
c: of the complexion: ruddy
3: having blood as the predominating bodily humor; also : having the bodily conformation and temperament held characteristic of such predominance and marked by sturdiness, high color, and cheerfulness
san·guine·ly adverb
san·guine·ness noun
san·guin·i·ty noun

Examples of SANGUINE

  1. She has a sanguine disposition.
  2. He is sanguine about the company’s future.
  3. He has been strangely sanguine about this, blandly ignoring the mounting evidence that dissident elements in the police are stirring trouble … —Allister Sparks, Washington Post, 9–15 Mar. 1992


san·guine [sang-gwin]


1. cheerfully optimistic, hopeful, or confident: a sanguine disposition; sanguine expectations.
2. reddish; ruddy: a sanguine complexion.
3. (in old physiology) having blood as the predominating humor and consequently being ruddy-faced, cheerful, etc.
4. bloody; sanguinary.
5. blood-red; red.
6. Heraldry . a reddish-purple tincture.

7. a red iron-oxide crayon used in making drawings.
1275–1325; Middle English sanguyne  a blood-red cloth < Old French sanguin  < Latin sanguineus  bloody, equivalent to sanguin-,  stem of sanguis  blood + -eus -eous

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