mal-, male-, mali-

(Latin: bad, badly, harsh, wrong; ill; evil; abnormal, defective; used primarily as a prefix)

This combining form has no etymological connection to "male", meaning "man" or "masculine"; despite what some women may think.

malapert (s) (noun), malaperts (pl)
An impudent or discourteous person: Some malaperts in the English class were being very rude with the substitute teacher who was taking the regular class-instructor's place for the day.
malapert (adjective), more malapert, most malapert
1. Relating to behaving in a rude, bold, discourteous, or disrespectful way: Rene's malapert behavior in the classroom resulted in his being sent to the principal's office for disciplinary action.
2. Etymology: from Latin malus-, "bad, badly" + Middle English apert, "open, frank" which came from Latin apertus, "open"; a description of a person, or something, which is "open" or "honest" in "a bad way" resulting in "not being polite nor respectful".
Bold and impudent.
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Rude and not showing proper respect.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

malapertly (adverb), more malapertly, most malapertly
A reference to being rude, impudent, impertinent, or excessively bold: Benny was malapertly behaving in class by whistling when he was supposed to be sitting at his desk practicing his spelling words.
malapertness (s) (noun) (usually no plural form)
A disrespectful boldness or impudence: Gerard's malapertness, or discourteous behavior, with customers resulted in his being fired from his position at the local department store.
malaprop (s) (noun), malaprops (pl)
A silly misuse or humorous presentation of words which have different meanings than those that are spoken: This link will show you many examples of malaprops, which came from a drama character's name.

An example of a malaprop was a cartoon in which a character says that a fully grown horse years ago was a little hoarse.

malaprop (verb), malaprops; malaproped; malaproping
To utter an amusing error which occurs when someone uses a word that sounds like another word but which has a completely different meaning: Oliver's cousin habitually malaprops words which he doesn't intend to be wrong; however, people can't help but laugh when he misuses such comments.

Examples of words that the cousin malaproped: "I regret that my affluence (influence) over my son is very small."

"Sure, if I reprehend (apprehend) anything in this world it is the use of my oracular (vernacular) tongue, and a nice derangement (arrangement) of epitaphs! (epithets!)"

malapropism (s) (noun), malapropisms (pl)
1. A significant misuse of words by mixing them up with other words that have similar pronunciations; often with an unintentionally amusing result: Mrs. Highhead often used malapropisms when speaking to her friends, trying to sound very refined but getting her words mixed up and causing a great deal of laughter.

A radio psychologist was heard to say, "If everybody does their job, they will be happier."

Why can't people realize that "everybody" is singular and so should take a singular pronoun reference (his/her) instead of "their"? The same is true for "everyone"! Why not say: "If everyone does his or her job then he or she will be happier."

2. The unintentional misuse of words by confusing them with other elements of speech or writing by using similar pronunciations: Joe expressed a malapropism when he told his friends that he was not under the "affluence" of alcohol.
An amusing misuse of words that have completely different meanings.
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What the mother in the cartoon meant to say is aspirations (ardently desiring); NOT aspersions (attack a person's reputation or good name)!

Is it possible that she also wanted to say that her son wants to be an artist instead of a drawer?

malapropist (s) (noun), malapropists (pl)
Someone who misuses words by mixing them incorrectly with others that resemble the intended word: Mrs. Malaprop, a character in Sheridan's play, The Rivals (1775), was always getting her words wrong; so, her friends referred to her as a malapropist.
malapropistic (adjective), more malapropistic, most malapropistic
Descriptive of someone who often uses the wrong word for a situation, frequently causing amusement: Sam was probably the most malapropistic speaker in the room because his speeches frequently caused confusion and laughter.
malapropistically (adverb), more malapropistically, most malapropistically
Descriptive of how someone uses a language pompously, frequently interjecting the wrong words about situations and often amusing those who hear his or her comments: The senator spoke malapropistically, often interjecting the wrong words to describe her criticisms about the current political conditions; such as, when she quoted George W. Bush as saying, "We cannot let terrorists and rogue nations hold this nation hostile or hold our allies hostile."
malapropos (adjective), more malapropos, most malapropos
Referring to an inopportune, awkward, or inappropriate manner or behavior by someone: Mark thinks his aunt is the most malapropos person he knows as indicated by the critical way she was talking to the opera singer at the reception.
Inappropriate or out of place.
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Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

malaria (s) (noun) (no plural)
Formerly thought to be an unwholesome condition of the atmosphere which results from the exhalations of marshy districts: Many workers on the Panama Canal project died of malaria which medical science did not realize was caused by mosquito bites.

Malaria produces severe fever and, in some cases, complications that affect the kidneys, liver, brain, blood, and can even cause death.

There is a "short history" about malaria which is
informative and made more interesting with illustrations.

There is also another "informative description"
about those who discovered the real causes of malaria.

malariacidal (adjective), more malariacidal, most malariacidal
Pertaining to the process of killing certain parasites: When she traveled to the tropics, Dr. Sheridan always packed her malaricidal medication to protect herself from becoming ill from mosquito bites.
malarial (adjective), more malarial, most malarial
A reference to being infected by protozoan parasites transmitted by the stings of Anopheles mosquitoes: Brenda's malarial illness included cycles of chills, fever, sweats, muscle aches, and a headache that returned every few days.

Other malarial symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, and yellowing of the skin and the eyes (jaundice).

malarian (adjective), more malarian, most malarian
Pertaining to or causing a serious parasitic disease which is caused by the bites of Anopheles mosquitoes: The period between a mosquito bite and the malarian symptoms is usually a week or two; however, it can be as long as a year if the person has been taking anti-malarian drugs which only suppresses rather than cures the disease.

Inter-related cross references, directly or indirectly, involving word units meaning "bad, wrong": caco-, kako-; dys-; mis-; pessim-; sceler-.