The Word-Hoard: Obloquy




1. Strong public condemnation.

2. Disgrace, especially that brought about by public condemnation.


“Obloquy” isn’t a difficult word, but it’s one that you probably haven’t seen before, or at least not often – typical Vance-favored vocabulary. From the Latin ob (against) and loqui (speak), “obloquy” then makes for a nice variation to words like “censure” or “condemn.”

It’s perhaps worth highlighting the nuance of “obloquy” – that of public reproach. This is not Matthew 18:15 scolding, here.


An itinerant, one Dae Alvonso, who combined the trades of minstrel, child-buyer, psychiatrist and chiropractor, reported Carcolo’s obloquies to Joaz, who shrugged. “Ervis Carolo should breed himself to one of his own Juggers,” said Joaz. “He would thereby produce an impregnable creature with the Jugger’s armor and his own unflinching stupidity.”

– Jack Vance, The Dragon Masters (1963)


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