3 Words: Ingenuous, Unctuous, Henpeck

Today’s three vocab words are all fabulous for portraying character. Here they are:

ingenuous: innocent and unsuspecting

unctuous: excessively flattering; oily; anxious to please

henpeck: (of a woman) to criticize/order (a husband) around

The sentences:

1. Famous ex-con Frank Abagnale (who Leonardo DiCaprio portrayed in Catch Me If You Can) warned in The Guardian yesterday that Facebook enables the identity theft of ingenuous children, and that parents have a responsibility to teach the use such technology with caution.

2. When young Pip comes into fortune in Great Expectations, he has, as I recall, a certain unctuous relative who ceaselessly clamors and flatters and shakes his hand and asks, “May I? May I?

3. The most effective henpecking I’ve ever seen runs so deep its effects can be communicated with just a look:


4 thoughts on “3 Words: Ingenuous, Unctuous, Henpeck

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever used “ingenuous” in that way. I have, however, frequently used “disingenuous” to describe someone who is insincere.

    Good post.

    • I’m the same– before the story in which I encountered this word, I always heard “disingenuous” but not “ingenuous,” which one assumes is its parent. Fascinating, how the English language grows and develops– some words evolving and some falling away.

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