Saturday, December 28, 2002

Etymology Today from M-W: nonchalant \nahn-shuh-LAHNT\
: having an air of easy unconcern or indifference

Since "nonchalant" comes from French and Latin words meaning "not" and "be warm" respectively, it's no surprise that the word is all about keeping one's cool. We can trace "nonchalant" to the French words "non," meaning "no," and "chaloir," meaning "concern." "Chaloir," in turn, comes from the Latin "calere," meaning "to be warm." Synonyms of "nonchalant" include "cool" (as in "she's a politician who keeps cool during a debate"), "composed," (as in "a reporter who is composed and at ease in front of the camera"), and "collected" (as in "a teacher who is collected and well-prepared").

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