Part of speech:
(Adjectives are describing words, like “large” or “late.”
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in “a dastardly deed”
2. After a linking verb, as in “He was dastardly.”)
Something or someone dastardly is either cowardly or sneaky, tricky, and cruel.
That second meaning is much more common (sneaky, tricky, and cruel.)
dastard (coward), dastardliness
How to use it:
Talk about a dastardly deed, a dastardly act, a dastardly crime, a dastardly trick, a dastardly scheme/plan/plot, and so on. You can discuss a dastardly person, as in "the dastardly thief" or "the dastardly Jack Sparrow." More loosely, anything troublesome or mischievous can be called dastardly, if you're going for exaggeration or humor: "the dastardly age of forty," "this dastardly clothes dryer that shrinks all my pants," etc.
I love a good movie that opens with a dastardly villain executing some brilliant and greedy plot.
If you're afraid to go into your own bathroom or kitchen late at night because of those dastardly roaches, I think it means they won.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "dastardly” means when you can explain it without saying “mean” or “sly."
Think of a word or phrase that you hate to hear, and fill in the blanks: "If I could, I'd banish the dastardly (word/phrase) '_____' because really, _____."
Example: "If I could, I'd banish the dastardly phrase 'free with purchase' because really, if you have to make a purchase, it's not free."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
Messages that go through an automated translator into several languages and back into English again often end up sounding funny and garbled-- but still somehow meaningful. We’re having fun with that phenomenon this month as we play our game: Guess the moral from Aesop’s Fables after it has been translated into a few foreign languages and back again by a computer program. Some of the morals may be very familiar to you, others not so much. You don’t need to quote Aesop verbatim but rather just understand the message being conveyed. Try it out each day and see the right answer the following day.
Yesterday’s answer: The translation-babble said, “When you're so much words it was better to show that.” Aesop said, “Talking is a waste of time when you can simply provide a demonstration.”
Try this one today: “So, then, without a great slaughter, should take the less heavy.”
A Point Well Made:
Ian McEwan: “There are ways of being wrong that help others to be right. Some are wrong, but brilliantly so. Some are wrong but contribute to method. Some are wrong but help found a discipline.”
1. The opposite of DASTARDLY is
2. Clearly something dastardly is going on if this store keeps _____.
A. advertising sale products that it isn't even stocking.
B. hiring anyone who applies for a job there.
C. displaying its holiday selection earlier and earlier each year.
Answers are below.
To be a sponsor and send your own message to readers of this list, please contact Liesl at Liesl@HiloTutor.com.
Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
Subscribe to "Make Your Point" for a daily vocabulary boost.