Besides the more familiar meanings, a "flap" can also mean "a smack" or "an insult," and if you flap, or if you're in a flap, then you're all worried or freaking out.
So, if you're unflappable, nothing can make you get agitated. Unflappable people are cool and calm and don't get nervously excited.
un FLAP uh bull
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 “an unflappable confidence.”
2. After a linking verb, as in "His confidence was unflappable.”)
How to use it:
Usually you'll talk about unflappable people, unflappable personalities and attitudes, unflappable reactions and expressions, and so on.
You might also say that some emotion, belief, or quality is unflappable: an unflappable hope, his unflappable confidence, our unflappable faith, their unflappable leadership, etc.
As you can tell, this is a positive, happy word. (You probably would not talk about "unflappable despair" or "unflappable frowns," for example.)
Sometimes, your only defense against an unreasonable customer is unflappable politeness.
The host's questions grew more personal and insulting, but the guest stayed relaxed and unflappable.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "unflappable" means when you can explain it without saying "nothing bothers them" or "they don't get upset."
Think of a certain struggle or a certain awkward situation that you're actually really good at dealing with, and fill in the blank: "When it comes to _____, I'm unflappable."
Example: "When it comes to navigating the bureaucratic waters of Comcast or the DMV, my husband is unflappable."
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:
This month, we're playing with some fascinating thematic word lists assembled by Stephen Chrisomalis, an English language expert over at The Phrontistery who kindly gave permission for me to use his work. (Check out his site; you will definitely enjoy it!)
Try a question each day, and see the right answers here the following day--or if you can't wait, follow the link to Stephen's list to dig out the answers yourself. Have fun!
The Greeks gave us an immense vocabulary for talking about rhetorical devices: ways to manipulate or stylize our speech and writing. Stephen has put together a hefty list of them! You remember similes and hyperbole from English class, right? But what about these more obscure devices? Use your knowledge of word roots to match each device to its meaning:
- The use or occurrence of similar word endings is called _____. - Asking forgiveness in advance for frank or bold speech is called _____. - The turning of your opponent’s own argument against them is called _____. - A rhetorical discussion in the form of an imaginary dialogue is called _____.
antistrophon dialogism homeoteleuton parrhesia
- The use or occurrence of similar word endings is called homeoteleuton.
- Asking forgiveness in advance for frank or bold speech is called parrhesia.
- The turning of your opponent’s own argument against them is called antistrophon.
- A rhetorical discussion in the form of an imaginary dialogue is called dialogism.
Try this one today:
Did you know that there are hundreds of terms related to ships and sailing? Here’s a handful. See if you can tell which ones are people (types of workers on a ship) and which ones are things (objects on a ship:)
Can't wait until tomorrow for the right answers? Check out Stephen's full list and discussion at the Phrontistery.
A Point Well Made:
Neil Gaiman: “The way one describes a story, to oneself or to the world, is by telling the story. … The more accurate the map, the more it resembles the territory. The most accurate map possible would be the territory, and thus would be perfectly accurate and perfectly useless.”
1. The opposite of UNFLAPPABLE is
2. She's a frustrating contradiction: one moment unflappable, the next, _____.
A. screaming accusations at her classmates
B. shuffling through homework papers in a hurry
C. stony and silent
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.