• ostrich n. One who tries to avoid disagreeable situations by refusing to face them
--The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Ed.
• ostrich adj. Of or pertaining to an ostrich or ostriches; especially ostrichlike; based on self de-lusion; as an ostrich attitude.
• ostrichlike adj. Like an ostrich; esp. given to, or charaterized by, self-delusion into a sense of security by shutting the eyes.
--Webster's New International Dictionary Unabridged Second Edition
Bloggin' John Comments:
Just as canine is the adjectival form of the noun dog, and feline is for cat, so is struthious for ostrich.
And just as eagles can be used metaphorically to describe sharp human vision (she's an eagle-eyed supervisor), and snakes evil intent (with a viper in his bosom), so too can ostriches describe self-delusion (struthious generals toppled by visionary rebels).
At the Web-based Tilted Forum Project, forum participant JadziaDax posted struthious as the group's Word of the Day on August 5, 2003. In the post (below), Dax offered "A little more information about today's word," then concluded with sentences that illustrate struthious in action, one sentence from Hon. Bruce M. Selya, and five others from forum members.
08-05-2003, 03:52 AM
struthious • \STROO-thee-uss ("th" as in "thin" or as in "then")\ • (adjective) of or relating to the ostriches and related birds
A little more information about today’s word:
Paleontologists have found ostrich fossils that are 5 million years old, but "struthious" has only been strutting its stuff in English since the 18th century. "Ostrich" is much older. Anglo-French speakers created "ostriz" from Vulgar Latin "avis struthio" ("ostrich bird"); Middle English speakers made it "ostrich" in the 13th century. Scientists seeking a genus word for ostriches turned back to Latin, choosing "struthio." The related adjective "struthious" can be scientific and literal, or it can be figurative with the meaning "ostrich-like," as in our example sentence. The extended use suggests a tendency to bury one’s head in the sand like an ostrich. But do ostriches really do this? No—the bird’s habit of lying down and flattening its neck and head against the ground to escape detection gave rise to the misconception.
My [JadziaDax's] sentence:
"The law is not so struthious as to compel a judge . . . to divorce himself or herself from common sense or to ignore what is perfectly obvious."
-- Hon. Bruce M. Selya, U.S. v. Sklar, U.S. Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit
Based on Merriam-Webster's Collegiate® Dictionary, 10th Edition.
--Tilted Forum Project<www.tfproject.org/tfp/archive/index.php/t-20010.html>
Bloggin' John's Sentence:
The struthious NeoCons in the Bush White House could not or would not see what their policies were doing to the people of Iraq.