By Kaitlin MoroneyAs true-blue Americans come out in droves this weekend to don their flag bandanas, eat apple pie and pee bald eagle tears, it’s hard to stand out from the rest. So this Independence Day, celebrate (and one-up everyone else) by brushing up on your patriotic vocabulary. The following words and phrases appear in either the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. And since nobody really reads those things on the regular, I figured I’d pull out some gems for you to keep in your back pocket and whip out over that weird red, white and blue Jell-O dish someone always makes. When they say “WTH, why don’t you speak English like a real person?” you can come back with “Are you saying the Founding Fathers weren’t real people!? Because that word is in the friggin’ Constitution, bro.” Shut. Them. Down.
A word for “the exercise of absolute power, especially in a cruel or oppressive way.” This word is in the Declaration in reference to the obvious King George, who was kind of a butt. So if Uncle John this weekend insists that nobody else can touch the grill except him, let him know you don’t appreciate his despotism.
2. Manly firmness
This actual phrase appears in the Declaration in reference to how the colonies opposed King George “with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.” Now, I think you should spend the day doing everything like the Founding Fathers did. Drink a beer with manly firmness. Light some fireworks with manly firmness. Eat a hot dog with manly firmness. Oppose Uncle John’s despotism with manly firmness.
It’s the “property of being from the same kinship as another person,” according to Wikipedia. Apparently King George totally fails at understanding consanguinity, according to the Declaration. So be better than George and use this phrase — in its proper context — at least five times today. That will make you five times more legit than a ruthless monarch. #winning
This one’s in the Constitution, Article 1, Section 6. Basically, it just means a salary. When Aunt Betty, after passing the green bean casserole, rudely enquires as to what you make at your new job, just tell her your emolument is none of her dadgum business.
Contrary to how it may look, this word from the First Amendment doesn’t mean to get dressed and then get dressed again. It actually means to “remedy” or “set right.” So before you light someone on fire with a Roman Candle because they made fun of your weird polo shirt yet again … ask them to redress your grievances against them.
Have an idea for a listicle? Get in touch. Moroney may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (208) 848-2232.