Umbrage (n)

Here is a context clues worksheet on the noun umbrage. I understand that this is not a word that is in high demand in most discourse. But what an interesting pedigree it carries. Before I bloviate on that, however, l’ll mention that the context clues in this document are keyed to the most commonly used definition of this in English, i.e. “a feeling of pique or resentment at some often fancied slight or insult.” I don’t know if I’ve ever heard it use without the transitive verb take, as in “Daffy Duck took umbrage when Elmer Fudd shot him in the face.”

Did you know that one of the meanings of this word, by Merriam-Webster’s reckoning, is “shady branches.” Umbrage originates from the Latin umbraticus, which means “pertaining to shade.” Unsurprisingly, the word penumbra also grows from the root of this Latin adjective. Penumbra, interestingly, is also a word used in jurisprudence, as when Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas wrote the majority opinion in Griswold v. Connecticut.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

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