WORD LISTS

Ain't too Proud to Beg!

August 23, 2014
The word "please" can only get you so far. Luckily, there is a very big lexicon of words that help us ask for favors. Ranging from blatant behavior fawning over the person who can aid us ( obsequious) to earnest requests made of a ruler or deity ( beseech), there is no limit to the vocabulary describing our situation when we need something from someone else. Here are some words for when you find yourself in this predicament, because "with sugar on top" isn't going to work forever.
implore
From the Latin implorare, which meant "invoke with weeping."
Michele Gilmer implored the jury to hold the couple accountable for "telling the same lie over and over again."
—Los Angeles Times Jul 17, 2014
beseech
From Middle English elements be, in this case probably an intensifier, and secen "to seek."
“Please, I am begging you,” she beseeched the commander, a silent man who had descended from a military transport truck.
—New York Times Mar 3, 2014
entreat
From Old French, entraiter, which meant "to treat". The English word didn't take on its current meaning of "implore" until the early 16th Century.
She has obviously considered the argument that Lady Macbeth, who entreats her husband to kill the king and seize power, is rotten to the core.
—The Guardian Jun 19, 2013
adjure
From Late Latin, made from the elements ad- "to", and iurare "to swear", as in swearing an oath.
On the conclusion of his discourse he adjured them: “Repent, then, all ye who have been contaminated.
—Henry Charles Lea
prostrate
From Latin prostratus "to strew in front or throw down."
I attended their funerals, weddings and prayer ceremonies where they prostrated themselves before their god, asking for a reprieve from another conflict.
—Newsweek
solicit
In the early 1400s, this word, which can be traced to Latin solicitare meant " to disturb, trouble, harass or provoke." It was not until the 1520s that the word took on its current sense of "entreat" or "petition."
Politicians who solicit donations for campaigns, but then use the money for personal benefit, undermine public confidence in the integrity of elected officials.
—Washington Times Aug 26, 2014
importune
From the Latin importunus "unfit, troublesome", the etymology of this word really emphasizes the pesky, annoying nature of the one asking for help.
She refuses to cooperate, despite their importuning that she mustn’t give up.
—New York Times Mar 31, 2014
supplicate
From Latin supplicatus, which is the past participle of supplicare " plead humbly, beseech, kneel down."
Mr. Roberts's wife and children went before congress and on their knees supplicated for mercy, but in vain.
—James H. Stark
humble
The Latin source humilis, "lowly, humble" literally means "on the ground" from humus "earth",which is a good association to have with the verb form, where one humbles oneself before another, usually while asking for help.
"But we saw him humbling himself with people who are suffering, and I think he is providing a huge consolation to the South Korean public."
—US News Aug 16, 2014
petition
From Latin petitionem, which had many meanings, the relevant one being " a seeking, a searching."
More controversially, he successfully petitioned the U.S. government for protective tariffs on imported Chinese furniture, alienating many of his retailer customers.
—Washington Times Aug 20, 2014
impel
From Latin impellere " to push, strike against, drive forward, urge on."
Will is a child's motive force: it impels a child from within, whereas obedience compels a child from without.
—The Guardian May 4, 2013
obsequious
The sense of obsequious as meaning "compliant" and " obedient" comes directly from its Latin parts: ob- "after" and sequi "follow". This meaning was noted in the late 15th century, while the above definition is not recorded until the late 16th century.
Maybe your obsequious staff laughing at your every quip makes you think you are hilarious.
—The Guardian July 16, 2013
orison
This word may seem obscure, but it is the same, etymologically speaking, as a more familiar word, oration. The difference between the two words is that oration comes directly from the Latin oratio while orison takes its form from the later Old French stage the Latin passed through. The Old French provides the "s" in orison with oreisun.
While chanting the funeral prayers and orisons of the Church, the natives, from a safe distance, shouted derisively and danced to celebrate their treason.
—Samuel Adams Drake
intercession
From Latin intercessionem "a going between."
Believers in intercession say the living can pray to a dead saint to ask God to help them.
—Reuters Jul 4, 2012
invocation
From Latin invocare " to call upon, invoke, appeal to."
In Michigan, some communities report that they have used an invocation or prayer at their council or board meeting, according to the Michigan Municipal League.
—Washington Times Jun 11, 2014

Rate this wordlist:

Join the conversation

Comments from our users:

Thursday August 28th, 8:52 PM
Comment by: Polymath Wizard (Iceland)
i'll def need these words if i go broke

Do you have a comment?

Share it with the Visual Thesaurus community.

Your comments:

Sign in to post a comment!

We're sorry, you must be a subscriber to comment.

Click here to subscribe today.

Already a subscriber? Click here to login.

Create a new Word List