My girlfriend and I just heard John Goodman use the word “trepidacious” on James Lipton’s show. Yet I remember a stern seventh-grade English teacher telling me, “trepidacious is not a word,” for reasons never explained.
Well, it’s beginning to look as if the maligned word has made its way into the American lexicon, at least, as both my girlfriend and John Goodman use it, despite my tender admonitions. What rule of English does the word break which prevents it from being accepted? And is my girlfriend really vinicated, or is she still just sporting a Rolls Royce on blocks in her verbal front lawn?