Words of Independence

While Americans rarely need a special occasion to express their patriotism, Independence Day, i.e. July 4th, might be the perfect opportunity to wax poetic about the good old U.S. of A. Amidst bangs of fireworks, strains of the National Anthem, and burger flipping on America-sized grills, you might pick out some well-considered words to describe your appreciation for our colonial predecessors. After all, it was these valiant men and women who, tired of being oppressed, neglected, and down-right disrespected by the British Monarchy, decided to take their liberty into their own hands by fighting for their freedom!

"But alas," you ask yourself, swept up by the hyperbolic atmosphere of the day, "which words to use?" You can cast aside any fears of prolixity - Independence Day is a wonderful opportunity to release your inner word-nerd! If you are an aspiring politician or a marketeer, July 4th sets the perfect stage to show your chops.

Eager to begin your narrative, you flip through your mental lexicon. Any description of these doughty rebels must surely refer to their astounding courage, their redoubtable strength, their valiant daring and pluck! From George Washington's legendary crossing of the Delaware to all the skirmishes fought by every tiny yet intrepid militiaΒΈ the best Revolutionary stories always emphasize feats of valor. Of course, the ultimate result must be included in your discourse as well, as it was our Founding Fathers' innovative vision of a new form of government – a republic, run by and for the people rather than in spite of them – that fueled the undertaking to the finish.

You might give this some deep cogitation as you outwardly enjoy your barbeque, surrounded by fellow Americans dressed head-to-toe in star-spangled attire. But you could save yourself scads of trouble by simply considering the words we proffer to you below. With these words at your disposal, you'll be able to seamlessly describe how the colonials won their independence. So go forth, and commemorate this Fourth of July in style!

  • Liberty: A common word with an underappreciated meaning, liberty can describe either an overall state of freedom or individual privileges or rights. Since we hear it so often, it's easy for Americans to take the word liberty for granted. Yet it is largely thanks to this little word that we can express our fundamental right to forge our lives in whatever ways we choose. So in the spirit of the holiday, be at liberty to use this and other words of independence freely!
  • Doughty: No, not the little crescent roll guy – doughty is an adjective which means "brave, intrepid, and formidable." This word is perfect for describing anybody who shows particular valor, such as the American Colonists who valiantly won the Battle of Bunker Hill! Of course, doughty could just as aptly apply to your cousin who overcomes his fear of spinning objects by holding a pinwheel for the first time.
  • Valiant: If you like doughty, why not try its synonym valiant as well? Valiant is an adjective used to describe someone who is selflessly courageous, gallant, and renowned in strength. This word frequently arises in conversations about soldiers, both Revolutionary and contemporary. Valiant can also describe a deed as being a feat of clout and personal character, an act deserving of a great deal of respect.
  • Militia: Arising from the same roots as "military," militia is a word which defines a small body of civilians who are trained to act as soldiers but don't officially belong to the armed forces. These citizen fighters usually come together with the intent of protecting their communities in times of emergency. This meaning makes militia perfect for describing the bands of minutemen who helped the colonies win the Battles of Lexington and Concord!
  • Republic: Perhaps one of the most revolutionary words in the field of civics, republic is the term given to a government run by officials who are elected by a public vote. By putting the power in the hands of the people, republics aim to represent the wishes of the majority and to protect the liberties of all men and women. A republic also enshrines certain fundamental rights in a written constitution which typically cannot be altered by a simple majority. Although our Founding Fathers weren't the first to propose such a government (history shows examples of republics as far back as ancient Rome), their ideas were considered radical and hope-inspiring when compared to the injustices of the British monarchy. Salute the memory of our patriotic forerunners, and familiarize yourself with the nuances of the word republic this Independence Day!