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John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

Word Stuff: Genial

"Genial" derives from the Latin adjective "genialis," meaning "connected with marriage." When "genial" was first adopted into English in the mid-16th century, it meant "of or relating to marriage," a sense that is now obsolete. "Genialis" was formed in Latin by combining the "-alis" suffix (meaning "of, relating to, or characterized by") with "genius," meaning "a person's disposition or inclination." Latin "genius" is the ancestor of the English word "genius," meaning "extraordinary intellectual power"—so "genial" eventually developed a sense (possibly influenced by the German word "genial") of "marked by very high intelligence."