Number one for English language teachers

Word of the week: Maverick

Type: Reference material

Do you see yourself as a little bit different or do you just follow the herd? You could be a maverick, according to Tim Bowen's explanation of this word.

The 19th century Texas cattle owner Samuel A. Maverick was different from other cattle owners in the region. While the others routinely branded their cattle with a hot iron to indicate who they belonged to, Maverick left his herds unbranded. Thus any cattle that were found unbranded were said to be “one of Maverick’s” and then later simply “a maverick”.

The word maverick later began to be applied to those people who, through their actions or beliefs, were different in some way from the rest of the population. Today a maverick is someone whose ideas and behaviour are very different from those of other people, as in a maverick politician or a maverick thinker. It can function as a noun or an adjective.

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