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Hector

  • Hector is a proper name that is also used as a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. We will examine the meaning of the verb to hector, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

    To hector someone means to bully them, to harass them in a threatening and aggressive manner. Related words are hectors, hectored, hectoring. The word hector, meaning to bully, is derived from a seventeenth-century London juvenile gang known as the Hectors. During the seventeenth century, several youth gangs terrorized the citizenry of London. They damaged property and assaulted watchmen and innocent bystanders, and brawled among themselves. The word hector at that time had meant a blustery, noisy man. With the advent of the Hector gang, the word became a verb. The original Hector was a figure in Greek mythology. He was a prince of Troy and fought valiantly against the Greeks.

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    Examples

    For nine days in Europe and the Middle East, Trump shoved, hectored and lectured, betraying confidences and demonstrating an ignorance of world affairs. (The Helena Independent Record)

    “Members of the Chinese community in Australia deserve the same rights and privileges as all other Australians, not to be hectored, lectured at, monitored, policed, reported on and told what they may and may not think.” (The Canberra Times)

    Baying audiences during broadcast debates, hectoring TV interviewers and panicking politicians terrified of being exposed for not having perfect recall of the smallest minutiae of their party’s policies. (The Daily Mail)

    He soon received a hectoring email from an aggrieved reader who firmly reminded him that “impeach” has a narrower meaning, going on to insist that this egregious error made my colleague unfit to teach in a law school. (Newsweek Magazine)

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