BEING PERPLEXED, AS IS SO OFTEN THE CASE, BY AN OFFICIAL FORM
adj. — wily, scheming; lying in wait to entrap or ensnare; operating secretly to not arouse suspicion; sly, treacherous, deceitful, underhand, artful, cunning, crafty
fm. Latin, insidiosus, meaning cunning, or insidiae, ambush; carried over to French as insidieux
first published. 1545
inspiration. a colleague, whose nagging soccer injury has forced her to consult a series of doctors over time. The paperwork for a recent office visit asked her to identify the nature of her injury: chronic, traumatic, insidious—inspiring a long debate on just what an insidious injury could be. We never really came up with an answer.
featured image. the insidious Snidely Whiplash, nemesis of Dudley Do-Right, from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show (1959–64). He’s on the right.