Asked • 08/09/19

Meaning of "contumelist"?

J.M. Coetzee writes this sentence in [*Elizabeth Costello*](https://books.google.com/books?id=8lFpDQAAQBAJ&pg=PT23&dq=%22contumelists%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi1gNqui4rXAhVR6mMKHSbuBlIQ6AEIKDAA#v=onepage&q=%22contumelists%22&f=false):> He is here simply to protect her, to bar the way against the> relic-hunters and the contumelists and the sentimental pilgrims.(p. 30 in the 2003 Penguin edition).More context: 'She' is an ageing famous novelist who is flying home after receiving an important award and 'he' is her son who is accompanying her and apparently has a complicated relationship with the mother. (Bear with me, I've only finished Chapter 1 so far).<h3>What is exactly a contumelist?</h3> My guess is that it's someone who behaves with contumely but it seems to be a rare (or even made-up) word, and googling did not help much.EDITFrom Merriam-Webster:**Definition of contumely**> > plural contumelies :harsh language or treatment arising from> haughtiness and contempt; also :an instance of such language or> treatment

1 Expert Answer

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Kathryn P. answered • 08/20/19

Tutor
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Master of Arts in Education, Specializing in Writing Skills

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