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cu•ri•os•i•ty(ˌkyʊər iˈɒs ɪ ti)
n., pl. -ties.
- Aloof curiosity like that of sixth-formers watching a sword-swallower —Frank Swinnerton
See Also: REMOTENESS
- Curious as a monkey —Anon
- Curious as a two-year old —Anon
- Curiosity … like thirst —Alice McDermott
- Inquisitive as a goat —Erich Maria Remarque
- Inquisitive as an X-ray —Anon
- Inquisitive as a reporter smelling a scoop —Elyse Sommer
- Pick and pry like a doctor or archeologist —Sylvia Plath
- Poking his nose everywhere like a dog smelling out a trail —American colloquialism
- Suppressed her curiosity as if squashing a cockroach —Marge Piercy
(See also MEDDLE-SOMENESS.)
eavesdropper One who clandestinely listens in on private conversations; a fly on the wall, a snoop or spy. It was formerly the practice of such persons to listen in on private conversations by standing under the eaves of the dwelling in which they occurred. The dropper part of the term seems to have some connection with rain dripping off the eaves and onto the listener standing under them, as indicated by the following passage describing the punishment prescribed by the Freemasons for a convicted eavesdropper:
To be placed under the eaves of the house in rainy weather, till the water runs in at his shoulders and out at his heels.
The term dates from 1487.
fly on the wall An eavesdropper, an unseen witness. In this expression, the implication is that a small, inconspicuous fly that has settled on a wall is able to witness events without being noticed. The phrase is nearly always heard as part of a person’s expressed desire to see and hear certain conversations or goings on (“I’d love to be a fly on the wall”); rarely is it used in contexts implying actual clandestine behavior. This same concept, that is, a small, unobtrusive insect acting as a witness, may have given rise to bug ‘a concealed recording device or microphone.’ However, it is more likely that bug was used to describe the tiny microphone, which resembles an insect.
rubberneck A person who gapes and gawks; one who stares intently at something or someone; a curious observer; a tourist. This expression alludes to the elasticlike neck contortions of one trying to view everything in sight. Although the phrase sometimes carries a disparaging implication of unjustified curiosity, rubberneck is more often applied humorously to conspicuous sightseers in an unfamiliar locale who gaze wonderingly at scenes taken for granted by the natives.
They are the nobility—the swells. They don’t hang around the streets like tourists and rubbernecks. (G. B. McCutcheon, Truxton King, 1910)
take a gander To glance at; to look at out of curiosity. This expression, derived from the inquisitive male goose, enjoys widespread use in the United States and Great Britain.
Take a gander at the see-through door below. See that corrugated piece of steel? (Scientific American, October, 1971)
The following words can all be used to describe a person who is eager to find out about someone's life, or about an event or situation:
Curious is a neutral word, which does not show approval or disapproval.
Interested is usually complimentary when it is used to talk about someone's interest in a person's life.
Nosy and prying are used to show disapproval.
Prying is usually used with eyes.
Inquisitive is sometimes used to show disapproval, but it can also be neutral or even complimentary.
|Noun||1.||curiosity - a state in which you want to learn more about something|
desire to know, lust for learning, thirst for knowledge - curiosity that motivates investigation and study
interest, involvement - a sense of concern with and curiosity about someone or something; "an interest in music"
|2.||curiosity - something unusual -- perhaps worthy of collecting|
object, physical object - a tangible and visible entity; an entity that can cast a shadow; "it was full of rackets, balls and other objects"
collectable, collectible - things considered to be worth collecting (not necessarily valuable or antique)
curiosity killed the cat → la curiosidad mata al hombre