Laconic Lately?

If you answered “yes” to the above question, and you’re normally vocal, your family and co-workers are likely wondering what has changed or gone wrong.  

I’ll explain.

laconic | adj.

tending not to speak frequently (as by habit or inclination)<laconic by nature, he found the monastery’s vow of silence was very much to his liking>

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The word “laconic” does not necessarily relate to the use of sign language as implied by the image above.  However, this image of the letter “L” best described the word “laconic.”

The image here is of a young actress playing the role of an uncommunicative orphan in the Irish dramatic thriller, The Daisy Chain.  Whether unable to talk or choosing not to, this character could also be described as laconic.

Laconic people are known to speak infrequently, appear aloof, considered by others to be sedate or reserved.

Another good example I came across when searching for images to offer a visual of “laconic” is Bill Belicheck, coach of the New England Patriots.

AP Photo/Charles Krupa - Patriots coach Bill Belichick has molded his team in his likeness: all business and uncommunicative.
AP Photo/Charles Krupa – Patriots coach Bill Belichick has molded his team in his likeness: all business and uncommunicative.

This photo appeared on ESPN Boston. The article referred to Belicheck as “taciturn, profane and eternally uncommunicative.”  Uncommunicative is among the list of synonyms provided for laconic at

A laconic character in your novel or historical fiction work could be difficult to deal with if you’re a writer who enjoys writing dialogue.  The tight-lipped say very few words!

Click on images for attributions.

14 thoughts on “Laconic Lately?

  1. Hi Sherrey,it’s interesting how much can be conveyed through silence. Sometimes words get in the way. But conveying a laconic personality in writing does present a challenge. I’m enjoying your thought-provoking and informative series. Thank you!

    1. Kathy, as always, I’m pleased to have you visit my blog. Silence can be an effective means of communication although we don’t seem to honor it often. Thanks for the comment on the series. Glad you’ve been enjoying.

  2. Maybe some of those people are just shy. Though when I’m quiet, people know something is wrong

  3. I was unfamiliar with the exact use of the term Laconic. I agree with Kathleen Pooler, that silence does sometimes contribute more to character than words and it is difficult to convey such personalities. Any helpful hints on how to best approach portraying laconic characters in writing?

    1. You ask an interesting question — how to approach portraying the laconic figure. As I’ve written in another post in this challenge soon to come, searching the internet for images of “laconic features” or simply searching the word “laconic” as an image will provide you with something to look at while writing. The other is to read, read, read what others write and look for phrases or descriptive words for the laconic character. Hope this helps.

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