The Weekly Word is ZEALOT: Have you got an alternative meaning?

This week the weekly word will be ZEALOT and my alternative meaning is a ‘an extremely effective salesperson‘. Do you have any suggestions for an alternative meaning?

This week’s word is ZEALOT, it is a NOUN and is pronounced ‘zell-ott’

The word zealot means someone who is fanatical; they are full of ZEAL or they are ZEALOUS; they can also be someone who is a member of a radical, warlike, ardently patriotic group of Jews in ancient Judea who were striving to overthrow the Roman’s who ruled them.
Examples of the word ZEALOT
  • He was a ZEALOT, a fanatic who was passionate about his cause
  • His brother was a member of the ZEALOT’s
  • A ZEALOT came to our house and informed on us to the Government spies that surrounded us

Origins of the word ZEALOT

The word ZEALOT comes from the Greek word ZELOTES; whilst this was first known in the 1st Century AD as a band of Jewish group that opposed the Roman Empire, it’s use in common language to refer to some who was fanatical can be traced to the 1630’s. It originates from zeloun which means “to be zealous,” which in turn comes from the word zelos meaning “zeal”.

Why the Weekly Word?

The idea of the Weekly Word comes from Toastmasters International. At each meeting we have a Grammarian whose role is to encourage members to try out new words that stretch our vocabulary, as well as to monitor and report back on people’s use of language. If you’d like to find out more about Toastmasters groups in your area then you can visit their website at:

If you would like to see previous Weekly Words on this blog and try out your own alternative meanings, you can find them all listed here: the-weekly-word

Linda Parkinson-Hardman

Transformational counsellor, coach and women's health advocate. Professionally I'm an information scientist who specialises in change management, culture change and adoption of digital technologies in large enterprises and organisations. I am a writer and author of nine books to date, and I've edited a further seven; phew what a lot for a Thursday afternoon :-)

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3 Responses

  1. Linda says:

    Oh it does Bill, but I still love the way it rolls around the tongue before slipping out into some form of oath or curse. And your alternative meaning is just perfect, I want to go along to one the next time in Australia 🙂

  2. billgncs says:

    don’t you think zealot sounds like what it means? I do. But I offer:

    Zealot — noun – A festival that originated in New Zealand and Australia, that following the completion of shearing all the sheep, the owners throw a communal feast of shepherd’s pie, home brew with pipes and singing and dancing where everyone, family and help celebrates together, often a preamble to an elopement.

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