Can’t Spend it Fast Enough
This word means spending recklessly almost to the point of immorality. This word often pops up in politics, when some charge that government is spending wastefully.
The provenance of this word—like many GRE words—is the Bible. One of Jesus’ most famous parables, the story is of a young man who squanders his father’s wealth and returns home destitute. His father forgives him, but to posterity he will forever be remembered as the prodigal son. Therefore to be prodigal is to squander or waste wealth (it doesn’t necessarily have to be familial wealth.)
Getting a Hand
Is to help pay the cost of, either in part of full. (e.g. -In order for Sean to attend the prestigious college his magnanimous uncle helped defray the excessive tuition with a monthly infusion of cash.)
Is a regular allowance, usually for a student.
To offer up quittance is to no longer be insolvent. That is, you no longer are in debt.
Somebody is Trying to Take It!
This word means to trick or swindle.
This strange looking word also means to swindle or defraud someone. (Though the swindling doesn’t always have to relate to money.) Mulct can also mean to fine someone.
Don’t feel sheepish if you thought this word only pertained to the coat of an ovine. As a verb fleece means to swindle or dupe.
I Can’t Get Enough
One of the seven deadly sins, avarice means greed. Of note, this word doesn’t necessarily mean greed for money but usually pertains to possessions and not food.
This word is similar to avarice in that it means greedy. But the word is even more relevant to this post in that it means greed for money. Surprising, right? We think of Cupid the flying cherub, firing his arrow away and making Romeos and Juliets out of us. To avoid any confusion, instead imagine Cupid flying around shooting arrows into people’s wallets/purses and then swooping in and taking the loot. Oh what cupidity!
Putting it Together
Depending on a person’s level of education, there is a stark contrast in the way the age of exploration is depicted: for elementary school students, the explorers of the 15th and 16h century embodied ingenuity and daring; for the college student, the explorers were motivated only by _________, as shown by their wanton plundering of the native people’s gold.
Extravagance : Profligacy ::
(A) miserliness : prodigality
(B) frugality : obstinacy
(C) quittance : insolvency
(D) chariness : paranoia
(E) penury : infamy
Here the answer is (D). Though chariness (caution) wasn’t part of the lesson, it was the only answer choice that kept the same bridge as the stem pair: Profligacy is excessive thrift, whereas paranoia is excessive chariness.